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Monday, August 15, 2016

CIRCLE PACIFIC ADVENTURE: Day #8-- Earthquake in Sendai

My breakfast at the St Regis Osaka was excellent:

I also had an enjoyable salmon bento on the Hikari to from Shin-Osaka to Tokyo:

However, I noticed some serious air pollution, especially from Okayama to Kansai:

Japan is blaming China for some of this problem.

I transferred to the Hayabusa (means peregrine falcon) at Tokyo Station and arrived in Sendai.  This is the train that now goes all the way to Hokkaido and is now the fastest operational train in Japan at 200 MPH.  

While walking on an overpass to the Westin Sendai a 5.3 earthquake struck.  Everyone on the bridge froze, while I quickly traipsed on to the other side and waited for more...but nothing else happened.  This earthquake occurred in that circle below and it occurred to  me, what if this one had been 9.5 or something like that.

This tiny jolt, which scared me, was 5012 times smaller than the Great Tohoku Earthquake of 2011, a 9.0, and 354,813 times weaker!!!!  Read my blow by blow account of the aftermath of this tragedy when I was in Japan during that period.  A Forbes article earlier this year provided the following details:

  • 9.0 earthquake
  • 50-foot tsunami, flooding 500 square miles
  • killing 20,000
  • destroying a million homes
  • making 300,000 homeless
  • 1000 deaths only from the stress, depression and fear of the Fukushima nuclear problem
  • all 50 nuclear reactors were shut down in Japan
  • three have since been reactivated
  • government has removed 10 million cubic yards of contaminate soil and debris
  • (Forbes is being conservative, but they cite that) the Fukushima disaster will cost $15 billion to clean-up over the next 20 years, with $60 billion in refugee compensation
  • just not using their nuclear power plants is costing $200 billion/year
  • reconstruction and recovery costs will top an additional $250 billion
  • Japan's trade deficit is now the worst in history
I made to the Westin, took a long bath, went to the Club Lounge, and had two stiff drinks.  I then went next door and bought a Subway with a beer, which I ate in my room:

Goodnight.  Tomorrow, back to Tokyo and the brand new Prince Gallery, where the Akasaka Prince once stood.


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