15 Mar 2011

NZers struggling to get away from area near nuclear plant

10:38 pm on 15 March 2011

New Zealanders trying to leave the area where Japan's most seriously damaged nuclear plant is located are finding it difficult to get out.

Prime Minister Naoto Kan has warned of danger from the Tukushima Daiichi plant, where there have been four explosions since Friday's massive earthquake and tsunami.

The Japanese authorities say radiation levels are now high enough to affect human health and are urging people within 30km of the Fukushima plant to remain indoors.

Philip Bailey, 26, teaches English in Onahama, which was survived the quake relatively unscathed but is about 50km from the plant.

His mother, Ann Garry, says he is trying to get to Tokyo but it is not easy with buses and trains not operating.

She says he left by car with three friends, but is now hitch-hiking.

Ms Garry says on Tuesday morning he was in Iwaki, still in the Fukushima region,

She says as soon as her son can get a flight he will return home.

Fustration for daughter here

A Dunedin woman is frustrated she can't do more to help her family in Japan.

Except for her husband and children, Yuko Jowsey's entire family lives in Japan.

Ms Jowsey says their houses are still standing but the earthquake destroyed the interiors.

She says her parents had no power for two days and could only hear about the extent of the disaster from her and other relatives.

Ms Jowsey says she was planning to visit her relatives next month, but the airport she would land in has been seriously damaged by the tsunami.