Immediately, government officials began to beg citizens not to hoard bottled water.
"Please," the government's chief spokesman said, "don't buy more than you need."
Mothers across Japan are concerned over the affect that tap water may have on their young children.
"We can't see radiation," one Japanese mother said to ABC News. "And we won't know the effect on our children for years."
Government spokesman Yukio Edano tried to quell fears over the level of radioactivity in water.
"We ask people to respond calmly," he said at a briefing. "The Tokyo metropolitan government is doing its best."
Approximately 660,000 Japanese household still do not have water in Japan's northeast, the government said Wednesday. Electricity has not been restored to some 209,000 homes, according to the Tohoku Electric Power Co.
Scientists say one reason the levels of radioactive iodine in water have jumped so fast may have to do with rain, which brings the particles down.
Thursday the public got a first glimpse at the effort to prevent further contamination. Firefighters continue to pour water on the reactor units at to keep the reactors cool, exposing themselves to potentially lethal radiation.
Just 16 miles away sits Minamisoma, which sits inside the exclusion zone, and now looks like a ghost town.
The streets are empty. But the streetlights still work. Until 2 weeks ago, 71 thousand people lived here. Now only a few hundred remain.
"Our car only had room for 5," said one Japanese woman, sobbing. "So I put my kids in with my husband and I stayed behind."
The townspeople get little help from the outside world -- except what they can organize themselves. Many are refugees in their own homes ... doing their best to hide from an invisible threat.