Japan earthquake and tsunami

Authorities are projecting around 1000 deaths. This early death toll estimate was wildly optimistic – the final figure will be tens of thousands at least. I don’t think any of our regular commenters live in Japan, nor anywhere in the northern Pacific likely to be tsunami-affected, but I’m sure we must have lurkers there. I wish you all safe. Please use this as an open thread on any news.

BBC-News has made an interactive map of the affected regions.

As always in the wake of disasters, internet scammers will be working on creating bogus charities etc to exploit people’s generosity. If in doubt, it’s better to stick to the Red Cross/Crescent, Doctors Without Borders, Oxfam etc. and always go to their official websites by typing the URL directly into a browser rather than clicking on a link in an email.

Categories: crisis

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13 replies

  1. I live in Osaka. Thankfully it wasn’t hit badly, but the shaking went on for like 15 minutes. All of my friends are safe as well.

  2. I’m still trying to get in contact with some friends and family in Japan… most likely they can’t get to email or facebook due to power issues, but I still worry anyway.
    I was living in Saitama prefecture (just north of Tokyo) when the Nigata earthquake happeed in 2004 and the magitude of the quake where I was was scary enough. I just found out that it was twice as bad in my old neighbourhood with this earthquake.

    • My daughter’s school has a sister school in Tokyo, in Shimokitazawa. She has a couple of Facebook friends there from the last interschool visit, and was relieved that they have posted “I’m OK” updates and seem more excited than anything.
      From what sg, a commentor on LP currently working in Tokyo, has written it appears Tokyo itself was hardly damaged, just shaken around a bit. The tsunami hit further north at its strongest and that’s where whole towns have been pretty much swept away.

  3. Don Arthur at Club Troppo has some background on the Fukushima Daiichi reactor where the top of the external shell an external shell building has been breached by an explosion following an aftershock. The integrity status of the reactor container itself is uncertain.

  4. There’s a risk of a second exlosion – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-12724953 – although the government was trying to be reassuring about the core itself. But it uses plutonium fuel, so any breach is more serious concern than one using only uranium.
    Latest from the BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-12726297

  5. I’m finding it hard to deal with just viewing the incredible devastation and hearing of the dread of what might happen next with the malfunctioning reactors. I can’t imagine what it must be like to be there and living with it.

  6. Lifeline Canberra has said via the radio that they will take calls from people who are having trouble coping with all the disasters occurring lately. I’m sure other Lifeline and Beyond Blue centres would be taking those calls as well.

  7. Thanks, Mindy. I’m not quite at that level of not coping yet, but it’s useful to know.
    I haven’t been game to look at my Facebook friend feed this week in case it’s got wiseguy one-liners from any of the comedians. PZ at Pharyngula has a post on some of the appalling insensitivity raging out there, and Fuck Politeness addresses the South Park writer’s shitty tweet in particular.

  8. I’ve been following the spin and counterspin about the Fukushima reactors in the very noisy threads over at LP, and it just keeps looking worse.
    At the same time, the greatest dangers to most Japanese in the affected areas right now are exposure due to homelessness and the spread of disease due to disruption of water supplies. I wish the media could look away from the reactors and show us more about the plight of the evacuees, because those are the people who need disaster relief donations right now.

  9. A couple of links courtesy of Maria of the Hathor Legacy, about emergency workers giving their lives by remaining in their offices to continue broadcasting tsunami warnings until the wave hit. To quote the end of the second:

    Like those 50 workers at the Fukushima nuclear reactor, who have stayed at their posts, fighting to avoid a meltdown while the entire region is evacuated, Miki Endo should be remembered as a true hero of the highest order, and remembered forever with grateful reverence.

    … so I’m passing them on. So much that’s happened and is happening is terrible, those stories need remembering.

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