YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — Life started to return to normal Sunday for still-wary U.S. servicemembers and their families at most military bases throughout Japan, even as Japanese officials acknowledged Friday’s disaster may be exponentially worse than initially feared.
Meanwhile, assorted U.S. military personnel and equipment started to arrive to assist the millions of people still reeling from the 9.0-magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunamis, even as a new threat emerged. At least 12 people have tested positive for radiation exposure in the area surrounding two nuclear power plants, where one of the reactors was in danger of a partial meltdown and radiation leak.
At Misawa Air Base, the closest U.S. military base to the devastation, lights began flickering to life Sunday night. The base lost power and heat in the wake of the earthquake; it was the hardest hit of U.S. installations in Japan.
Misawa schools will be closed Monday and Tuesday, according to Pacific schools spokesman Charles Hoff. All other base schools in mainland Japan and Okinawa plan on having normal school days, Hoff said. Any changes would be broadcast on AFN, he added.
Navy installations around Japan said that business would continue as usual Monday.
“I expect it will be everyone at work and ... everything open as normal on our installations,” said Cmdr. Ron Steiner, spokesman for Commander Naval Forces Japan....
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