Britain advises citizens to consider leaving Tokyo

16th March 2011, Comments 0 comments

Britain on Wednesday advised its citizens to consider leaving Tokyo and northeastern Japan following the earthquake and the subsequent explosions at the Fukushima nuclear facility.

The Foreign Office said British officials report there is still "no real human health issue that people should be concerned about".

But due to the "evolving situation" at the nuclear plant, "British nationals currently in Tokyo and to the north of Tokyo should consider leaving the area", a Foreign Office statement said.

Earlier Thursday, the United States warned American citizens living within 50 miles (80 kilometres) of the plant to evacuate or seek shelter, and barred US troops from the area.

France advised its nationals on Sunday to leave the Toyko area.

Japan's Emperor Akihito said Thursday he was "deeply concerned" about the "unpredictable" situation at the stricken plant, which has been hit by a series of explosions following Friday's devastating quake.

The quake and the tsunami it unleashed left more than 12,000 people dead or missing and knocked out the systems which cool the nuclear reactors at the plant 250 kilometres (155 miles) northeast of Tokyo.

Radiation levels have risen sharply at the plant, making it the world's worst nuclear incident since the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.

© 2011 AFP

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