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Thursday, April 7, 2011

JUST HAD A 7.1 EARTHQUAKE IN JAPAN



It took 15 hours and five trains to get me from Sapporo to Tokyo.  The Four Seasons actually sends a staff member to meet you as you exit the train to walk you to their hotel.


I checked in, ordered a room meal, began eating...
...when the room began to shake, for what seemed like 3 minutes.  There were a lot of creaking noises, like the building was going to break up.

Amazingly enough, the TV set kept working, the lights never even blinked, and CNN announced that the tremor was at a magnitude of 7.4.  Half an hour later, there were still vibrations, but that could have been me.  An hour later, apparently this was only a 7.1 earthquake.

Day 28 of the Great Tohoku Earthquake, Tsunami and Nuclear Cataclysm shows a tally of 12,596 confirmed deaths.  14,747 are still missing.  While I initially a couple of weeks ago thought the toll would get up to 15,000, more recent reports are such that a sum of 25,000 will eventually be the number, although many thousands will never actually be found.  TEPCO is now pumping nitrogen into Fukushima reactor #1 to purge the hydrogen, but this means that radioactive gases will need to be released.

 The radioactive cesium isotopes being carried by the Oyashio and Kuroshio Currents, as shown a few days ago, will almost surely now impact a major Japanese fishing area.  The effect could be catastrophic to the fishing industry if the local populace stops buying any domestically caught seafood.  When it comes to food, it is the perception more than the reality that determines sales.
Unfortunately, while the Cesium isotopes will dilute with distance, these currents sort of head in the general direction of Hawaii and the West Coast of America.

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