p2pnet view P2P:- p2pnet regular Just My Two Cents lives in Japan and is experiencing first-hand the effects of the terrible earthquakes which have riven the country.
Here’s his description of how it was, and is, for him >>>
March 11th was like any early spring day in Japan- that was, until 2:46pm…
Being on the edge of several continental plates, Japan has had its share of earthquakes- the major Kanto earthquake (M7.9) on September 1st, 1923, which turned Tokyo into rubble- Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake (M7.3) January 17th, 1995, which destroyed Kobe and the surrounding cities, and showed Japan the importance of buildings that can withstand strong earthquakes- and Niigata prefecture earthquake (M6.8) which showed the problems of major earthquakes in mountainous areas.
On March 11th, 2:46pm, NE Japan was hit by 3 simultaneous earthquakes, off the shore of Miyagi Prefecture, and registered an M8.8 on the Richter scale (later revised to M9). The 1st quake lasted for almost 5 mins, with people as far as Beijing feeling the earth shake. Tokyo, approximately 350km from the epicenter, also shook from the quake, to the point that partitions were knocked over, anything that wasn’t tied down of shelves was thrown to the ground.
I just happened to be in a meeting at a nearby coffee shop when the quake hit, and remember the people calmly exiting the shop, while shop workers tried their best to keep the store doors open, for people to exit. One step outside, we were greeted by many people who had also exited their office buildings. In the distance, one could see building sway like a pillar of Jelly, and water from the nearby fountain spill out, as the water sloshed around.
Downtown Tokyo winds to a stop
As a result of the quake, all of the trains across Tokyo were stopped, including the famous Bullet train, leaving the millions of people stranded in downtown Tokyo, with little to no transportation. People in Tokyo were left with having to either spend the night at their office or schools, in makeshift shelters, or walk home (I hiked the approximately 28 km across Tokyo, taking 5 and a half hours).
Communication was down in Tokyo, due to the high usage of phones by people trying to contact loved ones, and as in the Christchurch NZ. earthquake, text messages were one of the few methods of contacting people. Interestingly enough though, was the fact that the 3G lines were active, allowing for people with Smart phone and PCs with 3G dongles to contact people via Skype. Twitter also played a very active part in communicating with others, people were able to twit their locations and that they were okay to friends and families, who could access Twitter via phone applications.
News on the devastation of NE Japan grows, as time passes
As people in Tokyo looked to the television for news on the earthquake, they were hit with images of fallen buildings in the cities close to the epicenter, and horrified by the news of massive Tsunamis to hit the Miyagi coastline. Reports of waves 12 feet high reaching the cities near the shores, were followed by horrifying images of several seaside villages turned into rubble, and huge ships washed inland, as far as 4 kilometers from the sea.
As time passed, more news flowed in, as reports from police sighting over 300 bodies of people who downed due to the Tsunami, came in, and the number of people missing or presumed dead going over 2000.
March 12th was greeted with a more news on the devastation of the NE area of Japan, including the information that the Miyagi #1 and #2 Nuclear plants were experiencing problems cooling the fuel rods. A 10 km evacuation was announced for the areas surrounding the two power plants, with a request that people in a 20 km radius stay inside. After it was found that the outer concrete shell of the #1 nuclear reactor at the Miyagi #1 power plant had blown up, the evacuation area around the plant was extended to 20 km.
The Miyagi seaside continued to be hit by large tsunamis, devastating more villages that had survived the first wave of tsunamis.
March 13th, the #3 reactor blue sky high, as chunks of concrete were observed from the observation cameras monitoring the plant.
In the following days, the #2 reactor suffered a major meltdown, surpassing that of 3 mile island, and #4 reactor is just barely keeping from total destruction.
According to the Tokyo electric, what caused this, was most likely the cracking of the cooling pipes in the reactors, along with the destruction of the backup diesel engines that pump the coolant into the nuclear reactors, to keep a meltdown from happening.
Where NE Japan is now
According to reports, due to the March 11th earthquake, Japan is now approximately 4 meters closer to the US, and the earth’s axis has been offset by approximately 10 meters, shortening the day by 1.8 microseconds, according to NASA (http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/japanquake/earth20110314.html).
As for NE Japan, many areas are still cut off from supplies, due to missing roads and areas being cut off by tsunami floods. Thousands of houses have been destroyed, and many of those who did survive the disaster are stuck in city halls, schools, open areas, often without running water and power. Those who are lucky enough to have power, are starting to run out of food, with supermarkets having to ration what they have, and trucks not being able to deliver goods to the supermarkets.
This is only a small portion of what is happening now in Japan, but for new up-to-date information on news in the area in English, please see http://japan-quake.tumblr.com/
First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win ~ Mahatma Gandhi
World War III will be a global information war with no division between civilian & military participation ~ Marshall McLuhan
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