In the wake of the devastating earthquake and tsunami that ravaged Japan, the world’s attention has rightfully turned to to ongoing nuclear crisis at Fukushima. Three reactors are at risk of meltdown while spent fuel rods at a fourth reactor are at risk of catching fire, which would spew radioactive gas into the atmosphere. More than 200,000 people have either been evacuated or told by authorities to shelter-in-place and all but 50 workers at the nuclear plant have been sent home as radiation levels continue to “soar.” By all accounts this is now a full-scale international crisis as Japan’s neighbors are at risk and with the nation’s prime minister reporting asking energy “what the hell is going on?” the incident is becoming more harrowing by the minute.
All we can do now is monitor the information being reported and hope for the best in an incident that may already have caused insured losses of up to $35 billion, according to risk modeling firm AIR Worldwide, and has triggered the biggest two-day stock market decline in Japan since 1987, according to comments by CNBC’s Erin Burnett today onMorning Joe.
Looking back at the initial disaster, however, more and more is becoming known about the gravity of the catastrophe. The video below from ABC shows how the quake and tsunami drastically reshaped parts of Japan’s coastline. The awesome power of nature will never cease to amaze. Truly heart-breaking imagery. (More images of destruction can be seen here and here.)
For more breaking news coming out of Japan, stay tuned to our Twitter feed, @RiskMgmt.
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