(Attaches to additional alert)
TOKYO, March 12 (Reuters) - Tokyo Electric Power Co has begun releasing pressure from No.1 reactor at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, the trade ministry said on Saturday, a day after a massive quake hit northern Japan.
TEPCO said it would prepare for the release of pressure from the second nuclear plant, the Fukushima Daini plant, as pressure mounted.
TEPCO and the authorities battled to contain rising pressure at two nuclear plants in Fukushima prefecture. They said thousands of residents in the area had been evacuated. (Reporting by Osamu Tsukimori; Editing by Chris Gallagher)