After Japan briefly evacuated all its emergency workers Wednesday from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, when radiation levels peaked due to a breach in the containment vessel of the second reactor, the workers returned to the plant Wednesday night when radiation emissions dropped down to safer levels. However, the retreat cost the workers precious time in trying to prevent a nuclear meltdown. Military helicopters were prepared to dump water onto the damaged reactors in a desperate bid to cool them down, but opted against the action due to the high radiation levels. Meanwhile, officials are facing increased scrutiny over what many perceive as poor communication and coordination among the ranks. “The anxiety and anger being felt by people in Fukushima have reached a boiling point,” the governor of Fukushima prefecture, Yuhei Sato, fumed in an interview with NHK. The 9.0 magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami has left millions struggling for a fifth day with little food, water, or heat, and 452,000 people have been forced to stay in temporary shelters. There have been almost 3,700 listed as dead, but Japanese officials believe the death toll will climb over 10,000 since more than 8,000 people are still missing.
Emergency Gregory Bull / AP Photo