Nuclear Threat Continues to Rise in Japan

Threat of nuclear fallout continues to rise in Japan after Tuesday's explosion at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant.

According to some experts, the nuclear threat in Japan is now at Level 6, just one degree below the ranking of 1986's incident at Chernobyl, which caused massive radiation damage to parts of Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus, and is considered the worst accident of its kind in history.

"It's clear we are at Level 6, that's to say we're at a level in between what happened at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl," said Andre-Claude Lacoste, president of France's nuclear safety authority, on Tuesday according to CNN.

Other observers, however, say it's too early and there is too little information to rank the disaster at such a severity. About 200,000 people living within a 20-kilometer radius of the plant have been evacuated so far.

Meanwhile, the Japanese government, humanitarian agencies and religious groups are searching through miles of debris and rubble in search of victims who might still be alive four days after the massive 8.9 tremor and tsunami.

The quake was the largest to hit Japan in a century and is estimated to have killed about 10,000 people, with over 3,000 confirmed dead so far.

Prayers and support from Christians around the world has poured into the country since the disaster struck.

Metropolitan Jonah of the Orthodox Church in America noted: "The devastation being experienced in Japan is numbing, and it is only appropriate that we respond in kind with our prayers for the suffering and departed and support for any and all humanitarian efforts."

The Orthodox Church's relief arm, International Orthodox Christian Charities, is among the groups providing direct assistance to those affected in Japan.

The group is currently accepting donations to fund relief efforts and is assembling hygienic kits for babies.

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