The Washington Post reports:

Japanese authorities on Tuesday raised the severity rating of the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant to the highest level on an international scale, on a par with the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.

Officials from Japan’s nuclear agency reclassified the ongoing emergency from Level 5, an “accident with off-site risk,” to Level 7, a “major accident.” The reassessment comes at a time when the International Atomic Energy Agency says the plant is showing “early signs of recovery” but is still in critical condition.

And the San Francisco Chronicle reports that subsequent earthquakes, as well as their aftershocks, have rocked Japan in recent days:

Three powerful aftershocks struck already jittery northeastern Japan on Monday, and a strong earthquake jolted Tokyo and its environs early today as the government announced new plans to expand the evacuation area near a stricken nuclear plant due to high radiation levels.

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