Stock markets plunged in Japan and across the rest of the Asia-Pacific region on Tuesday as fresh explosions rocked a damaged nuclear plant at the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear-power complex, triggering a rise in radiation levels. The Nikkei 225 index, already badly mauled on Monday, plummeted as much as 14.4% on Tuesday to its lowest in two years, exacerbating the 6.2% slump the previous day, as warnings about a potential nuclear disaster in the country aggravated the pain already felt by the quake and tsunami. The broader Topix, or Tokyo Stock Price index, sank 14%. – The NYT
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