As I sit here in a press conference awaiting the latest update on the worsening situation at the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plants, these are the most painful words I have ever had to write.

Firstly, let's get the facts out there in the open.  At 2:46pm on March 11, Japan suffered its worst earthquake ever. The quake magnitude was measured at the record level of 9.0, leading to unprecedented tsunami waves sweeping across the Tohoku area 200 miles north of Tokyo.

Complete towns disappeared in an instant as tsunamis towering up to 30 feet high sped across the coastal plains at speeds of up to 100 mph. News programmes are predicting the death toll will rise to 10,000 by the end of the month. It could go much higher.

What has totally monopolised the nation's major TV networks since March 12 however, is the developing crisis and possibility of massive radioactive fallout at the Fukushima nuclear power plants. International media reports have already likened this potential catastrophe to The 3-Mile Island accident and even the Chernobyl disaster.

As a resident of Tokyo, that horrifies me. But my current situation means the instant evacutaion is impossible. Forced to buy tickets at highly inflated rates, colleagues and friends have already started to evacuate Tokyo, heading for places as far away as South America.