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The Japanese road repaired SIX days after quake
Published on 25 Mar. 2011 1:14 AM IST
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The picture of gaping chasms in a Japanese highway demonstrated the power of the March 11 earthquake.
Now the astonishing speed of reconstruction is being used to highlight the nation’s ability to get back on its feet. Work began on March 17 and six days later the cratered section of the Great Kanto Highway in Naka was as good as new. It was ready to re-open to traffic last night.
Many workers returned to their jobs the day after the quake and subsequent tsunami and some businesses in the worst-hit regions have already reopened.
The Japanese recovery has prompted some investors, including American Warren Buffett, one of the world’s richest men, to declare that the disaster which has left 23,000 dead or missing represents a ‘buying opportunity’ in the money markets.
Meanwhile, mothers in Tokyo were warned Wednesday not to give tap water to their babies. Cars with loudspeakers toured the streets of the capital after levels of radiation from the damaged nuclear plant at Fukushima, nearly 150 miles away, reached more than twice the safety level for children aged a year or less.
Supermarkets were quickly emptied of bottled water in many parts of the city. Parents were also told to ensure that milk was not from cows in the Fukushima district. Tokyo residents said they had growing concerns about radiation.
‘If they’re saying it’s harmful for children because their bodies are smaller and dangerous iodine can accumulate in their thyroid glands, we can understand that,’ said 29-year-old department store worker Yasuke Harade.
‘But can we really believe it when they say that it’s OK for adults to drink the water? Can we cook our rice in tap water, can we drink tea, coffee? They’re telling us we can, but what is the truth?’
To add to the fears, two strong earthquakes shook the devastated east coast Wednesday, and black smoke billowed once again from the crippled plant. The ‘Fukushima Fifty’, the team of courageous employees working inside the plant, and firemen spraying water on the complex were ordered to evacuate immediately.
It was not known when efforts to restore the plant’s cooling mechanism would be restarted.
The scare followed reports that small amounts of radiation had travelled as far as Iceland.

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