Japan – Combined with the earthquake and tsunami aftermath, the threat of a nuclear meltdown looks like making this the disaster story of the decade

 

Iconic picture of people trekking home along the train lines.

To start with, some stunning & distressing pictures of the aftermath of the quake & tsunami which hit Japan

Aftermath of quake & Tsunami

The explosion at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, whether from a distance or up close looked big & worrying enough. Have a look:

Video clip of explosion at nuclear power plant

Together with these video clips of a tsunami sweeping through the town of Kesennuma and another nortthern town,literally destroying them in minutes, the picture of the devastation & the damage was looking horrifying indeed..

Tsunami sweeping through Kesennuma City – Video Clip

Tsunami destroying northern town in Japan – Video clip

Most of the reports however seemed to suggest that a meltdown of the core had been averted as you can check out [ here ], [ here ] & [ here ].

The fact that sea-water was being planned to use to cool the reactor possibly means that the reactor is a write-off in any case. Given the corrosive properties of sea-water, no one would ever want to cool a reactor with sea-water if they planned to use it again.

Latest reports about the situation at the nuclear power plants affected can be found [ here ], [ here ],  [ here ] & [ here ]

Here are some more pictures and video clips laying bare the extent of the devastation and the damage.

A compilation from boston.com

Wall Street Journal, Tokyo office compilation

Cars, cruisers & even houses being swept away by the tsunami – Video clip

Scary video footage of massive tsunami waves advancing

Here are some accounts of the aftermath from the NYT and the Guardian

Much has been made of Japan’s preparedness for earthquakes and the fact that it is possibly the most earthquake-proof nation in the world. However as this article and  this one very aptly states, no amount of preparation & precautions can quite fortify an island from the ‘Big One’. Given its magnitude of 8.9 on the Richter scale, Japan has never ever experienced one like this one, ever.

The coming days will bring out several more stories of death, devastation & damage. An aftershock of 6.4 magnitude has struck again near Honshu, pretty close to the damaged & leaking nuclear reactor. The saga continues as can be seen [ here ]

It seems appropriate to round off this sad saga for now, with two messages, one received very soon from an inmate after the earthquake first struck and the other from someone else apprehensive of what the very near future might bring

Hi
Thanks for your kind enquiry.

We are close to Tokyo; until now we are all safe.
I was taking a break in the field and removing weeds when the big one came at around 2:45. This was the biggest I have experienced in my 27 years in Japan. I had to hold on to a nearby tree; the tremor was long and slow. I could see my car also gently swaying!

The epicenter was about 200 to 250 km north of where I say. The northern part has suffered a lot of damage through tsunami too (7.3 m). Tsunami is expected to hit near my house too; we never know.

Incidentally, Japan has never experienced an earthquake of magnitude 8.8 in its history.
I’m sure tomorrow morning will bring in the results of the devastation and misery.
God help the poor souls!


Beware of the Supermoon – On March 19 2011 the Moon will be closer to the earth than it’s been since 1992. It will mean that it will be brighter and larger in the sky than other full moons, but some believe that the super moon is connected to natural disasters.

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