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Fire put out at 4th reactor of Japan's Fukushima NPP (Update-2)

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Fire was extinguished on Tuesday at the 4th reactor of Japan's quake-hit Fukushima nuclear power plant.

Fire was extinguished on Tuesday at the 4th reactor of Japan's quake-hit Fukushima nuclear power plant, Kyodo news agency reported.

The agency also reported that the 4th reactor was also hit by a blast, caused by the build-up of hydrogen.

Japan's Prime Minister Naoto Kan said earlier that the fire at the 4th reactor of the plant resulted in the leak of radiation.

He has urged all people residing within the 20-km (13 miles) distance from the Fukushima nuclear power plant to immediately leave this zone due to increased radiation levels.

"I sincerely ask all citizens within the 20-km distance from the reactor to leave this zone," he said in a televised address.

He also advised those living more than 20-30 km (13-17 miles) from the NPP to stay in their houses, to shut windows and doors and not to turn on air-conditioning and heating systems.

Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano confirmed the blast at the 4th reactor and added that the radiation level near the 3rd reactor of the plant is very high and poses danger to health.

The French Embassy in Japan said earlier in a statement on its Website that the radiation leak is likely to reach the country's capital, Tokyo, in 10 hours with the current speed of the wind, but later withdrew its statement only advising French citizens to remain in their houses and shut all doors and windows firmly.

Radiation levels in the air around the damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant rose after the explosion at the 2nd reactor at around 6:10 local time (22:10 GMT Monday).

Reuters reported citing plant's operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. that the radiation levels rose four-fold at the reactor. The agency added that the blast damaged the roof and the steam was seen rising from the nuclear complex.

Fears of a large-scale nuclear disaster remain high in Japan as the country continues relief operations following a devastating earthquake and tsunami that have killed nearly 6,000 people and left thousands missing.

TOKYO, March 15 (RIA Novosti)

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