photo by DigitalGlobe-Imagery (Flickr CC)

Japan is struggling to cope with a difficult tsunami/earthquake relief effort in the face of cold temperatures, food shortages, power outages and nuclear crisis.

Please refer to this post for a list of links for aid agencies to donate to the relief effort.

From the Guardian’s previous live blog (no longer being updated):

The country faces an increasingly desperate humanitarian crisis caused by the direct effects of Friday’s huge earthquake and resultant tsunami, one made worse by freezing weather. The official death toll has now hit 4,255 deaths, with 8,194 people registered as unaccounted for. Survivors, many of them homeless, are struggling with a wave of cold weather forecast to last well into this week, with night time temperatures dipping to -5C in some places.

A 30 km no fly zone has been established over the nuclear plant at Fukushima along with a 20 km exclusion zone on the ground. All six reactors at Fukushima Daiichi are at varying levels of crisis.

According to the Guardian’s latest live blog on the continuing disaster:

  • Reactor 1 – partial core meltdown
  • Reactor 2 – risks potential meltdown
  • Reactor 3 – explosion, fire and is leaking radiation
  • Reactor 4 – fire with dropping water levels
  • Reactor 5 – heat rising in spent fuel pool
  • Reactor 6 – heat rising in spent fuel pool

An additional 4 reactors at Fukushima No. 2 plant are in successful cold shutdown.

For an informative, up to date look at the nuclear crisis check Greenpeace’s Twitter feed.