Friday, March 11, 2011

Earthquake Hits Japan ***UPDATED***

So i'm sure most of you have been glued to your screens, trying to make sense of the devastating event that took place just off the coast of Japan. An 8.9 magnitude earthquake has hit the pacific ocean floor, 24 km in depth. It is not deep for an earthquake to strike and immediately Japan had fears of a consequential tsunami. Their worst fear happened when a 33 foot high wave struck the agricultural town of Sendai, obliterating everything that came in it's path.

Videos have been uploaded on the net for the entire world to witness the tragedy that befell upon our neighbours and co-citizens of this planet. The tsunami equally triggered a massive whirpool just off the coast, stirring in boats, buoys, and people alike.

The death toll is still low if you compare it with the equally tragic aftermath of Haiti and Chile. For now, estimates have put the missing at 88,000 and the death toll somewhere around 200. We all know that this estimate is far from being accurate and we will have to patiently wait for good news in the days to come. A lot of websites have dedicated their time to cover this unbelievable event and those to watch are the major three news outlet: BBCnews, CNN, and Al-Jazeera.
 The consequences of this earthquake are still undetermined as they are expecting waves to reach as far as Chile and as close to home as British Columbia. Waves have already crashed against the coast of Hawaii where the state has signaled their emergency alarms and evacuated their people.

Google People Finder has already began making modifications to their system to better accomodate the traffic that their website will most likely experience in the hours to come as family members will desperatly try and find their loved ones. It's in the wake of terrible events such as these that humanity is forced take a good look at itself in the mirror and ask the ultimate question: Are we the cause of this?

Candles are staying on, in memory of those who have perished,
Eleven's Ink


Several hours have passed since the devastating earthquake that shook the great land of Japan. The death toll has increased by a hundred, with early estimates predicting it could reach upwards to a 1,000 by nightfall. The 88,000 people missing has been dropped significantly to several hundred missing.

The predicted tsunamis that would hit the western coast of North America has already begun with reports of 8 feet high waves crashing into Maui, Hawaii, and Crescent City California. Luckily, British Columbia was spared from the wall of water.

The Prime Minister of Japan, Naoto Kan, announced earlier in the day that the government was taking extreme precautions towards their Nuclear Power Plants to prevent any form of radiation leak. A leak would most certainly heighten the death toll and the damages that has already laid waste to such a beautiful and diverse countryside.

At 4h21 local time, 14h21 eastern atlantic time, another earthquake struck the populated city, and tourist-friendly, Nagano, this time at a lower magnitude of 6.6

As of now, there are no chances of another tsunami hitting the coat of Japan, but let's remember that the last large eartquake that struck Japan in the 60's was the suspected cause of the eruption of Mount Fiji. Hopefully, the worst has already past.

///--- UPDATE---\\\
Saturday Morning

It has been over a day since the 8.9 magnitude quake struck off the coast of Sendai, Japan. The death toll has risen, missing people haven't been found and the first estimate of 88,000 people unaccounted for has been reinstated.

As of this morning, the western coast of Japan was still being hit with strong aftershocks, some as high as 6.8 in the northern parts. I can't even fathom what the poor people must be going through. A 6.8 magnitude quake is strong yet they are receiving these hour after hour as aftershocks.

We're now at that part where we get the stats, the damages, and the consequences of this devastating tragedy that has befallen a peaceful country. The tsunami combined with the quake has managed to move, yes move, the japanese coast by a staggering 8 feet. As Japan sits on a nuclear hotbed, they were struck with horrofying news when a reactor at the Nuclear Power Plant in the Fukushima prefecture exploded into a giant ball of flame, worrying officials that this could trigger the already sensitive Nuclear Plant to meltdown.

According to CNN news, the death toll has risen to past 400, but these numbers were from late last night with no new updates. Although some experts have expected the death toll to rise above 1,000. Half the population of one harbour city has gone missing, totalling 7,000 people.

Tsunamis have continued hitting the shores with the tallest wave reaching 6 foot. Images from Maui, Hawaii and Crescent City, California have been shown and the damages were severe, although less then inittially expected. The waves hit all the way in Chile and the ripples of the earthquake could be felt all the way in Beijing, China.

Japan Earthquake tsunami travel times

I will be checking the news outlets and listening to the updates on TV and report back here to keep you all updated. Let's pray that the worst has passed and the Nuclear Plant stay cool and calm. We do not want another Chernobyl.

Candles stay on until the worst has passed. A light for guidance.
Eleven's Ink

Sunday morning - Close to 72 hours after the quake

I am saddened by the events that are unfolding in front of my eyes as I type. Fears of the Nuclear reactor overheating and eventually releasing all of the radioactivity onto Tokyo and surrounding areas has become a possibility. They are bracing for the worst and the Japanese health officials are suggesting that the Nuclear core will most likely melt into the ground. The effects of this will most likely not be seen for another 15 to 25 years according to nuclear physisist. **This just in, a second nuclear power plant in the Ebaraki prefecture  has began to emit high radioactive ways and specialists are trying to cool that reactor down as well. :(

The death toll has climbed and will most likely surpass ten thousand as experts state the the 72 hour mark is the time when workers go from rescue mission to recovery. Officials are already injecting the people with stable iodine to counter effect the radioactive molecules.

They haven't felt an earthquake since yesterday, tsunamis have stopped crashing into the coast and initial estimates about the coast moving 8 feet remain accurate and the planet's axis shifted slightly after the wake of the events.

As if this was not painful and tragic enough, news came that not only one but FIVE volcanoes have begun erupting in the southern part of Japan near the Mayizaki prefecture. This is just heart wrenching...

Now we just have to wait and see what is going to unfold next as rescue workers from around the globe have stepped in to aid as best they can. 

Candles stay on,
Eleven's Ink


The country of Japan is still in turmoil. Sadly, the situation is only getting worst. They are still discovering bodies as the death toll climbed above 3,300 last night and estimates are predicting it can go as high as 10, 000. The volcanoes are still spewing while some are on the brink of eruption. Power Plants along the coast are threatening the future of this country that has already been hit hard by radioactivity and nuclear waste.

While all of this is happening, I have heard people, even some that I know, ask why this is so important to me? Who cares what happens across the globe? I don't think people grasp the situation at hand and the consequences that this will create not only for the eastern part of the world, but for us westerners as well.

There are countless people perishing on our Earth due to a natural catastrophe and we can do nothing but watch our screens and be transfixed by the images that come across it. The economy of a country is on edge and it's fragility is about to be exposed as they are bracing for an eventual Chernobyl-style meltdown.

There are early reports of volcanoes erupting in Russia as well, potentially endangering another country that is struggling with their economy.

If that wasn't bad enough, Japan is on high alert as two of their Nuclear Plants are heading right towards an eventual core meltdown, that could result in years of birth deformity, cancers, and of course impending death. International aid has already been sent to help with the shortage of food, shelter, and water; necessities we usually take for granted.

Just this morning, another shockwave of 6.0 magnitude struck the Honshu coast and experts say they are close to 250 aftershocks ranging anywhere from 3.0 to 6.9 magnitude.

This morning, low levels of radiation have been detected by US NAVY posted just outside of Yokosuka.

Please, visit CNN, OXFAM, REDCROSS or any chairty website of your choice and donate. food, clothes, money, whatever you can. These people need our help and they need it quick as temperatures around the affected area are dropping below freezing temperature.

Candles are on, and shining light,
Eleven's Ink

Week 1 of the Aftermath

The quakes have finished rumbling, the tsunamis are done destroying the shores, the whirpools have sucked in the last ships, and the volcanoes have all but covered the devastated country in lava. This, however, doesn't mean the country is no longer under attack. They are being threatened by the nuclear power plants that border the western shores. These ticking time bombs are fragile, unstable, and ready to meltdown any given day.

The authorities have continually dispelled rumours that radiation has already begun to leak, but the US Navy have detected traces of radiation along the coast since tuesday and the situation will only get worst from this point on.

They are struggling to stay afloat amidst the massive destruction that some companies and warehouses have sustained. Toyota has already sent out a newsletter stating the obvious: Shipments of cars, specifically Priuses, will be placed on hold until the situation gets any better. Although their plants have not been affected by the quakes, they are limited in electricity and water supply.

To add to the ever climbing death toll, now as high as 6,500, the unemployment rate has skyrocketed in a country that is already struggling to get by on the little that is left. Stores have been emptied out, water bottles have litterally dissapeared off the shelves, and food is scarce.

The missing has climbed to over 10,000 people, which mostlikely will be added to the death toll.

Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency has raised the severity level of the situation at the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant to 5, up from 4.The new level which is on the International Nuclear  and Radiological Event Scale, with 1 being least and 7 being most severe - indicates this is an "accident with wider consequences." They are comparing the possible meltdown to those at Three Mile Islands in the United States and Chernobyl in Ukraine.

It has been a week since the devastating tragedy and it seems like every day, the news and information that leaks out of Japan gets worst and worst. There seems to be nothing we can do to stop this and aid relief has already begun to experience difficulties as confusion has spread throughout Japan in relation with the merchandise drop-offs and the location they need to be sent to.

Reports from media have described Tokyo as a near ghost town compared with pictures from last week. Although troops have been sent to Japan it was just reported that a 1,000 US navy operatives have evacuated Japan and have headed to Guam for temporary relocation. They have yet to give the press an answer as to why, but I have an inkling that this may be related to an eventual nuclear core meltdown.
We will simply have wait for the day to pass to know the answer.

Until then, please stay updated by going to either of the three Big News outlet: CNN, BBC, Al-Jazeera. You can donate through the Canadian Red Cross or Oxfam.

Candles stay on and guide the way,
Eleven's Ink

Friday, March 25th, 2011
Week 2 of the Aftermath

Not only is Japan struggling with its own inner problems, but now countries around the world have begun inspecting and some halting imports from the ravaged country; mainly perishable items such as food and beverages. Some countries, such as Austria, as went as far as banning toys and vehicles from being imported (for the time being.

Automakers have insisted that their initial count in lost production was accurate, with the number reaching 300,000 units. Japan Tobacco Inc. has recently announced that they will stop shipments of its product between March 30 and April 10. This doesn't sound so bad, but when you're country is reeling from one of it's most tragic event in 60 years, I think some smokers would want to hang on to their vice, even just for a little while.

Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan said Friday that the situation at the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant "still does not warrant optimism" according to a Kyodo News report.

Japan is use to being hit by earthquakes but after the devastating damages done by the 9.0 magnitude quake, they are trembling, litteraly, with fear as earthquakes continue to strike the eastern coast. A 6.4 magnitude quake struck just off the shore of Honshu, the main island.

Two Japanese citizens - one from Nagano and the other from Saitama, both 200 kilometers or further from Fukushima - traveling to China were taken to a hospital after showing exceedingly high levels of radiation, China's  state-run Xinhua news agency reported. A spokesman for the Japanese Embassy in China said Friday that the two are "fine" having left the hospital and joined their tour group.
In a true story that was made to be transformed into a TV movie, officials have turned an abandonned hotel into a temporary shelter for those who has lost everything. It was an old, Japanese owned hotel that was very prominent in the 80's but kind of faded to the background when more popular, international hotel chains established themselves in the cities. It can house approximately 1,600 evacuees.

Officials have tested water in four prefectures surrounding the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant and all tests showed radiation levels well above what is considered safe to drink for babies. The pertinent facilities provide water for residents in the cities of Tokaimura and Hitachi. The results, from samples taken on Thursday, showed between a low of 119 becquerels of radioactive iodine per kilogram of water to a high of 230 becquerels of the same radioactive substance.Any level above 100 becquerels is not considered safe for infants 1-year old and younger to drink, according to the Japanese government. Still, all are below the 300-becquerel limit for all adults.

As initially feared, the death toll has now went well over the 10,000 threshold. International aid has already begun evacuating the surrounding areas near the Fukushima Daiichi plant. There is even an organization requesting that westerners adopt Japanese children for the summer, question of stabilizing the economy, and clearing away the debris.

All we can do is donate and pray. Please be careful when donating and assure that the money will be distributed by the Charity Organization in question. During the Indonesia Tsunami, a lot of people donated to direct orphanages who couldn't handle all of that money. So please choose safe and secure organizations and donate. Forget your timmies for a week and give instead. A dollar can make a difference.

Candles are flickering away, giving hope in these dark times.
Eleven's Ink

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