March 14, 2011 / 11:52 PM / in 8 years

Snapshot: Developments after major Japan earthquake

TOKYO (Reuters) - Following are main developments after a massive earthquake struck northeast Japan on Friday and set off a tsunami.

- Death toll expected to exceed 10,000 from the quake and tsunami, public broadcaster NHK says. About 2,000 bodies found on two shores of Miyagi prefecture, Kyodo news agency reports.

* Japan battles to prevent nuclear catastrophe. New hydrogen explosion rocks Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant On Tuesday, around its overheating No. 2 reactor.

* Authorities say radiation levels around the complex immediately after the blast are still relatively low, but some workers have been told to leave the plant.

- Earlier on Monday, a hydrogen explosion jolts the No. 3 reactor of the stricken nuclear power plant, 240 km (150 miles) north of Tokyo. Operator Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) says 11 people were injured.

- Before the blast, officials said 22 people had suffered radiation contamination. Up to 190 may have been exposed.

- Operator TEPCO begins reinjecting water into No. 2 reactor in the hope of cooling it, and says water levels have risen and half the fuel rods are exposed.

- Nuclear safety agency rates the incident a 4 on the 1 to 7 International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale, less serious than Three Mile Island, a 5, and Chernobyl at 7.

- Germany’s ruling coalition is discussing suspending for three months its decision last year to extend the life of Germany’s nuclear power plants, a coalition source says.

- Authorities have set up a 20-km (12-mile) exclusion zone around the Fukushima Daiichi plant and a 10-km (6 mile) zone around Fukushima Daini.

* USGS raises the magnitude of the earthquake to 9.0 from 8.9. Strong aftershocks persist in the stricken area.

- About 450,000 people evacuated nationwide in addition to 80,000 from the exclusion zone around the nuclear power plants. Almost 2 million households are without power in the freezing north and about 1.4 million households have no running water.

- Reactor operator says rolling blackout to affect 3 million customers, including large factories, buildings and households. Blackouts affected 113,000 households on Monday, it says.

* Japanese stocks post their biggest daily decline on Monday since October 2008. The Nikkei share index closes off 6.2 percent, dragging world stocks to six-week lows.

- The Bank of Japan (BoJ) offers to pump a record $85 billion into the banking system.

- Credit Suisse estimates the loss at between 14 trillion yen ($171 billion) and 15 trillion yen just to the quake region.

Tokyo bureau; World Desk Asia, Singapore +65 6870 3815

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