Asia-Pacific

Japan earthquake aftermath: Your updates

Image caption Empty shelves in a supermarket in Tsukuba

A big explosion has hit a nuclear power station in north-eastern Japan which was badly damaged in Friday's devastating earthquake and tsunami.

A building housing a reactor was destroyed, but the authorities said the reactor itself was intact inside its steel container.

A huge rescue and relief operation is under way in the region after the earthquake and subsequent tsunami, which are thought to have killed more than 1,000 people.

BBC News website readers have been describing what life is like after the earthquake:

Niel Bowerman, Yokohama

Yokohama now feels a world away from the devastation of the north. Here, the emphasis is on saving energy, so there are fewer lights on the skyline than normal.

The aftershocks keep rolling in, but as they are relatively small most people here just exchange a glance and then get on with what they were doing.

I feel as though the aftermath has brought a renewed sense of community here.

What has really impressed me is the speed at which train lines were checked and services have largely returned to normal. Some sections of track remain down, but you can get to most places by public transport again.

As geologists warn of more quakes to come, people are stocking up and getting prepared.

The queues were very long, and my group opted not to wait for an hour or so for food.

Down the road, some shops had set up outside the building, as the interior was not safe. Queues to buy basic supplies from these went around the block.

Along the way restaurants went unopened, and I saw meals left hastily abandoned on the tables among pieces of collapsed roof tiling and cables.

The scene is one of ordered trepidation.

People are calm, but weary. I still felt a little shell-shocked surveying the scene.

Charlotte Capanni, Tokyo

The last 36 hours have been extraordinary - a mixture of absolutely normal and absolutely abnormal!

After the earthquake and the couple of hours after, the afternoon and evening of Friday was spent in the hotel lobby with a few colleagues waiting for the facilities in the hotel to get back to normal.

The hotel was amazing - they opened up their lobby to anyone who needed somewhere safe to stay for the night, and supplied food etc.

My colleagues were all safe, but many of them had to walk home (one took 2.5 hours to walk home) as there was no transport and some stayed with friends.

Friday night was strange - I didn't sleep the whole night, there were continuing aftershocks which were really scary and the adrenaline was still pumping.

Saturday was a completely normal day - I spent the day with some colleagues who are also here from the UK, and the director of our Japan office.

There was absolutely no indication that anything so catastrophic had happened the day before and was still playing out in the north.

But when we heard reports of the explosion at the nuclear plant, we decided that enough was enough, and that we really should get home as soon as possible.

Michael Dalla Costa, Tokyo

In Tokyo the streets which would be teeming with people are now strikingly quiet and most people I think are staying in and resting from what was an eventful and emotionally draining couple of days.

Image caption Shoppers queue for goods in Tsukuba

Some businesses such as supermarkets, larger general stores and food shops that were not sold out of goods from the day/night before were open today.

It was quite apparent from the things that everyone were buying and what was sold out such as toiletries and tissue paper, water, and unperishables that people still are apprehensive about what may happen in the future.

People are getting ready though for what the Electric Company has said will be rolling blackouts to conserve electricity and help distribute what facilities and power that are available due to diminished capacities.

It has been asked that people limit domestic phones calls to only necessity so as to keep the mobile networks free but the internet is available in the less affected areas such as the cities in and around Tokyo which helps with communication.

People have been able to get text messages out of Miyagi and some contact has been made with friends and family that was near impossible on Friday night.

In general there is a pretty muted, pensive and solemn atmosphere all around.

People are watching the news and trying to stay updated as best they can.

For a lot of people the main feeling I think is to hope for the best, prepare for the worst, and expect somewhere in between.