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Sunday, March 13, 2011

*THE GREAT SENDAI EARTHQUAKE AND TSUNAMI OF 2011

The Huffington Post published my article on "Hawaii Tsunami, Again," and it happened again.  Last year on 27February2010, I posted "Hawaii Tsunami?," reporting on the the Great Chile Earthquake and Tsunami.  That day, the clicks on this blog site exceeded 3,000, 30 times more than the usual average for the day.  Yesterday, more than  2,000 pinged on this site:



Clearly, there is a direct link from HuffPo to this Planet Earth and Humanity blogsite.  Here are some interesting factoids regarding this 8.8 (for some reason, the world says 8.9, but The Japan Times sticks to 8.8):

1.  The death toll as of this writing has shot past 1000, but there are so many people missing, that an eventual casualty total of 10,000 has been speculated.  The 1999 6.9 magnitude Kobe earthquake took 6,000 lives.  The 9.1 Sumatran earthquake of 2004 resulted in 230,000 deaths.  There are 50,000 Japanese rescue workers, with the world still coming in.

2.  The most significant aspect of this cataclysm could well become the problem I reported in my report on this crisis yesterday.  There are 4,700 megawatts (Hawaii uses about a 25% of this amount on average) of nuclear power in Fukushima, the oldest nuclear power plant system in Japan, with electricity first produced 40 years ago.  Units 1, 2 and 6 were supplied by General Electric, and 3, 4 and 5 by Toshiba.  Two more are under planning and construction.  The three oldest units appear to be in some jeopardy, and the newer ones are okay, but only possibly because they were shut down for maintenance.  Click on Fukushima #1 to see the explosion.  The damaged roof can be seen on the left above.  More than 200,000 residents within 12 miles from these reactors were evacuated.  You will note that reportage will be very defensive, and will be adjusted only if absolutely necessary, partly because a nuclear disaster such as this has never before occurred in Japan, and the people have been "educated" to accept this option against all odds, for the Nagasaki and Hiroshima Atomic Bomb tragedies had to be overcome.  In a bad case scenario, there will be a major meltdown, compromising the recovery of the region, essentially eliminating a nuclear option for the world over the next few decades.

3.  Oh, by the way, at least one report has radiation already in Tokyo, less than 150 miles from Fukushima.  Whoops, I'm in Tokyo.  I was in D.C. in 1979 when the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant, 100 miles away, suffered a meltdown, killing nuclear power construction in the U.S.  So how do you get iodine pills in Tokyo, and what do they do?  Amazon. com  sells it for $13.50 (14 pills), although you get it used for $5.75, plus $4 shipping.

4.  When the earthquake struck at 2:46PM Friday Japan time, 163 people got trapped in elevators.  On Saturday morning, 75 were still not rescued.

5.  Five thousand slept in the Tokyo Metropolitan Building and, nearly 14,000 were stranded at Narita Airport and 10,000 at Haneda Airport Friday night.  This is the second tallest in the city.  I came in Saturday afternoon and barely got into Tokyo, but at least was able to make it.  By Sunday, most of Tokyo had returned almost to normal.  Let's see how Monday looks.







6.  The ideal cherry blossom viewing period in Tokyo this year will be in the first week of April, extending into the second week.  Kyoto should then be from very late March into the first week of April, about the same as in Washington, D.C.

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