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Philippines detects radiation from Japan

MANILA, March 29, 2011 (AFP) – Small amounts of radiation from Japan’s damaged nuclear plant have been detected in the Philippines, the government said Tuesday, while emphasizing the traces posed no danger to humans.

“We have detected the isotopes, but we would like to ask the public not to panic,” Tina Cerbolis, a spokeswoman for the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute, told AFP.

“These are very tiny amounts in the air.”

The institute released an advisory notice Tuesday saying the radiation was from Japan’s nuclear power plant at Fukushima, which has been leaking since being damaged by an earthquake and tsunami on March 11.

“Environment radiation monitoring around the world, including (in) the Philippines has detected very tiny amounts of radioactive isotopes, which appeared to be coming from the Fukushima nuclear power plant and which pose no human health hazards,” the advisory said.

China and South Korea, which are nearer to Japan, also reported on Tuesday that small amounts of radioactive iodine-131 had been detected in their territories, while similarly warning they were not harmful to humans.

The nearest major Philippine coastline to the stricken plant is about 2,500 kilometers (1,500 miles) to its southwest, with the Philippine capital Manila around 500 kilometers further.

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