28 10 / 2012
28 10 / 2012
16 3 / 2011
Latest Japan updates from the Guardian.Amplify’d from www.guardian.co.uk
Japan nuclear crisis and tsunami aftermath - live updates
4.21pm (1.21am JST): The director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Yukiya Amano, has said he will travel to Japan as soon as possible, perhaps arriving as soon as Thursday.
Amano, who is from Japan originally, will meet with senior officials and stay one night, he told reporters this afternoon. He said he hopes to come back with “firsthand information” on the situation and address the issue of improving the flow of information to the IAEA.
Earlier today Amano urged the Japanese government to provide better information to the agency about the nuclear crisis.
4.13pm (1.13am JST): The US is to fly a spy plane over the stricken Fukushima plant in a bid to get a closer look at the damage, according to Kyodo news.
The Japanese news agency said the military will operate an unmanned Global Hawk high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft over the plant, perhaps as soon as Thursday, to examine the plant’s reactors, Kyodo said, quoting a government source.
“Photographs taken by the plane equipped with infrared sensors could provide a useful clue to what is occurring inside the reactor buildings, around which high-level radiation has been detected,” it added.
4.03pm (1.03am JST): “The magnitude of the Japanese earthquakes and the main resulting tsunami are apparent from the immense scale of devastation and from the fact that all countries around the Pacific were affected,” says Dr Philippe Blondel, deputy director of the Centre for Space, Atmospheric & Oceanic Science at University of Bath.
Blondel adds that the “current fears about nuclear safety should not shadow the huge plight of the refugees”:
For example, the tsunami waves were still more than 1m high when they reached New Zealand, having travelled the 8,000 km in about 12 hours. And they even reached Antarctica, albeit much reduced in height. The current fears about nuclear safety should not shadow the huge plight of the refugees and the difficulties of on-going search and rescue operations. They are taking place in the background of regular earthquakes, some of them associated to tsunami alerts. The Japanese Meteorological Agency estimated on Monday that the next 3 days would see a 40% probability of large aftershocks (more than magnitude 5), reducing to 20% from 17-20 March. Current activity supports their predictions.”
3.55pm (12.55am JST): Reuters is reporting that the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency has said the situation at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is “very serious”.
• @suzyji Chu - There are several reactors now at risk. We do not want to speculate as to what will happen #eg
• @suzyji Chu - We think there is a partial meltdown in #Japan, but doesn’t mean containment vessel will fail #eg
Japanese Defence Minister Toshimi Kitazawa announced Wednesday that Special Defence Forces helicopters planned to drop water onto Unit 3, and officials are also preparing to spray water into Unit 4 from ground positions, and possibly later into Unit 3. Some debris on the ground from the 14 March explosion at Unit 3 may need to be removed before the spraying can begin.
The IAEA quote above is already a little out of date – while Japan had indeed planned to use helicopters, we heard earlier that this plan had to be abandoned due to radiation levels.
With the helicopters abandoned, plans are apparently now reliant on water cannon being deployed from ground level.
3.20pm (12.20am JST): John Vidal reports that David Cameron has said nuclear power should remain part of the UK’s energy mix, while stressing there were lessons to be learned from the Japanese nuclear crisis.
“I do think that nuclear power should be part of the mix in future as it is part of the mix right now,” Cameron told parliament.
“Obviously I’m sure that everyone watching the dreadful events in Japan will want to make sure we learn any lessons.”
Cameron’s comments have provoked an immediate response from environment groups, John says. Here’s a statement from Friends of the Earth:
The events in Japan must lead to an urgent review of UK plans to build more nuclear reactors. The UK can meet its energy needs and tackle climate change by harnessing its vast renewable energy potential and slashing energy waste – new nuclear stations will inevitably starve these programmes of vital funds. We must invest in a cleaner, safer future – nuclear power is a gamble we don’t need to take.
2.51pm (11.51pm JST): The main focus on this new blog so far has been on the nuclear situation, which is in some ways understandable as it’s the most fast-moving and unpredictable element of the story, four days after the main quake and tsunami. But it’s worth reiterating – as I tried to in this morning’s blog – that a far greater humanitarian crisis remains.
As well as an official death toll now over 4,200, which will inevitably rise much higher, hundreds of thousands of people have been left homeless, in many cases losing just about every possession. Their plight has been made worse by the severe weather affecting much of Japan’s north-east at the moment, with some areas experiencing blizzards and temperatures of -5C. There are temporary evacuation shelters but these are generally basic and often very chilly. Food and fuel are in short supply.
As we reach midnight in Japan it’s perhaps worth looking through today’s photo gallery of the quake aftermath and reflecting that worries about Chernobyl-style clouds of radioactivity sweeping across the Pacific, while understandable, are not the only issue.
2.23pm (11.23pm JST): The New York Times has gone big today on comments by Yukio Edano, variously described as the chief cabinet secretary or the government’s chief spokesman, that a cloud of steam rising from the No 3 reactor at the Fukushima nuclear plant indicated that the reactor’s containment vessel, designed to keep in radiation, might have been ruptured. At a subsequent press conference he said that there was little chance of serious damage. But as the NYT notes, the “rapid and at times confusing pronouncements” by Japan’s government are far from reassuring.
A concern for the people not just of Japan but the Pan Pacific area is whether Fukushima will turn into the next Chernobyl with radiation spread over a big area. The answer is that this scenario is highly unlikely, because of the wildly different design of the two reactors.
The reason why radiation was disseminated so widely from Chernobyl with such devastating effects was a carbon fire. Some 1,200 tonnes of carbon were in the reactor at Chernobyl and this caused the fire which projected radioactive material up into the upper atmosphere causing it to be carried across most of Europe.
There is no carbon in the reactors at Fukushima, and this means that even if a large amount of radioactive material were to leak from the plant, it would only affect the local area.
The Japanese authorities acted swiftly and decisively in evacuating people living within 20km of the plant, and ensuring people living within 30km of the plant remained in their homes, with windows and doors closed. The radiation measured so far at Fukushima is 100,000 times less than that at Chernobyl.
1.46pm (10.46pm JST: My colleague Martin Shuttleworth has updated the Guardian’s before and after pictures showing the devastation caused by the Japanese tsunami.
The images show a lot of is yet to recede from the worst hit areas.
1.41pm (10.41pm JST: Ian Sample, the Guardian’s science correspondent, has been talking to Andrew Sherry, director of the Dalton Nuclear Institute at Manchester University, about steam seen rising from the reactor 3. Ian says the fact steam is escaping does not necessarily mean any of the “serious containment structures” within reactor 3 have been damaged:
Read more at www.guardian.co.uk
Specifically, I wondered how the steam could be radioactive, given all the containment systems that surround the reactor core.
This is different to the steam that is released regularly when the engineers vent the pressure vessel after pumping it full of seawater.
One likely scenario is this: high pressures in the reactor vessel can cause it to dump steam into what’s called a torus beneath it. This is a metal donut half-filled with water. That torus was thought to be damaged in yesterday’s explosion, so steam might be leaking from that.
Crucially, the torus is outside any of the serious containment structures - only the outer building can hold the radioactive steam in, but the outer building was torn apart in an explosion. Another source of the steam is water boiling at the spent fuel rod pools.
16 3 / 2011
Stunning: Animation pinpoints cascade of Japanese quakesIn this video, an animation shows in clear detail the cascade of earthquakes that struck in waters off Japan from March 9-14. The big one hits around the 1:17 mark. This video is from Google, published March 15, 2011.
Japan Earthquake Swarm Google Earth Animation
Quick video showing earthquakes in Japan between 9 March and 14 March. 1 hour ~ 1 second. Big one is around 1:17.Donate money for Japan here: http://www.google.co.jp/intl/en/crisisresponse/japanquake2011.htmlKml file here: http://jumpjack.wordpress.com/2011/03/13/animazione-googleearth-terremoto-gia…
14 3 / 2011
12/13 - 12/14/2011Tweets from the past 10hrs. about Japan from Twitter acct. @AlertDisaster. I post these because the acct. is very informative. Newest information on top. This is a terrible disaster of epic proportions. Thank goodness people are there helping Japan cope with this tragedy. Bless them all. -CynthiaAmplify’d from twitter.com
Disaster Alert provides near real-time updates about natural disasters around the world.
The Sendai earthquake occurred at 14:46 Japan local time. In 4 mins time, we will pray in silence for 60 seconds. Thank you.
Like China, Russia has had difficult relations with Japan at times but it, too, is helping out now.
Malaysians reacted with anger after local newspaper published cartoon of Japan Ultraman comically trying to outrun a tsunami.
The Sendai earthquake occurred at 14:46 Japan local time. In 20 mins time, we will pray in silence for 60 seconds. Thank you.
Japanese officials have been reassuring the public that radiation levels at the Fukushima 1 are within legal limits.
69 nations will be offering help to Japan in all possible ways. All the best to everyone in Japan.
Russia has sent two rescue teams of 50 experts to assist Japan in struggling with the consequences of the most devastating earthquake.
Toyota says the suspension of work will result in a production loss of 40,000 vehicles.
The Japan Defense Ministry has decided to dispatch for the first time its reserve personnel for disaster relief operations.
In a bid to save power, Toyota is to halt production at all domestic plants till Wednesday
A South Korean national has died in the mega-quake and tsunami in Japan, the first confirmed death of a South Korean in the disaster.
1 SDF officer breaks bones, others slightly injured in Fukushima plant explosion.
Strong wind has been blowing in Minamisanriku, making the effort to find survivors and retrieve bodies from the rubble hazardous.
Officials in Iwate prefecture are appealing for funeral homes nationwide to send body bags and coffins.
Fire department helicopter are now hovering in the air to spot any possible new tsunami that might come its way.
Number of injured in the nuclear plant blast is now known to be 11, the operator Tepco reports.
Crew members of US aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan received a month worth of radiation in about an hour of sailing.
The Japanese government has just said there was no marked change in the radiation level after the blast at Reactor 3.
Tsunami alert lifted on Japan coast, said Fukushima prefecture: AFP
The central control room of Reactor 3 remains intact after the blast, the Japanese government says.
Japanese government spokesman Yukio Edano said that there is a low possibility that a massive amount of radiation has been leaked.
South Korea has added 102 personnel to its team engaged in search and rescue operations in Japan.
Tokyo Electric Power has postponed imposing rolling blackouts in Japan, but is calling for all to try to limit electricity use.
Good news: Plant operator says the 7 people who were earlier reported missing, are now safe.
In a move to save its economy, Japan central bank doubles the amount of money it is ploughing into the economy to 15 trillion yen.
Earlier report of a new tsunami appears to have been a false alarm. No updates from the live monitor yet. Pray it is false alarm.
Japan nuclear plant operator says 7 missing and 3 injured after blast at Fukushima 1 nuclear power plant.
Despite warnings, 600 people still live within 20km of the plant where the explosions occurred.
Rescue efforts resume along the north eastern coast of Japan.
Radioactivity levels in Tokyo city, Japan is at normal level. No risk of exposure.
Heart-breaking for those teams responsible to clear up the 2,000 bodies in Miyagi Prefecture.
Back on the 2000 bodies found on shores in Miyagi Prefecture, relief efforts are moving in to retrieve the bodies.
Japanese government spokesman Yukio Edano said major radiation leaks were unlikely from Reactor 3 earlier explosions.
New tsunami has been confirmed to be hitting on north eastern coast of Japan. Timing unknown.
Reactor 3 at Fukushima 1 nuclear power plant withstood the earlier explosions, claimed by authorities.
The governor of Tokyo orders radioactivity levels in the city to be measured.
The wall of a building collapsed as a result of the blast(s) at Reactor 3 at Fukushima 1 nuclear power plant.
2,000 bodies have been found on two shores in Miyagi Prefecture, 1,000 on the Ojika Peninsula and 1,000 at Minamisanriku.
A Japanese quake monitor is live on Japanese TV right now saying no live tsunami has been detected at the moment.
Just to sum up: New tsunami (3m high) likely to hit north east, Japan. Fukushima exploded 2 times mins ago.
Fears of a meltdown at Reactor 3 at Fukushima 1 nuclear power plant, following 2 explosion mins ago.
Two explosions occurred at Reactor 3 at the Fukushima 1 nuclear power plant mins ago.
Hydrogen blast occurs at Fukushima nuclear plant’s No 3 reactor. New tsunami reaching the northeast coastal area.
Explosion occurred at reactor 3 at the Fukushima 1 nuclear power plant!!!!
Sea level has dropped 5 metres off Fukushima, confirming imminent arrival of tsunami into the north eastern coast.
Thick smoke is currently escaping from reactor 3 at the Fukushima 1 nuclear power plant.
New updates coming from the nuclear plant at Fukushima. Hold on for a while.
Saddening news: 1,000 bodies found during the recovery operation in Minamisanriku. New tsunami is likely to hit onto northeast Japan.
Evacuation order has been issued in the city of Hachinohe in the north-east Japan. 3 metre tsunami might hit on.
Another strong tsunami is feared to reach north-eastern coast in matter of minutes…
North-eastern coast on the alert for a 3-metre tsunami!
Cell phone networks are down in Japan. Seems like the only alternative to reach out to the world is to stay online.
Police have confirmed 1,597 deaths to date, not including between 200 and 300 bodies in Sendai, Japan.
Cell phone signal seem to be affected by the latest 6.2 after-shock. Phones are once again down in Tokyo.
The tremor struck off-shore 140km north-east of Tokyo, shaking tall buildings in the capital.
The latest after-shock, magnitude 6.2 would probably have been felt by many people in their homes in Japan.
Mins ago, the latest aftershock was measured at magnitude 6.2, according to Japanese monitors.
Strong tremor felt in Tokyo 5 mins ago!
Mins ago, Japan Prime Minister Naoto Kan says a damaged nuclear power plant is still in an alarming” state.
Finance news: Shares in Japan top car-makers have plunged by more than 10% as investors react to plant shutdowns after the quake.
UK International Search and Rescue Team is in Ofunato, Japan searching for survivors.
Shinmoedake volcano spewed debris, including hot ash and rocks, more than 6,000 feet in the air.
United States search and rescue teams of 144 people and 12 dogs are on the ground in Misawa, northern Japan.
Shinmoedake volcano in southern Japan erupted earlier, spewing ash and rock onto the island.
In the wake of the disaster, Tokyo Disneyland will be closed until 23rd of March 2011.
The search for survivors and the bodies of the dead is continuing along the north-eastern coast of Japan.
It is 0911 local time and thousands are waking up after another freezing night spent huddled in blankets over heaters in shelters.
Transport chaos in Tokyo this morning as train services interrupted. Despite this few people cycling to work.
About 5,700 of the structures collapsed in the quake or were washed away by the tsunami.
The Japanese government estimates that more than 46,000 homes and buildings were damaged by the quake and tsunami.
Pumping seawater into damaged nuclear reactors should keep them from a full-scale meltdown, but conditions are still so volatile.
The Tokyo Stock Exchange said it was opening as usual. In early foreign exchange trading, the yen rose sharply.
The Japan government chief spokesman has been urging people to stay home if at all possible to conserve electricity.
East Japan Railways has said it is cancelling numerous rush-hour trains.
Tokyo Metro, one of two subway lines, is reportedly operating trains with longer gaps than usual.
The Tokyo area faces numerous transportation delays early today as it begins its first workday since the quake.
Just a reminder that it’s now 0755 in Japan, a sunny morning in Tokyo.
Most search and rescue efforts have resumed. We wish more people can be rescued today. =)
Radiation levels at Fukushima 1 nuclear plant have again exceeded legal limits, Kyodo News network says.
The delay in planned power cuts is due to smaller-than- expected demand, Kyodo News.
About 3000 people has since been rescued by the Japanese troops and they are currently placed in safe shelters
Ongoing fires are occurring throughout the devastated areas in Japan, dampening rescue efforts.
More than 190 people suspected of radioactive contamination.
Over 10,000 people in Japan remained unaccounted for. Police department feared that these people might be dead.
Planned power cuts in the north-east of Japan have been delayed, Japanese media said.
Cleaning efforts have begun. Debris are being cleared to assist search and rescue efforts
Radioactivity levels at the site boundary of the Onagawa nuclear power plant have returned to normal.
Winds in the area of the Fukushima nuclear plants were set to turn westerly towards the Pacific
The rolling power outages set to begin on Monday in the region served by Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco)
None of the secure vessels holding radioactive material at the reactors in Japan has broken.
The rolling, three-hour power outages scheduled to affect prefectures in Kanto and Chubu on Monday
World Vision, which normally works in developing countries, is to send staff to Japan.
Available information indicates weather conditions have taken the releases from the Fukushima reactors out to sea away from population.
News of survivors are surfacing. We will be posting survival updates shortly. Please stay tuned.
Electricity supply problem will affect most production lines in Japan, plunging its economy further.
The triple blow of an earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident is set to damage the world’s third largest economy possibly more deeply.
Toyota, Nissan and Honda are all suspending production at all their plants in Japan, starting Monday.
Do take note when you are making donations to help Japan. Japan govt has not requested relief help from international organisations.
In Souma city, Fukushima prefecture, rescuers have still not been able to reach residents trapped in their homes because of flooded roads.
There are currently more than 3,400 people waiting for help in the city of Kesennuma, 2,300 in Minamisanriku, and 3,800 in Ishinomaki..
Rescuers are struggling to get to thousands of people who remain stranded in the north-eastern Japanese region of Tohoku.
Read more at twitter.comWNN says the area around the Onagawa nuclear plant was hit very hard by the tsunami and about 200 survivors are sheltering in the plant.
14 3 / 2011
Satellite Photos of Japan, Before and After the Quake and Tsunami at New York Times, very interesting. Move the slider to compare satellite images, taken by GeoEye, from before and after the disaster.See link.
12 3 / 2011
via NASAAmplify’d from earthobservatory.nasa.gov
Flooding from Tsunami near Sendai, Japan
NASA’s Terra satellite’s first view of northeastern Japan in the wake of a devastating earthquake and tsunami reveal extensive flooding along the coast. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) acquired the top image of the Sendai region on March 12, 2011, at 10:30 a.m. The lower image, taken by Terra MODIS on February 26, 2011, is provided as a point of reference.
Water is black or dark blue in these images. It is difficult to see the coastline in the March 12 image, but a thin green line outlines the shore. This green line is higher-elevation land that is above water, presumably preventing the flood of water from returning to the sea. The flood indicator on the lower image illustrates how far inland the flood extends.
Both images were made with infrared and visible light, a combination that increases the contrast between muddy water and land. Plant-covered land is green, while snow-covered land is pale blue. Clouds are white and pale blue. The paved surfaces in the city of Sendai colors it brown.
MODIS detected a fire burning near the shore north of Sendai. The fire is marked with a red box. It is also surrounded by floods.
The photo-like true-color image acquired a few hours later shows plumes of sediment washed into the ocean along the coast and a dark plume of smoke near Sendai. Both images are from the MODIS Rapid Response System, which provides twice-daily images of Japan.
NASA images courtesy the MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC. Caption by Holli Riebeek.
Read more at earthobservatory.nasa.gov
- Terra - MODIS
12 3 / 2011
03/11/2011After the 8.9 earthquake, Japan was hit with a tsunami with and this whirlpool was one of the results, along with millions of dollars of damage and at least 1000 deaths and 800 missing. -Cynthia
12 3 / 2011
Watch live coverage from Japan here: http://www.youtube.com/tbsnewsi#main-channel-contentAfter 8.9 Earthquake hits Japan, tsunami hits.
12 3 / 2011
12 3 / 2011
Watch live coverage from Japan here from Tokyo Broadcast System: http://www.youtube.com/tbsnewsi#main-channel-content