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Russia says ready to help Japan put out nuclear plant fires

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Russia is ready to help Japan extinguish fires at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant, Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said on Thursday.

Russia is ready to help Japan extinguish fires at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant, Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said on Thursday.

"We confirm Russia's readiness to render any additional assistance to the Japanese side in dealing with the aftermath of the NPP accidents, including putting out fires," Lukashevich said.

A series of blasts and fires damaged four of Fukushima's six reactors after a 9.0-magnitude earthquake struck off the northeast coast of Japan last week, sparking a powerful tsunami and killing thousands.

The death toll from the disaster has risen to 5,429 people and 9,594 are listed as missing, police said.

High levels of radiation are preventing police from using water cannons to douse the overheated Fukushima-1 nuclear reactor in Japan, NHK TV said earlier on Thursday.

On Friday, helicopters will continue attempts to cool Fukushima's reactors with water, the Japanese news agency Kyodo said.

MOSCOW, March 17 (RIA Novosti) 

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