news item by 沈晓婷
Engineers in Japan are working to prevent a nuclear catastrophe at a power plant damaged by the huge earthquake that struck on Friday. Large numbers of people have been evacuated from the area near the Fukushima power complex, the worst hit facility, amid concerns about radiation levels. Chris Hogg reports from Tokyo.
Hundreds of thousands of people here who survived Friday’s earthquake, are being checked for
exposure to radiation. They’ve been ordered to leave their homes in a wide area around the nuclear
plant at Fukushima. Technicians there are struggling to make safe reactors damaged by the quake and the wall of water that’s swept through the complex. For a time, leaks of radiation were detected that exceeded safety limits. Officials say the levels have since declined.
The Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan has called on his country to unite and rebuild as it struggles to cope with the devastation. He said Japan was facing its worst crisis since World War 2. Food, water and fuel are reported to be running short in some parts of Japan. Police say more than 10,000 people may have lost their lives in one of the worst affected regions, the northern coastal area of Miyagi. Our correspondent Rachel Harvey is in Miyagi and sent this report.
All day long the sound of helicopters filled the air as they ferried up and down the northeast coast. At ground levels progress was slower. We were aiming for the town of Minami Sanderiku, one of the areas worst affected by this unfolding disaster. We have reached the stopping point. You can hear in the background diggers are now trying to clear the debris from the road up ahead, bits of wood, car
tyres, bits of twisted metal. The main town is straight ahead of us and that’s where, we are told,
many thousands of people are still unaccounted for.
Large areas of Japan are without power and the government is beginning a programme of rolling electricity blackouts. Huge numbers of survivors are gathered in emergency shelters, some with no heat. More than a million households are without fresh water. About 30% of Japan’s electricity comes from nuclear power.
In a remarkable tale of survival, Japanese Defense Ministry said a 60-year-old man had been rescued clinging to the roof of his house. It had been carried out to sea by Friday’s tsunami. Mark
Claibell has more.
For two days Hiromitsu Shinkaa drifted 15 kilometres off Japan’s northeastern coast, clinging to his floating rooftop. It was all that was left of his house in Fukushima Prefecture after the tsunami had ripped if from its foundations and swept away his wife. As he clung on in the sea, he waved a red cloth in an attempt to attract the attention of passing helicopters and boats. The crew on board a Japanese military ship spotted him and sent a small vessel his way. As he was taken to hospital by helicopter, he was reported to be in good health.
World News from the BBC
a nuclear catastrophe a sudden nuclear leak that causes many people to suffer
a power plant a building or a group of buildings where electricity is produced evacuate to move people from a place of danger to a safer place
power complex a group of buildings of a similar type together in one place where electricity is produced
radiation levels the amount of radiation
exposure to radiation the state of being in a place or situation where there is no protection from radiation
reactors large structure used for the controlled production of nuclear energy
exceeded safety to be greater than the safety stadards
devastation great destruction or damage, especially over a wide area
ferried up and down to carry people from one place to another
aiming for to try or plan to achieve sth.
unfolding disaster a disaster gradually known to people
clear the debris remove pieces of wood, metal, brick that are left after the town was destroyed by the earthquake
are still unaccounted for are still can not be found and people do not what has happened to them
rolling electricity blackouts stop people from turning on the lights as a result of an electrical power failure
emergency shelters a place where people are protected in case of emergency
drifted 15 kilometres off Japan’s northeastern coast to move slowly away from Japan’s
northeastern coast in water
ripped it from its foundations to tear it suddenly or violently from the foundations of the house Related words
afershock: a small earthquake that happens after a big one buckle: to become crushed or bent after a weight or force calamity: an event that causes great damage to people's lives, property devastate: to completely destroy a place or an area epicenter: the point on the earth's surface where the earthquake's effects
are felt most strongly
jolt: to move or to move sth suddenly and roughly
lava: hot liquid rock that comes out of a volcano
mudslide: a large amount of mud sliding down a mountain
rubbles: broken stones or bricks from a building or wall that has been
destroyed or damaged
seismic: connected with or caused by earthquake
shanty town: an area in or near a town where poor people live in shanties shoddy building: buildings made or done badly and without enough care tracker dog: a dog that has been trained to help the police find people traumatize: to shock and upset sb very much, often making them unable to
think or work normally
tsunami: an extremely large wave in the sea
avalanche: a mass of snow, ice and rock that falls down the side of a
blaze: to burn brightly and strongly
blizzard: a snowstorm with very strong winds
cataclysm: a sudden disaster or a violent event that causes change char: to become black by burning
choppy: with a lot of small waves; not calm
collapse: to fall down or fall in suddenly of after breaking apart crest: the top part of a hill or wave
cyclone: a violent tropical storm in which strong winds move in a circle deluge: a sudden very heavy fall of rain
driving rain: rain that fall very fast and at an angle
engulf: to surround or to cover sth completely
gale: an extremely strong wind
inundate: to cover an area of land with a large amount of water subside: to go back to a very normal level(of water)
torrential: falling in large amounts(of rain)
twister: a violent storm that is caused by a powerful spinning column of air uproot: to pull a tree, plant, etc, out of the ground
make-shift: used temporarily for a particularly purpose because the real
thing is not available
death toll: the number of people who die
level: to destroy a building or a group of trees completely by knocking it
distribute food: to give food to a large number of people