A UCLan graduate has spoken about how people in Japan are in fear of an impending nuclear crisis.
Martyn Terpilowski, 33, who graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in 1998 and currently lives in Tokyo, said the potential release of radiation into the air from a nuclear power plant is a major concern.
He said: “We are still getting regular tremors and round the clock news on the situation at the nuclear plants.
“Further earthquakes have also been predicted, so many people are very worried and the atmosphere is one of fear.”
The crisis was caused by a magnitude 8.9 earthquake that struck the country and resulted in a deadly tsunami.
It is estimated up to 10,000 people could have died as a result of the disaster.
Damage from this is what has sparked fears of a nuclear meltdown at Fukushima Power Plant.
Yukio Edano, Japan’s chief cabinet secretary, has told anyone within a 12 to 18 mile radius of the plant, which lies north of the capital, to stay indoors.
The radiation has reached a level which is harmful to human health which, according to Martyn, has caused a state of panic buying.
He said: “There is little food in shops as people stock up and there are no fresh food deliveries and queues at petrol stations.
“With all the talk of the nuclear power stations, the streets are very quiet and many people are not at work.”
Japan has called on international assistance, particularly from the US to prevent the nuclear disaster. Officials are currently pumping sea water into the power plants in an attempt to cool down the nuclear reactors but it is still likely that radiation will be leaked.
Martyn said that despite this people are trying to come together in the face of tragedy. “I have lived here for 10 years and the Japanese are great people, so there has been a real sense of bringing people together and getting through the situation.”
Read Blog Preston‘s exclusive first person account of being in the middle of Japan’s biggest earthquake.