March 15, 2011 / 10:58 AM / 9 years ago

China to evacuate citizens from Japan quake areas

BEIJING (Reuters) - China will evacuate citizens from areas worst affected by Japan’s earthquake and subsequent damage to nuclear reactors, but has detected no abnormal radiation levels at home, the government said on Tuesday.

Japanese student Nakayama Chie watches a Chinese student contributing money during a collection for victims of an earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan's northeast coast on Friday, at Tsinghua University in Beijing March 15, 2011. The words on the box read: "Donation box". REUTERS/Jason Lee

China’s embassy in Japan said it was organising the evacuation.

“Our ministry will continue closely monitoring developments in the accident at the Fukushima Number One Plant, will strengthen monitoring for radiation, and will swiftly report information about this,” said the nuclear safety agency of China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection.

Radiation levels fell at Japan’s quake-stricken nuclear power plant on the northeast coast, the Japanese government said on Tuesday, after an earlier spike in radiation.

As of 4 p.m. (0800GMT) on Tuesday, China’s nuclear safety agency had detected no abnormal radiation, the ministry said in the statement on its website (www.mep.gov.cn).

Winds were expected to carry any radiation from Japan out over the Pacific Ocean and away from China for at least the next three days, the China Meteorological Administration said in a separate statement on its website (www.cma.gov.cn).

However, China will monitor imports at entry ports for any sign of radiation, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine said in a brief statement on its website (www.aqsiq.gov.cn).

“Owing to the seriousness of and uncertainty surrounding the accident at the Fukushima nuclear plant, the administration has already asked local bureaus to strengthen their risk analysis of the entry of radioactive materials, and to ... monitor for nuclear and radioactive materials at entry ports,” the quality watchdog said. It gave no further details.

Radiation levels in Russia’s Far East rose slightly on Tuesday but stayed within normal levels, Russian officials said.

Japan’s nearest neighbour South Korea said radiation levels remained within a normal range on the peninsula, but added it was taking precautionary measures such as equipping the country’s main Incheon airport with monitors to check incoming passengers.

Like China, South Korea said the weather forecast indicated westerly and north-westerly winds would blow toward Japan over the next couple of days.

Additional reporting by Chris Buckley and Michael Martina in Beijing and Soo Ai Peng in Shanghai; Alison Leung in Hong Kong; Jack Kim in Seoul; Editing by Andrew Marshall

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