According to media reports, the dam broke on Friday, with a wall of water washing away 1800 homes downstream.

So far, 1597 people have been confirmed dead in the aftermath of the 8.9-magnitude earthquake – but the final toll is expected to be much higher, with thousands still reported missing.

Officials in the country are working to secure key nuclear facilities, with two blasts reported at the Fukushima Daiichi plant. For an update on the nuclear power plant situation in the country, please visit the website of our sister publication, Nuclear Engineering International, at