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NHK Opens Signal to U.S. Platforms

TOKYO: Japan’s state-funded broadcaster, NHK is temporarily offering its news feed to North American TV distributors to allow for live coverage of the aftermath of last Friday’s earthquake and tsunami. According to C21 Media, Cablevision, AT&T’s U-verse and Verizon FiOS have picked up the Japanese-language feed and are running it free of charge so Japanese speakers in the United States can keep up with events. C21 says a secondary audio channel is being run for non-Japanese speakers. The signal is to remain open until March 17.

NHK World, the U.S. English-language version of the Japanese channel, also is providing ongoing coverage of the conditions in Japan following Friday’s 8.9 magnitude earthquake 82 miles from the nation’s coastline. A primary concern now is a meltdown at a nuclear reactor destabilized by the quake in Northern Japan. Two explosions already have been reported at the plant, reports indicate.

CBS News has posted what it says is amateur footage of the wave surge hitting the beach and spilling over a coastal highway into a city. What appears to be a 50-plus-foot fishing vessel is carried over a roadside barrier and shoved under a bridge. The black water is seen rushing into neighborhoods and sweeping cars down the street like toys.

The death toll continues to rise, and is expected to reach as many as 10,000, according to published reports.