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Japan Rocked by Earthquake: In Pictures

A radiation detector marks 0.6 microsieverts, exceeding normal day data on Tuesday, near Shibuya train station in Tokyo.

The 9.0-magnitude earthquake that slammed Japan on Friday caused both the reactor's cooling system and back-up cooling system to fail, increasing the chance of a nuclear meltdown because of the overheating of the nuclear reactor's core.

The nuclear crisis escalated on Tuesday after a third hydrogen explosion damaged the reactor's main containment shell and a fire broke out at Unit 4.

The International Atomic Energy Agency said the explosion at Unit 2 "may have affected the integrity of its primary containment vessel," while the fire that burned 2 hours on Monday night caused radioactivity to be released "directly into the atmosphere" at the rate of up to 400 millisievert per hour.

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