As much of Japan worries about nuclear radiation, residents along its northeastern coast are confronting a different environmental disaster: the wide-scale destruction and contamination of farms and other land from salt water, chemicals and other detritus and toxins washed in with last month's tsunami.
The authorities have recently upgraded the nuclear emergency from a 5 to a 7 - equal to Chernobyl, but 7 is the uppermost figure so it doesn't actually have a definitive end. Massive amounts of radioactive water have been released into the ocean and nobody actually knows the effect of that. The authorities have not wanted to panic people so who knows how much radiation has been leaked into the atmosphere.
In Chernobyl, in the Ukraine, a reactor exploded on April 26, 1986, spewing a cloud of radiation over much of the Northern Hemisphere. A zone about 30 kilometres around the plant was declared uninhabitable.The global reach of this tragic event is not yet being seen, but it will be I believe. All we can do is send our support and compassion to the people, they are suffering terribly.