Disaster-weary residents of northeastern Japan got another shock to their jangled nerves early Monday morning. A 6.5-magnitude quake resulted in a two-hour tsunami warning that, thankfully, passed without damage, as workers redoubled efforts to remove radioactive water from buildings in the damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant.
Radiation levels at the plant peaked on Sunday at 100,000 times the normal background levels, which is bad, but nowhere near the 10 million-fold increase that was mistakenly reported at first. Here's what the New York Times says is going on with the contaminated water, which burned two workers on Thursday.
The Nuclear Safety Commission of Japan advised Prime Minister Naoto Kan on Sunday that a pool of water found in the basement of the No. 2 unit’s turbine building may have been caused by the leak from the containment building, Kyodo news agency reported. Concern focused on whether the contaminated water had made its way to the ocean or was leaking into the ground. The commission also said that even if the leak continues in the containment building, they are confident that current efforts to cool the reactor would work.
Meanwhile, radiation has finally made it to the East Coast of the United States as a low concentration of radioiodine-131 was found in rainwater falling on Boston on Sunday. "Officials... say there is no health impact to drinking water supplies, but will continue to monitor." We might break out the Britta anyway.
The latest in dozens of aftershocks came at 7:35 a.m., local time. You can see a timelapse of the hundreds of quakes that have occurred in the area on the Japan Quake Map: