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>Japan scrambled on Saturday to avert a disastrous meltdown at a nuclear plant damaged

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Japan scrambled on Saturday to avert a disastrous meltdown at a nuclear plant damaged when a massive earthquake and tsunami struck the northeast coast, killing at least 1,300 people. Jiji news agency said there had been an explosion at the stricken 40-year-old Daichi 1 reactor and TV footage showed vapour rising from the plant, which lies 240 km (150 miles) north of Tokyo.

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