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A pregnant New Zealander living near the nuclear power plant that exploded last night spoke of her fears of radiation poisoning.
Jayne Nakata - nee Lark - lives just 50km from the Fukushima power plant.
Fears were rising last night that the plant would suffer nuclear meltdown after a massive explosion blew its roof off.
Speaking before the blast, the 31-year-old former Te Anau woman said she had been "very very lucky" to survive the initial quake.
Nakata, who is due to give birth in June, said it would be difficult to leave the area as most of the region's highways were closed.
She said they would be affected by an explosion at the plant.
The plant's cooling system shut down following the quake and radiation levels have increased 1000 times their normal levels as a result.
Nakata said she had been driving out of a parking lot when the quake struck.
"The power poles were rocking and people around me were rushing out of the shopping centre screaming. Buildings were groaning, the road was going up and down in waves.
"At one point I got out of the car as I thought it would tip over from the shaking and had to hold on to the side mirror to stay upright."
After the shaking stopped, she managed to drive to her husband and they drove home, 20 minutes away, in convoy, braving the relentless aftershocks.
"As I was waiting with some other people for the shaking to stop, people around me were shouting 'It's just like New Zealand'."
She was relieved to find her house undamaged and her dog safe.