Hong Kong shares dive 3.84% by break

HONG KONG, March 15, 2011 (AFP) - Hong Kong shares fell 3.84 percent Tuesday morning as the nuclear crisis in Japan deepened following two more explosions at a stricken power plant north-east of Tokyo.

The Hang Seng Index fell 896.28 points to 22,449.60 on turnover of HK$60.95 billion (US$7.80 billion).

Stock markets around Asia have been hammered as crews in Japan struggle to avert a meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, which was hit by blasts on Saturday and Monday as well as two on Tuesday morning.

Prime Minister Naoto Kan said there was a high risk of elevated levels of radiation from a reactor at the Fukushima nuclear power plant that exploded earlier in the day.

Kingston Lim, research director at Hong Kong's Fulbright Securities, warned on Tuesday: "The Hong Kong market is likely to keep on dropping.

"People are worried about the radiation issue and investors are also concerned about the Japanese economy," he told AFP.

The news has sent the Nikkei index in Tokyo plunging almost 13 percent by Tuesday afternoon.

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