tagged w/ Tsunami
Atarashii in Japanese means "new." After the events of March 11, 2001 everything changed. 9.0 earthquake, 30 meter high tsunami, and the Dai-ichi nuclear disaster. My pregnant wife and two young son were in Yanagawa-machi in Fukushima-ken when the quake hit. Our town is 70 km from Dai-ichi. I was in more than 7000 miles away in Baltimore where I teach film at a university. These episodes are my journey getting to them a week after the quake and making sure they were safe. Our lives have changed and thus, "Atarashii Normal."Atarashii in Japanese means "new." After the events of March 11, 2001... more
48-foot wall of water hit Japanese nuclear power plant
Video shows tsunami crashing into Fukushima nuclear site
By Brian Walker and Matt Smith, CNN
April 9, 2011 4:02 p.m. EDT
Click to play
48-foot wave hits nuclear plant
NEW: Video shows the March 11 tsunami swamping the plant
Nuclear plants will now need 2 backup generators per reactor
Engineers examine rising water levels in reactor No. 3 condenser
Nitrogen concentrations boosted in reactor No. 1
Tokyo (CNN) -- A brief video clip released Saturday captures the massive tsunami that crippled Japan's Fukushima Daiichi power plant, showing the wall of water that slammed into the facility and created an ongoing crisis.
The video shows the giant wave generated by the historic March 11 earthquake crashing over the plant's seawall and engulfing the facility, with one sheet of spray rising higher than the buildings that house the plant's six reactors. Tokyo Electric Power, the plant's owner, told reporters the wall of water was likely 14 to 15 meters (45 to 48 feet) higher than normal sea levels -- easily overwhelming the plant's 5-meter seawall.
The footage was was shot from high ground about 900 meters south of the plant by a worker who evacuated before the tsunami hit, the Tokyo Electric Power Company said in releasing the six-second clip.
Photos released by the company showed shattered windows, scattered papers and dangling ceiling tiles throughout the plant's now-empty office annex. Two workers were killed in the basement of the No. 4 reactor's turbine plant when the tsunami struck, and their bodies were recovered only last week.
The tsunami knocked out generators and pumps needed to cool the plant's three operating reactors following the magnitude 9 earthquake, leaving engineers struggling to prevent a bigger disaster as those units radioactive cores overheated. In response to the quake, Japanese regulators issued tougher standards for emergency power at nuclear plants Saturday.
Power stations will be required to have two diesel generators as backup power for each reactor unit, said Hidehiko Nishiyama, the chief spokesman for Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency. Current regulations require only one generator per unit.
At the plant, workers are beginning to lay ground-level pipes between the reactor units and the radioactive waste treatment facility where engineers hope to pump the contaminated water that has been building up, Sakae Muto, the head of the utility's nuclear power division, said Saturday.
Workers have been pouring hundreds of tons of water a day into the reactors in an effort to keep them cool until normal circulation systems can be restored. The No. 2 reactor is believed to be leaking highly radioactive water, some of which had been spilling into the Pacific until Wednesday, while flooded basements in the turbine plants of all three units are making it impossible to restore power, company officials said.
And engineers have been adding nitrogen into the primary containment shell around reactor No. 1, a move aimed at countering a buildup of flammable hydrogen in the unit. The inert nitrogen displaces oxygen that could fuel an explosion, like the hydrogen blast that blew apart the buildings surrounding units 1 and 3 in the days following the earthquake.
Hydrogen buildup is a symptom of damaged fuel rods in the cores of the reactors. But Tokyo Electric has called the chances of another explosion "extremely low." And new equipment allowed engineers to raise the concentration of nitrogen from 98 percent to 99 percent Saturday, Nishiyama said.
Workers returned to the plant Friday following a magnitude 7.1 aftershock late Thursday night that forced them to evacuate for about eight hours, Japanese authorities said. The aftershock is not believed to have inflicted any further damage to the plant, Tokyo Electric and the safety agency reported Friday.
Hiroo Saso and Gen Shimada contributed to this report for CNN.48-foot wall of water hit Japanese nuclear power plant... more
CBS News World...
April 8, 2011
Man stranded in home since Japan tsunami
Kunio Shiga cannot walk very far and doesn't know what happened to his wife 12 miles from Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant
Photo: Kunio Shiga listens to a battery-powered radio in the living room of his home in Minami Soma, Fukushima Prefecture, inside the deserted evacuation zone established for the 12 mile radius around the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear complex in northeastern Japan Friday, April 8, 2011. (AP Photo/Hiro Komae)
MINAMI SOMA, Japan - The farmhouse sits at the end of a mud-caked, one-lane road strewn with toppled trees, the decaying carcasses of dead pigs and large debris deposited by the March 11 tsunami.
Stranded alone inside the unheated, dark home is 75-year-old Kunio Shiga. He cannot walk very far and doesn't know what happened to his wife.
His neighbors have all left because the area is 12 miles from the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant -- just within the zone where authorities have told everyone to get out because of concerns about leaking radiation.
Complete coverage: Disaster in Japan
No rescuer ever came for him.
When a reporter and two photographers from The Associated Press arrived at Shiga's doorstep Friday, the scared and disoriented farmer said: "You are the first people I have spoken to" since the earthquake and tsunami.
"Do you have any food?" he asked. "I will pay you."
Shiga gratefully accepted the one-liter bottle of water and sack of 15-20 energy bars given to him by the AP, which later notified local police of his situation.
He said he has been running out of supplies and was unable to cook his rice for lack of electricity and running water. His traditional, two-story house is intact, although it is a mess of fallen objects, including a toppled Buddhist shrine. Temperatures at night in the region have been cold, but above freezing.
The Odaka neighborhood where he lives is a ghost town. Neighboring fields are still inundated from the tsunami. The smell of the sea is everywhere. The only noise comes from the pigs foraging for food.
Local police acknowledged they have not been able to check many neighborhoods because of radiation concerns.
As radiation from the Fukushima nuclear plant has fallen in recent days, however, the police have fanned out inside the evacuation zone to cover more areas.
On Friday, they were busy searching for bodies two miles from Shiga's farmhouse.
Hundreds of police, many mobilized from Tokyo and wearing white radiation suits, pulled four bodies in an hour from one small area in Minami Soma. They had found only five bodies the previous day.
The AP crew, which had been watching the police search, later broke away to see if it could find any residents living inside the evacuation zone. Some construction workers directed them to a part of town where some houses were intact.
The farmhouse where Shiga's family has grown vegetables for generations is at the end of a long mud- and rubble-covered road blocked by fallen trees and dead and decaying animals.
The journalists spotted the relatively undamaged house about 500 meters (yards) away. Unable to drive on the road because of the debris, they navigated the rest of the way on foot, sometimes crawling over large branches.
Shiga was seen wandering in front of his house but went inside. The journalists went to greet him.
He said he spent his lonely days since the disaster sitting in bed in his dark home and listening to a battery-powered radio. A scruffy beard covered his face.
"The tsunami came right up to my doorstep," he said. "I don't know what happened to my wife. She was here, but now she's gone."
Shiga said he was aware of the evacuation order but could do nothing about it, since he is barely able to walk past the front gate of his house. His car is stuck in mud and won't start.
The AP journalists asked Shiga for permission to tell the authorities about him. He agreed, and they went to a police station to tell them about the stranded farmer. The police said they would check on him as soon as they could.
Even if authorities can make it to him, Shiga said he might rather stay.
"I'm old and I don't know if I could leave here. Who would take care of me?" he said, staring blankly through his sliding glass doors at the mess in his yard. "I don't want to go anywhere. But I don't have water and I'm running out of food.";cbsCarousel
CBS News World...
April 8, 2011
Man stranded in home since... more
“High dwellings are the peace and harmony of our descendants,” the stone slab reads. “Remember the calamity of the great tsunamis. Do not build any homes below this point.”
Jay Alabaster of the AP reports that hundred of stone markers dot the coastlines of Japan. The oldest of these markers appears to be near 600 years old.
They carry warnings of tsunamis past and instruct readers to get to high ground after earthquakes. Some are even placed at high-water marks to indicate the extent of particular tsunami events.
The village of Aneyoshi grew up as a collection of homes built uphill of some of the markers specifically to be safe. Residents are raised knowing of the stones and their meaning.
“Everybody here knows about the markers. We studied them in school,” said Yuto Kimura, 12, who guided a recent visitor to one near his home. “When the tsunami came, my mom got me from school and then the whole village climbed to higher ground.”
There are those who can recall the 1960 tsunami caused by an earthquake in Chile, but the stone markers form a deeper cultural memory, representing many generations of life in a disaster-prone area and lessons learned from it. “Crude” though they may be, perhaps they provide a useful example for memorializing the recent disaster and for durably preserving its lessons for future generations.“High dwellings are the peace and harmony of our descendants,” the stone... more
Pregnant women living in the vicinity of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant disaster are caught in the middle of conflicting evacuation advice.
While the government recommends that anyone living within about 19 miles of the plant leave the area and stay indoors, the International Atomic Energy Agency thinks people farther away are also at risk.
The agency finds that unsafe radiation levels have spread as far as places such as the city of Iitate, about 25 miles away from the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant.
"Japan exceeded its criteria and twice the amount of our standard for evacuation," said an the atomic agency spokesperson last week in Tokyo. "We have advised (Japan) to carefully assess the situation and they have indicated that it is already under assessment."
Greenpeace International, which sent observers to Fukushima prefecture in Japan to monitor radiation levels, is accusing Japanese authorities of intentionally downplaying risks and not issuing adequate health warnings.
"It was not safe for people to remain in Iitate, especially children and pregnant women, when it could mean receiving the maximum allowed annual dose of radiation in only a few days," said Jan van de Putte, a Greenpeace radiation safety analyst. "When further contamination from possible ingestion or inhalation of radioactive particles is factored in, the risks are even higher."
Waseda Shotengai, a nonprofit shop-owners advocacy group in Tokyo, has started a project called "Evacuate a Baby" to step in to the breach in evacuation policy. (Waseda is an area in Tokyo's Shinjuku district.)
"Our group is taking responsibility for Japan's future by saving mothers and their children and pregnant women," said Junichiro Yasui, a member of Waseda Shotengai.
Keiya Konno, the group's president, was killed along with his entire family when the tsunami destroyed his hometown of Minami Sanriku City in Miyagi prefecture. Waseda Shotengai and its branch in Minami Sanriku worked together to export local goods to Tokyo. Yasui wanted to help the people where Konno came from and the organization's members agreed that the task couldn't be left to the government.
"They are too bureaucratic and still in a state of chaos and are not helping pregnant women enough, so we decided to do it," Yasui said. "The Japanese government supports us. For example, they give us permits that we need, such as for buses."
The group agrees with the atomic agency that the evacuation zone should be extended beyond the government's suggested radius of between 12.5 miles and 19 miles.
Under normal circumstances, the group of more than 450 serves as a business booster by organizing and hosting commercial events. But since March 19 it's been focusing on what it can do to move people from the affected areas, find a place for them to stay and provide them with proper nutrition, medical care and ongoing support.
The group had evacuated five families as of April 1. Since then electricity has been restored in some of the affected areas and Yasui thinks that will speed up demand for their services.
"We are starting to receive many phone calls asking for help," he said. He expects they will be evacuating hundreds of families.Pregnant women living in the vicinity of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant... more
Defiant Japanese boat captain rode out tsunami
By Paula Hancocks, CNN
April 3, 2011 3:19 a.m. EDT
Click link to watch Sugawara's video...
Oshima, Japan (CNN) -- Susumu Sugawara looks bemused and a little embarrassed at all the attention he's getting.
The 64 year old has become a local hero on the Japanese island of Oshima. Smashed boats adorn the coastline of this once-idyllic tourist spot, but Sugawara's pride and joy, "Sunflower" is intact and working overtime transporting people and aid to and from the island. It can hold around 20 people at a time.
When the tsunami came, everyone ran to the hills. But Sugawara ran to his boat and steered it into deeper waters. "I knew if I didn't save my boat, my island would be isolated and in trouble," he tells CNN.
As he passed his other boats, used for fishing abalone, he said goodbye to them, apologizing that he could not save them all.
Then the first wave came. Sugawara says he is used to seeing waves up to 5 meters high but this was four-times that size.
"My feeling at this moment is indescribable," he says with glistening eyes. "I talked to my boat and said you've been with me 42 years. If we live or die, then we'll be together, then I pushed on full throttle."
"Here was my boat and here was the wave," he says, holding one hand low and the other stretched high above his head. "I climbed the wave like a mountain. When I thought I had got to the top, the wave got even bigger."
Sugawara's arms flail wildly as he describes the top of the wave crashing down repeatedly onto his boat. "I closed my eyes and felt dizzy. When I opened them, I could see the horizon again, so I knew I'd made it."
Then the next wave came. Sugawara can't remember if there were four or five waves, but he says he did not feel afraid, he was just focused on steering his boat.
Suddenly the sea was completely calm and he knew he had beaten the tsunami. Sugawara stayed at sea until dark, pumping water from the boat's engine room. He believed his island had been destroyed by the wave. He says he didn't cry but felt angry and utterly helpless. He didn't know if his family had survived.
Trying to get back to Oshima, he had to navigate carefully past wrecked houses, boats and other debris that floated past him. The island of Oshima was in complete darkness; the only way he could find his way was with the guide of raging fires at Kesunnuma -- 5 kilometers (3 miles) away.
For twenty days, he has been making hourly trips to the mainland. For the first two weeks at least he provided almost the only connection with it. Without Sugawara and the Sunflower, the island would have been completely cut off.
He doesn't ask passengers for money if they have none. Those that can, pay just 300 yen (US$3.5) towards fuel.
Oshima is an island of just 3,500 people. Locals say 35 of them are confirmed dead and some are still missing, though they don't know how many. Others are believed to have taken their boats out to sea and tried to ride the tsunami like Sugawara but didn't make it.
The supermarket owner, Tadaomi Sasahara, tells me he gave all of his food away for free after the disaster. Many islanders then brought their food from their homes and shared it out.
He adds, "Everyone used to look out for themselves on this island, but after this, the whole community is now helping each other."
With his supermarket shelves empty, he now helps Sugawara with his hourly trips to the mainland.
Sugawara risked his life for his boat and his island -- one of the very few to ride a tsunami and to live to tell the tale.CNN...
Defiant Japanese boat captain rode out tsunami
By Paula Hancocks, CNN... more
The effects of the Fukushima plant are just one thing the people of the earthquake/tsunami region will have to face. The psychological effects are just as devastating, and actually not getting the attention they should be getting.
"Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) plans to support a team of six psychologists who will treat survivors of the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit northeast Japan March 11.
For the past 12 days, a 12-person MSF team has been treating patients with chronic diseases in one of the areas worst affected by the disasters. A psychologist was also sent in earlier this week to evaluate mental health needs.
“Many people now are in a phase of acute stress disorder, which is a totally natural response to this level of trauma,” said Ritsuko Nishimae, a clinical psychologist working with the MSF team in Minami Sanriku. “If they are not able to get proper support psychologically, there is an increased possibility that they could develop post-traumatic stress disorder (P.T.S.D),” said the psychologist.
Ritsuko has been working in the field for the last two days, getting an accurate picture of needs, as well as working with disaster survivors. “I talk with them and listen to their experiences and to what they need now," Ritsuko said. "Gradually, they open their feelings and express their thoughts and show emotion. This process is very effective to release stress."
The psychologists with whom MSF plans to work come from the Japanese Society of Certified Clinical Psychologists. MSF will assist them as they identify populations in need of assistance and will provide logistical support.
MSF medical teams continue to work in evacuation centers in Minami Sanriku, in northern Miyagi prefecture, and has also started supporting a Japanese doctor who was working in the town of Taro, in Iwate prefecture. The main activity continues to be consultations with elderly patients suffering from chronic diseases such as hypertension or diabetes."The effects of the Fukushima plant are just one thing the people of the... more
SENDAI (Kyodo) The Japan Coast Guard managed to save a small brown dog Friday from a floating rooftop 1.8 km off Miyagi Prefecture, three weeks after a massive tsunami ravaged the northeast coast.
The canine castaway was spotted by helicopter at around 4 p.m. by a special rescue unit from the 3rd Regional Coast Guard Headquarters, operating out of Yokohama.
The team's initial rescue attempt failed after the dog, perhaps scared by the hovering helicopter, jumped from the roof over to nearby driftwood.
A rescue boat with three guardsmen was then dispatched and succeeded in catching the pooch an hour later by using rescue stretchers.
The dog, which was wearing a black collar that had no indication of who its owner might be, was fed biscuits and sausages aboard the coast guard vessel and is behaving itself, the coast guard said.
http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20110403a5.htmlSENDAI (Kyodo) The Japan Coast Guard managed to save a small brown dog Friday from a... more
“Machine Civilization” is the fabulously choreographed music video by World Order, the celebrated Japanese music/dance performance group led by former martial artist Genki Sudo. The video features slow-motion breakdance voguing Japanese businessmen, released along with some words of hope following the recent earthquake and tsunami devastation in Japan. Genki Sudo accompanied his video with these words of hope:
“The unprecedented disasters unfolding in Japan; earthquakes, tsunami, and nuclear explosions, will somehow change things to come. And to send my message about this, I have expressed it here with World Order. These disasters can be interpreted as a turning point for civilization. I think that we have arrived at a time of revolution, shared with all the people of the world, in today’s society, economy, and political systems.
Incidents themselves are neutral. I believe that every single one of us, wandering through this deep darkness, can overcome anything, if only we let go of our fear, and face the it all in a positive light. The world is not going to change. Each one of us will change. And if we do, then yes, the world will be changed. It is darkest right before the dawn. Let’s all rise up to welcome the morning that will be so very bright for mankind. We are all one.”
This piece includes a number of high-resolution color photographs, as well as the wonderfully choreographed music video.
http://disembedded.wordpress.com/2011/03/31/machine-civilization-we-are-all-one/“Machine Civilization” is the fabulously choreographed music video by... more
NHK World is reporting that workers at the damaged nuclear power plant in Fukushima have not been issued radiation monitoring badges. Without such badges, each worker has no way to determine exactly how much radiation exposure he or she has accumulated.
Radiation monitors were issued to group leaders, but under Japanese law each worker is supposed to have an individual monitor.
http://www3.nhk.or.jp/daily/english/31_31.htmlNHK World is reporting that workers at the damaged nuclear power plant in Fukushima... more
2 years ago
“Little Japan” is a wonderful tilt-shift three-minute short film created by Fershad Irani, with music by Jack Johnson. The film was shot during early February 2011, in and around Kyoto and Tokyo. Irami began working on the film while watching news coverage of Japan’s earthquake and tsunami, and sends his message, “To everyone in Japan, stay strong, thoughts are with you.”
This piece includes a number of color photographs, as well as the short film.
http://disembedded.wordpress.com/2011/03/28/little-japan-a-wonderful-tiny-tokyo/“Little Japan” is a wonderful tilt-shift three-minute short film created... more
Person Yells “Konnichiwa Bitches!” & "U.S.A." During Moment Of Silence For Japan at Soccer Game
Last night, Argentina played the U.S. in a soccer friendly at the Meadowlands. It ended in a 1-1 draw. From the U.S. team’s perspective…we’d think it would be hard to get too disappointed when you play a team with Lionel Messi on it and don’t lose. The U.S. fans, on the other hand, provided a moment to forget before the game even started.
That came via a pregame moment of silence for Japan. Holding the moment of silence was a classy move, seeing as how that country is experiencing unfathomable devastation only compounded by nuclear radiation worries.Person Yells “Konnichiwa Bitches!” & "U.S.A." During Moment... more
I hope this is not a repost but it's certainly new to me, and is definitely the most daunting Tsunami vid I've seen. The dialogue at 2:55 says that there is someone in the water.I hope this is not a repost but it's certainly new to me, and is definitely the... more
U.S. naval barges loaded with freshwater sped toward Japan's overheated nuclear plant on Saturday to help workers struggling to stem a worrying rise in radioactivity and remove dangerously contaminated water from the facility.
Workers at the stricken Fukushima Dai-ichi plant have been using seawater in a frantic bid to stabilize reactors overheating since a tsunami knocked out the complex's crucial cooling system March 11, but fears are mounting about the corrosive nature of the salt in the water.
Plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. is now rushing to inject the reactors with freshwater instead to prevent pipes from clogging and to begin extracting the radioactive water, Hidehiko Nishiyama of Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said Saturday.
CBS News correspondent Lucy Craft reports radiation levels around the plant have been fluctuating, as workers struggle to stabilize the facility.
The latest threat at the Fukushima number 1 nuclear reactor is a pool of radioactive water.
Efforts to bring the plant under control have been sidelined as workers fight to bail out three of the plant's six reactors. Three workers have been burned at reactor number 3, by radiation levels that have spiked 10,000 times normal.
On Saturday a spokesman for the utility operator Tokyo Electric Power said no one is sure where the radioactive water is coming from, but they haven't had a chance to check the structural integrity of the building since the quake.
If there is a crack in the building, this TEPCO official said, there is a possibility that contaminated water has seeped in.
The situation at the stricken plant remains unpredictable, government spokesman Yukio Edano said Saturday, adding that it would be "a long time" until the crisis is over.
"We seem to be keeping the situation from turning worse," he said. "But we still cannot be optimistic."
The switch to freshwater was the latest tactic in efforts to gain control of the six-unit nuclear power plant located 140 miles northeast of Tokyo.
The switch was necessary because of concerns that salt and other contaminants in seawater were clogging pipes and coating the surface of reactor vessels and fuel rods, hampering the cooling process, NISA said.
Defense Minister Yoshimi Kitazawa said late Friday that the U.S. government had made "an extremely urgent" request to switch to freshwater. He said the U.S. military was sending water to nearby Onahama Bay and that water injections could begin early next week.
cont.U.S. naval barges loaded with freshwater sped toward Japan's overheated nuclear... more
Quake-hit Japanese city in danger of dying
By Kyung Lah, CNN
March 25, 2011 4:43 p.m. EDT
Click picture to play video
Japan town struggles with leaders gone
Town of Otsuchi, population 15,590, devastated by Japan quake
Half of town's leaders are dead or missing, including Mayor Kohki Kato
Young residents remaining considering leaving to build future elsewhere
Number of dead, missing likely to rise because disaster wiped out whole families
Otsuchi, Japan (CNN) -- You can see the survivors making the choice as they walk through the debris-strewn main street of Otsuchi in Japan -- stay or go?
Some ramble as they walk, as if in a daze, trying to comprehend the present and match it with an uncertain future. Others look like tourists, coolly trying to place a cousin's house or a grandmother's garden.
But the dilemma is the same for them all: do you stay and rebuild in a devastated small town, struggling economically even before the tsunami, or pull up stakes and start anew in a big city?
Twenty-one-year-old Ayano Okuba doesn't hesitate with her answer. "Even though I like Otsuchi, I can't come back here." The tsunami flattened Okuba's childhood home and killed the matriarch of her family, her grandmother.
There's nothing left of her childhood to rebuild, she says.
Akita Sasaki, a life-long resident of Otsuchi, also doesn't pause with his response. "I won't leave," he says. "I have a lot of friends afraid to stay in Otsuchi. But I won't leave."
Sasaki lost his parents, his house, his job and nearly every part of his beloved town. But it remains his home, he says emphatically.
As of October 2009, 15,590 called Otsuchi home, according to the city. The Iwate prefectural police say, so far, the death toll stands at 504 people, with 1,048 missing. The police caution that the numbers are likely not accurate, because the tsunami wiped out entire families in Otsuchi, so there's no one to report missing or dead people. Almost 6,000 people are homeless.
The choice to stay or go is complicated by the loss of the city's leaders.
On the day of the disaster, Otsuchi's city hall turned into a rapid command post. The mayor, 69-year-old Kohki Kato, led the charge to set up the command center outside the city hall, minutes after the magnitude-9.0 earthquake struck.
The mayor and his government had warning the tsunami was coming and evacuated to the second floor of the city hall, believing they were safe. The tsunami swallowed nearly the entire building except for the rooftop, where some of the city workers stood.
More than half of the city's leaders are dead or missing. Among those killed was Mayor Kato.
After the tsunami, a gas explosion erupted and a fire swept through the town, reducing the rubble to charred metal.
The cruelty of nature is etched into the faces of the survivors of this town's government, who work around the clock at the main evacuation center, trying to make up the manpower of their dead colleagues. Occasionally, they cry through paperwork, trying to help residents register the dead.
Next to the registration table, a pile of pictures sits, charred and muddy. Evacuees finger through the yellowing pictures, looking to salvage some part of their personal history.
Beyond the pictures, a stunned group of city workers meets to stage the next phase of the city's recovery.
The deputy mayor is now in charge and college students, who were set to begin work on the first day of the new fiscal year, April 1, started early on March 11.
The government is barely there, leaving one victim to clutch the arm of Japan's vice minister of the cabinet office as he made a visit to the evacuation center. The elderly woman pleads for help, saying her town needed more supplies, food, and steady heat and electricity.
The minister, Shozo Azuma, in a rare display of public affection, touches the woman's arm. His answer to her isn't audible, but she bows deeply and cries.
"I believe that the people who are living in this prefecture, who are in this miserable situation, they will recover. I believe it," says Azuma.
That is easier said than done, say many, who have seen young people leaving this town for a generation. All along Japan's northern coastline, the population is grey and dwindling each year. The economic might in Japan remains in its large cities, not in its small coastal communities.
Akita Saski says losing the young now will kill the rest of the survivors of his town. More of us need to stay, he says. But even as he emphatically says that, he knows it will be as large a challenge as clearing the massive debris from his hometown.Quake-hit Japanese city in danger of dying
By Kyung Lah, CNN
March 25, 2011 4:43... more
Disturbing sense of Déjà Vu continues to permeate the information coming in about Japan’s Fukushima plant nuclear disaster. In spite of disturbing revelations, we’re being told not to worry. On March 20, 2011, Energy Secretary Steven Chu made the rounds on American talk shows, stating that people in the U.S. are “in no danger” and as far as Japan is concerned, “we'll see what comes.” Being lulled into a false sense of security usually results in a rude awakening. The truth may not be comforting, but is definitely past due.
(much more at link)Disturbing sense of Déjà Vu continues to permeate the information coming... more
Death toll from Japan's earthquake and tsunami reaches 10,035 people, with 17,443 still missing, national police say.Death toll from Japan's earthquake and tsunami reaches 10,035 people, with 17,443... more
New Tsunami Pictures: Head-on View of Approaching Wave
1. The Calm Before the Tsunami
Photograph by Sadatsugu Tomisawa, AP
In the first of a series of newly released pictures showing a Japanese shoreline before and during the recent tsunami, a beach in Fukushima Prefecture appears calm.
The tsunami, captured here by a researcher working on the coast, struck northeastern Japan after a magnitude 9 earthquake, nearly wiping away entire towns.
A tsunami isn't a tidal wave but a series of waves—or wave train—in which the first isn't necessarily the most dangerous. Seen from on shore, a tsunami may be more like a rapidly rising tide than a series of giant breaking waves.
PART TWO...National Geographic...
New Tsunami Pictures: Head-on View of Approaching Wave... more