Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Great East Japan Earthquake Disaster (東日本大震災) of 2011

I was onboard USS George Washington, moored in Yokosuka, when the earthquake occurred. Even floating on the water, we felt strong and sustained shaking. Yokosuka was mostly undamaged, but as you can read on many sources, much of Japan has been devastated. The aftershocks continue. The ground has been shaking almost continually since Friday afternoon.

Japan earthquake: Tsunami hits north-east

I meant for this blog to be a light hearted travel blog, but Japan is a land of earthquakes. Living or traveling in Japan involves living with earthquakes. In the past 5 months I have felt 3 earthquakes of magnitude 5 or greater. Actually more than this graphic shows.

This one is very terrible. As a result of the earthquake tsunamis have caused entire towns to disappear. Four trains full of passengers have disappeared. A cruise ship with 100 passengers onboard has disappeared. There is terrible tragedy and much suffering.

Please pray for those who are suffering.

Magsx2 has pictures and video

A note about the nuclear power facility at Fukushima, it is a boiling water reactor. A chernobyl is not possible in this design. That is not to say that it cannot become a very serious situation. Allahpundit, who is knowledgable about this stuff, has a running blog on it. The short version, nobody really knows anything.

The Google Crisis Response page has continually updated news and Twitter updates. They also provide a means of donating to the Japanese Red Cross.

UPDATE: When I wrote this post the earthquake had not been known by any particular name. It is now known by many, particularly in the West as the 2011 Tōhoku Earthquake, and by most in Japan as the Eastern Japan Great Earthquake Disaster" (Higashi Nihon Daishinsai) (東日本大震災), so I have changed the title of this post accordingly.

As I post this update on July 6th, almost 4 months after the earthquake, a huge number of people are still homeless and the toll of the dead continues to rise. Please pray for them.

UPDATE 2: Here is a collection of video. Some of this is heartbreaking.
Japan tsunami videos: Footage you have to see to believe.


mary-cathern said...

Is evacuation for you a possibility?

Photios said...

Hi Mary-Cathern,

The US State Dept has not called for it yet. I don't imagine that they will. Contrary to the scary (sensationalist) news, radiation levels outside of the Plant's property are just slightly above background. Tokyo, Yokohama, Yokosuka, etc are all well below anything dangerous. I am absolutely not worried. There is no panic - almost no one is worried.

The emergency workers at the Plant are in danger - they are fighting a heroic fight - but few others are.

I am reading in the "news" that people in the US are worried about radiation blowing in from Japan. Yes, there are very tiny amounts, but it is laughable to worry about it.

The people to be concerned about, and to pray for are those who must live, having had their homes destroyed, out in the cold (it's snowing) with no heat and little food. They suffer and need our help. USS George Washington is collecting blankets from the crew.