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8.8 Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan

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The advancing wall...I just can't get over that. When you realize that's a wall of water rushing forward at I don't know many miles per hour (fast!) and it's just picking up houses, cars anything as it rushes along.


Stuff like this is humbling, gives me some perspective and a feeling of deep gratefulness for our day, our safety.





They where saying this Tsunami was traveling at something close to 500 miles an hour. I have a friend who lives in the Minami Sendai area and he is ok. Thank God for facebook.

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Lord and I lived in Japan when the Kobe quake happened in 1995. We were in Yokuska , justoutside of Tokyo awaiting Daemonrocks arrival at the local Navy base there. kobe was and probably still is one of their major shipping ports. While Tokyo just got shook a bit and most of the rest of Japan had no damage the damage to the port interrupted supply lines for months. I can still remember having to really search out baby formula because the us navy imported all their American goods through Kobe and couldn't for weeks.

While this time the quake didn't hit a major supply port it has hit their refineries and their power plants. In addition to the normal quake clean up activities they have 2 possibly 3 meltdowns in progress and limited electricity and gasoline to address the clean up efforts (and stop the melt downs). It may take years for the country to recover. This tragedy may define an entire generation over there. My heart goes out to the people over there but I really feel for the foreigners over there who are in a foreign country and may not speak the language going through one of the worst natural disasters ever experienced by a country. The Japanese will survive and rebuild because they have done it before but I think their society will fundamentally change as a result.


They have adjusted the rating for the quake, its now listed at a 9.0 instead of 8.9 . The Sumatra quake of 12-26-2004 was a 9.1 for reference.

If you have a facebook account there is a group called Dog Bless you that is a non profit funded by the annenburg group. If the group gets 100k likes in 10 days they will donate 100k to rescue /relief efforts in Japan ... costs nothing and the offer is legit. Look them up and click like. They were only 7k away from the goal as I typed this.

Edited by Genenut
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My niece is still near Sapporo and waits what the german embassy at japan will order.


My oldest niece was born 7 month after Chernobyl. Even west germany was quite away from Chernobyl the cloud reached germany at a bad weather period with lots of rain. So rate of mutations at babies were 2 (trisomy)-6(open spine) times higher and this thousands of kilometres away. I was at army when it happened and I remember how afraid my sister was for her baby. We were quickly trained at army to help with radioactive pollution. Radio, TV and newspaper said not to use milk, vegetables from the open, milk powder was given to young mothers, ... And that we were ordered to guard containers with 'milk' and that even we army firefighters were handed loaded guns. (In difference to USA in germany a soldier has to do a lot of paperwork for every ammunition he receives, so this was absolutly not normal). The whey in milk was conterminated with caesium and filtered away, placed in big steel containers and handled as radioactive waste. It was brought to army garnisons till government knew where to put it.


Probably most of you are too young to have been affected or live in areas which were not affected by the cloud. I really hope that it is not happening again: Having or waiting for a newborn this year and not knowing what radiation might have done to it. Like a contant fear which lasts for years.

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Come to think of it, the situation in Japan may be even worse - there was one damaged reactor in Chernobyl, but that was enough to cause a disaster. Now they report about three reactors that are about to break. Of course, the government tries to evacuate people from the area, but the question is where they can go to be safe. The area in Ukraine that was affected by Chernobyl disaster is bigger than the whole Japan.

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I think all we can do now is pray for a miracle in Japan, the 3rd reactor has had an explosion and the 4th one that was shut down is on fire ... the evacuation zone is now 30km and the level of radiation at the gates is risen exponentially. It does not look good and it looks like it will get alot worse before it gets better :-(

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Reactor 3 is using multi-oxid cores? Then these core rods would have plutonium in the mix. And in addition to its radioactivity: plutonium is high toxic...


Embassy ordered the students including my niece to return. So she should be this moment on a flight from Chitose to Taipei. Depending on the weather and if Tokio is affected: her japanese guest family will probably give room to some kids from relatives of them who live in tokio area. They hope that the northern island stays unaffected.


I think evacuation will be nearly impossible: too many people, not enough electric power, inner japan are mountains mainly, so a sort of barrier, ...


We had a discussion yesterday at evening table when my oldest asked if it would be possible to do something like the Berliner Luftbrücke (Luftbrücke= air-bridge translates as airlift: Berlin airlift) at cold war. To bring food and energy to Japan, or help in evacuation flights. But Berlin had only 2 million people at this time and they were not evacuated but supported with food and coal, and all kind of planes were used: flying boats landing at lakes, passenger planes which landed, transport planes dropping cargo with parachutes, ...

My dad used to say at the airlift monument which I visited as a kid: This was a war without weapons and the only modern war which wasn't won with bombers and fighters but with transport planes. But I fear this time the 'war' will be too big:


In the Tokio case:

If a 747 would pick up 500 people, every 3 minutes a start, 20 starts an hour 480 a day: that would be 'only' 240000 people a day. Tokio has 35million people: 100 days of air transport would be just enough for 24 millions. Even with 10 airports used and ignoring plane maintainance: still 10 days in radioactive polluted area... add that food for 35million people had to be organized, rooms, ...


The pure number of possible affected people are terrifying.

Edited by chattius
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Seeing those poor people sat amongst the rubble is just heartbreaking. I can't begin to imagine what it must be like. To lose your familly/friends/pets/home/employment, and even somewhere to shop..........horrid.


I hope that they will come to terms quickly and not too many more die. ( disease etc )


Some-one I work with said about how the people of Japan have coped so far. We were watching on tv, at how they are all queued up for stuff. He said a lot of places around the world there would be riots and looting by now.



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One I work with said about how the people of Japan have coped so far. We were watching on tv, at how they are all queued up for stuff. He said a lot of places around the world there would be riots and looting by now.



It shows such inner strength of the population. Amazing really.

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Still in disbelief at some of the horror stories I'm hearing. They're saying a town of 9000 residents was completely washed out to sea. It is so hard to really comprehend that. Already made my donation to the Red Cross and heading in Monday to give blood. Been trying to figure out what to say here, but all I can really say is my hopes and prayers are with all of Japan right now

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I was having a bad morning this morning. The forum's challenges kind of started a really bad wave...when I went to check the mail, I saw a newspaper that I usually take in for my neighbor with the headlines:




I haven't had a newspaper headline frighten me for years. Reading about the explosions the the panic, had me panicked and frightened for everyone there, I don't know how people can cope with this.





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We had some discussion about what our family can do this morning at the breakfeast table:

Blood for surgeries and blood exchange at radiation. Also at radiation: more cases of bone marrow cancer.


Our oldest will spend blood and register as a giver for bone marrow cells when she becomes 16 in a few month.

My wife and me are registered already when the kid of a friend died due to blood cancer years back. Sadly no fitting giver was found.


My wife spends blood every 3 month and myself every 6 weeks. I have a rare blood combination and I try to have always a reserve at local hospital. I prefer to have my own blood in case of a surgery so I keep this reserve around 2 litres. I allowed hospital to give it away if it is needed.


At firefighters we will help local THW (german volunteer distaster relief roganization) to buildup and check new produced portable water cleaning units quickly. The SEEWA teams of the THW use them all over the world currently.


SEEWA, Schnelleinsatzeinheit Wasser Ausland, nicknamed water-people, translates as Rapid Deployment Unit Water Supply. Germany has 3 SEEWA teams, each would theoretical be able to support 40000 people with drinking water(filtering, mobile laboratory checks for germs,...) within a day.


A capacity of 120000 people is just 0,3 percent of the Tokio area. So they would have to train local people with the technique and mass production of portable water supply units should be started. Sadly there is still no international standard for such systems. THW had to use their technicians to adapt german pumps to american hoses and pipes at New Orleans.





A side effect of this distaster: We agreed that we won't talk about it except at the breakfeast table. No news watched till the youngest 3 are at bed. Our second is still alone at hospital mid weeks and she says that all 8 channels she can watch at hospital were only reporting from the disaster. At next visit I will ask the hospital why they didn't do at least one Kids channel. Forced to lay in bed and then over-informed with the opinions of so called 'experts' over and over again, can't be good for healing.



Just read that a nuclear power plant near Toronto had a leakage yesterday. Any information on this?

Edited by chattius
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  • 2 weeks later...

I was confronted yesterday evening by the question of my oldest daughter if countries would have to change their laws/constitutions because of this. Nearly every country has something like a national disaster law, which allows a country to use national guard, army to fight it and even privat property can be taken away as long as it happens in country.

But what if the disaster is not happening in our country: is it possible that the governments worldwide can force to stop all flying and sending the planes to Japan if a mass evacuation is needed? Can they claim land to put the evacuated people there? On a way smaller scale: the concrete pump which is used at reactor 4. It was sold already to another place and nobody knows who will take the costs, production delay at the building site it was planed for, radiated and not usable again pump, ...


Yesterday it was said in TV that 4 more pumps are flown to Japan. 2 of them already sold to USA and being there and that a company flying really big Antonow planes is transporting the 4 pumps. But it seems all this took weeks before a decision was made.




So do we need international disaster laws which can be activated by an United Nations call, do we need an international quick response unit?

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So do we need international disaster laws which can be activated by an United Nations call, do we need an international quick response unit?


Sure does seem like this would be a common sense decision. Especially since the meltdown going on will affect the world and not just a small local area.

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So do we need international disaster laws which can be activated by an United Nations call, do we need an international quick response unit?

Sure does seem like this would be a common sense decision. Especially since the meltdown going on will affect the world and not just a small local area.

I can see your reasoning, but my first thought is:

"The way to Hell is paved with good intentions."

Edited by lujate
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Man this disaster really sucks. Not only for the people of japan, who have my deepest sympathies with them, but also for the little (and bigger) things attached to this: First many of germanys citizens get really histerical buying GM counters like hell, then they decide to switch off 2 more powerplants than we could afford without importing (nuclear) power from france or other EU countries (how stupid is that?) and now Sony told my supplier that the US white Sharp Shooter I ordered for Killzone 3 and have been waiting on for a month now got cancelled. They stopped production because japan can't deliver the parts they need.

Edited by czevak
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Shutting down all nuclear power plants might be as dangerous as keep them running.


In average every 200 years a big vulcano does more than 5 cubic kilometres of ash into the atmossphere. Like 1816 which lead to years without summer, the harvest rotting on the fields, snow whole summer and even frozen lakes, big floodings when all melded, thousands dying of lungue infections because of bad air, ...


So in this not so unprobable case (who thought that a 9.0 could happen): no photo-voltaic, no water energy, no bio-fuel, ... Probably even wind rotors may be affected because the vulcanic dust may do damage to the gears, or damage the aluminium so that sulphure acid in the air (there will be if a is a sulpfuric outbreak) can destroy the aluminium rotors. But even if not, maintainace will be nearly impossible if there are metres of snow as was in 1816.


Even way smaller vulcanoes like in 1783 can do lot of damage. So even with peak-uran I am not the opinion that all nuclear power plants should be stopped. We should keep some in reserve for scenarios we could not change, but reduce there number to the absolute minimum. Also they wouldn't be for profit but as a kind of last resort, so 10 times the money than now can be put into their savety. I don't see a quick solution to keep energy safe in case of big vulcanoes. Fusion won't work in the next 20 years.


If I had this idea first I will sell it to hollywood, nice disaster scenario.

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My nephew's foreign school in Nagoya (which is twice as far from Fukushima as Tokyo) has resumed classes after waiting to see what the foreign schools in Tokyo would do (where the kids of diplomats and business people attend). Still pretty scary w/ all the reports of radiation showing up in so many places.

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