Government raises alert level 2 in Japan, Bahrain-A A +A
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
MANILA (Updated 8:04 a.m.) -- The government has raised the alert level in Japan and Bahrain to two urging Filipinos there to restrict their movements due to the danger of staying in the two countries.
Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Undersecretary Rafael E. Seguis said Tuesday that "the two countries have been placed on alert level 2, which calls for restriction of movements and voluntary exit of Filipinos."
Seguis said that the alert level for Japan has been raised due to the aftermath of the 9.0-magnitude earthquake that struck Sendai on Friday that triggered tsunami.
The United States Geological Service has upgraded the quake’s scale from magnitude 8.9 to 9.0.
The Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant also emitted a burst of radiation that panicked an already edgy Japan.
With the alert level, Filipinos living within 30 kilometers of the plant were advised to seal themselves indoors to avoid exposure.
"We are urging Filipinos who are within the 20-kilometer radius of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power to evacuate immediately, if they have not done so, and those within the 21 to 30-kilometer radius of the plant to stay indoors, as ordered by Japanese authorities," Seguis said.
"Those near the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant should also observe the 10-kilometer exclusion zone imposed by Japanese authorities," Seguis added
Wire reports quoted Japanese chief cabinet minister Yukio Edano as saying that the continuous release of radioactive materials from the power plant is now harmful to public health.
According to the World Nuclear Association, a human being normally receives about two millisieverts (mSV) a year, but Tuesday's incident recorded between 100 and 400 mSV. A person can be diagnosed with cancer if he or she is exposed to at least 100 mSV.
Filipinos were also advised to contact the Philippine Embassy if they cannot get in touch with the Fukushima Prefectural Government so that it can inform Japanese authorities of their location.
As of this posting over 2,000 people have been confirmed dead while several are still missing.
However, Seguis said no Filipino casualty has been reported as most of the Filipinos are in Tokyo, which is about 250 kilometers away from the said nuclear power plants.
At least 4,500 Filipinos are living in the areas hardest hit by the quake and tsunami.
Seguis also said that the number of Filipinos who went missing after the quake has risen to 42.
Meanwhile, Filipinos living in Bahrain were also told to restrict their movements and to voluntary depart the country if needed amid increasing tensions.
Bahrain has been swept in the wave of protests and a Saudi-led military force has been deployed to prop up the monarchy against growing opposition.
Seguis said that there are 31,000 Filipinos in Bahrain.
He said the Philippines is following the lead of other countries in heightening the alert level and advised Filipinos in Bahrain to remain calm; actively monitor ongoing developments; keep communications lines open with the embassy and with designated community coordinators; inform the embassy or Filipino community coordinators assigned to their area of their whereabouts; refrain from going outdoors, to the extent possible;
stock at least a two-week supply of food and water as well as medicines, flashlights, candles, mobile phones and radios and keep these available and in good condition at all times; make sure that important documents such as passports and driver’s licenses are readily available; and be sensitive to local culture, customs and traditions, and religious beliefs in Bahrain, as well as avoid making comments or actions that may be considered politically sensitive. (Sunnex/AP)