Japan Crews Restart Work after Radiation Scare

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Japanese work crews prepared to continue the efforts to cool overheating reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan Wednesday.

The news came after a dangerous surge in radiation at the plant forced 50 workers to leave the facility before they could stabilize the reactors' temperatures.

"I am deeply concerned about the nuclear situation because it is unpredictable," Japan's Emperor Akihito said Wednesday morning in a rare public address. "With the help of those involved I hope things will not get worse."

Despite the dangers, CBN's Operation Blessing International is Japan in an effort to provide aid to the nation's disaster victims. The team is in the coastal town on Shiogama distributing food and water at a shelter housing those in need.

David Darg, OBI's director of international disaster relief and special projects, talked more about their work in Japan, on The 700 Club, March 16. Click play to watch.

As radiation levels continued to fluctuate, authorities have begun widening the evacuation zone around the nuclear plant.

More than 140,000 people who live near the facilities were relocated to the city of Koriyama. They arrived by the bus load - tired and frustrated.

"I really hope that we can go back to our house as soon as possible and to live an ordinary life," evacuee Ayumi Yokota said.

Meanwhile, in the same city, fears of radiation exposure had people lining up to be tested at a gymnasium.

"I was so nervous until I got the result," city employee Saori Endo said. "It was fine, and now I feel relieved."

"If there had not been a nuclear accident, I would not need to get tested or have had such a frightening experience," Endo added. "I'm angry."

In Tokyo, 150 miles away, people have begun wearing radiation badges and buying up everything in sight.

Radiation fears also hampered relief efforts to the worst affected areas of the earthquake-ravaged island nation.

Ken Joseph is with the Japan emergency team in Sendai.

"Just now, the different countries have started to evacuate their people because of the threat of radiation," he explained. "So people are apparently afraid to come in to help. So there's a great bit of discouragement and fear here that everything's kind of happening at the same time."

U.S. citizens have also begun purchasing supplies to protect themselves -- even though Japan's nuclear crisis is across an entire ocean, thousands of miles away.

However, doctors say Americans should not worry that Japan's radiation will reach the U.S.

"When people overreact, they do things that don't make sense," Dr. Steven Harris of the Dallas Health Department said. "And in this case stockpiling medication does not make sense."

Meanwhile, a new 6.0 aftershock rattled northeast Japan on Wednesday. The quake was felt all the way in Tokyo, where millions of people remain frightened.

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CBN News
Efrem Graham

Efrem Graham

News Anchor & Reporter

Efrem Graham is an award-winning journalist, who comes to CBN News from the ABC owned and operated station in Toledo, Ohio.  He received his master's degree from the Columbia University Journalism School. He also holds a bachelor's degree in English Literature from the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.  Follow Efrem on Twitter @EfremGraham and "like" him at Facebook.com/EfremGrahamCBN.