From the UK Guardian
News of a serious radiation leak at the Fukushima nuclear plant has sparked panic buying in Tokyo, as some residents started to leave the capital to escape potential contamination.
Several embassies advised their citizens to leave affected areas, including Tokyo, and some multinational companies either told staff to leave or were considering relocating outside the city.
As officials urged people living near the stricken plant to stay indoors, residents in the capital, 150 miles to the south, began preparing for the possibility of a similar lockdown.
Experts were keen to stress, however, that only "minute" levels of radiation had been detected in Tokyo.
Weather forecasters said winds near the atomic plant, which experienced a third explosion on Tuesday morning, were blowing in a south-westerly direction – towards Tokyo – but would move in a westerly direction later in the day.
People in the capital, home to 12 million, snapped up radios, torches, candles, fuel containers and sleeping bags, while for the fourth day there was a run on bread, canned goods, instant noodles, bottled water and other foodstuffs at supermarkets.
Retailers said the panic buying was reminiscent of the oil crisis in the 1970s.
The electronics firm Panasonic said it was increasing production of batteries, which were being bought in large quantities as far away as Hiroshima in the south-west.
Fears are rising that if the hoarding frenzy continues it will affect the ability to deliver emergency supplies to the disaster zone. "The situation is hysterical," said Tomonao Matsuo, a spokesman for the instant noodle maker Nissin Foods. "People feel safer just by buying Cup Noodles."
The fact that CNN, BBC and Der Spiegel are pulling their reporting out of Fukushima area shows you how serious this has become.Foreign journalists covering the nuclear crisis, including reporters from the BBC and CNN, withdrew from the Fukushima area. On Monday, the German magazine Der Spiegel said its veteran war correspondent was being pulled out of Tokyo.