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Updated: March 15, 2011 09:31 IST

Japanese Premier appeals for calm

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Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan.
Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan.

Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan on Tuesday urged the population to remain calm in the face of an escalating crisis at a damaged north-eastern nuclear power plant.

He warned that further radiation leaks were possible at the plant in Fukushima.

Early Tuesday, a blast occurred at reactor 2 of the plant, and the operator Tokyo Electric Power Co said it feared the reactor containment vessel had been damaged. There were also reports about a fire at the building housing reactor number 4.

Mr. Kan said people still remaining within 20 km of the stricken plant must evacuate, the Kyodo News agency reported.

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