Today's Coming Crisis Movie

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Japan outgoing flights choked with desperate passengers seeking to escape -- fears of worse to come

Panicked passengers hoping to flee Japan waited for hours at the country's largest international airport today as concerns about radioactive fallout heightened.

The international and domestic terminals at Narita International Airport were crammed with passengers leaving the capital after a small spike in radiation levels were detected in Tokyo following a reactor fire that has raged for two days at a troubled nuclear plant 150 miles north of the city. Four of the plant's six reactors were damaged in last Friday's earthquake. People living in a 30 kilometer radius of the plant were evacuated, but those further away are no less nervous.

Germany's Lufthansa airline became the first major carrier to cancel flights to Narita International Airport, which services Tokyo, and will reroute all flights through Nagoya and Osaka, some 300 miles south of the capitol. Dutch carrier KLM followed.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration said, "There is no credible information available at this point indicating" a need to avoid Narita airport.

The FAA suggested that could change if "the situation at Fukushima worsens and we see credible indications that radiological hazards to civil aviation exist."

While the United States and Britain told their citizens to avoid non-essential travel to Tokyo, France told its citizens to evacuate the city, a markedly different instruction than from the government urging residents to remain calm. (read more)