tagged w/ NHK
Last Updated: July 31, 2011
Earthquake-ravaged Japan now overwhelmed by rain
From: Herald Sun
July 30, 2011 6:43PM
Japan Heavy Rain
PHOTO: Residents stand beside a flooded street caused by heavy rain in Sanjo, Japan. Herald Sun
FLOODS claimed their first victim in Japan and nearly 300,000 people were urged to flee their homes as a weather system that killed dozens on the Korean peninsula swept the country.
Local governments in the central province of Niigata and tsunami-hit Fukushima issued the guidance today after the national weather agency urged citizens to be on maximum alert against more flooding and mudslides.
Helicopter footage on NHK showed bridges over the Shinano River in Niigata partially submerged, while trees and telephone polls had been knocked down. Kamo City in Niigata was extensively flooded, with roads submerged.
Forecasters warned that the rains could continue to be torrential after reaching 1000 millimetres to date in Sanjo City, Niigata, 250km northwest of Tokyo, since they started on Wednesday.
A total of 296,000 people had been asked to evacuate their homes by this afternoon, according to public broadcaster NHK, but no compulsory orders were issued despite muddy swollen rivers, broken dykes and flooded houses.
The same weather saw record rainfall kill at least 59 people in South Korea earlier this week, leaving thousands more homeless.
The first Japanese victim, Eiichi Murayama, 67, was confirmed dead in Tokamachi City, in Niigata, early on Saturday.
''We found a car fallen in River Nakasawa last night ... and found the driver's body downstream this morning,'' an official at Niigata police said of the drowned man.
Four other people are missing in the area, including a 93-year-old woman who was swept away in a river and a 25-year-old man who was believed to have fallen into a flooding river while driving, police said.
Officials had requested the Self-Defence Force dispatch troops to join the search for missing people and help those stranded by mudslides and floods.
A 63-year-old man was listed as missing in Fukushima, where the Pacific coast was hit by a massive tsunami on March 11 that crippled an atomic power plant in the world's worst nuclear disaster since 1986's Chernobyl.
More than 40 people who had spent a night in cars and buses after being stranded on a road blocked by mudslides and flooding in Fukushima were rescued unhurt.
''I couldn't sleep. I had some food, but couldn't swallow a bite'' out of fear that further mudslides would hit the stranded cars, a woman told NHK.
The weather agency has warned quake-hit regions are more prone to mudslides as the tremors had worsened ground conditions.
Last Updated: July 31, 2011
The New York Times...
Higher Radiation Levels Found at Japanese Reactor
Family members of the earthquake and tsunami victims at a mass funeral of their relatives on Saturday in Kesennuma, Japan.
By DAVID JOLLY and HIROKO TABUCHI
Published: March 27, 2011
TOKYO — Japanese officials continued to battle a spreading contamination problem at the Fukushima nuclear complex on Sunday, saying that water pooling inside one of its reactors and the seawater just outside the plant were showing sharply increased levels of radiation.
Status of the Nuclear Reactors
A daily tracker of the damage at the two imperiled nuclear plants.
Tsunami victims in Kesennuma, Japan, dug through debris. The United Nations nuclear chief said Saturday that the country was far from the end of the nuclear crisis.
The developments came after the world’s chief nuclear inspector said that Japan was “still far from the end of the accident” that struck the plant, which continues to spew radiation into the atmosphere and the sea. Yukiya Amano, the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, acknowledged that the authorities were still unsure about whether the reactor cores and spent fuel were covered with the water needed to cool them and end the crisis.
Mr. Amano, taking care to say that he was not criticizing Japan’s response under extraordinary circumstances, said, “More efforts should be done to put an end to the accident.”
More than two weeks after a devastating earthquake and tsunami, he cautioned that the nuclear emergency could still go on for weeks, if not months, given the enormous damage to the plant.
His concerns were underscored on Sunday when officials in Japan announced higher levels of radiation in pools of water at the facility’s stricken reactors.
The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said that water seeping out of the crippled No. 2 reactor building into the adjacent turbine building contained levels of radioactive iodine 134 that were about 10 million times the level normally found in water used inside nuclear power plants.
The higher levels may suggest a leak from the reactor’s fuel rods — from either the suppression chamber under the rods or various piping — or even a breach in the pressure vessel that houses the rods, the Japanese nuclear regulator said.
Tetsuo Iguchi, a professor in the department of quantum engineering at Nagoya University, said that at that level of radiation, workers would be able to remain on site for only about 15 minutes before health considerations required them to leave, further complicating work.
“First, Tokyo Electric has to figure out where the leak is coming from,” he said, “then they’ve got to isolate the water somehow. It’s a difficult task.”
Tests also found increased levels of radioactive cesium, a substance with a longer half-life, the Japanese safety agency said.
“Because these substances originate from nuclear fission, there is a high possibility they originate from the reactor,” said Hidehiko Nishiyama, the agency’s deputy director-general, at a news conference. He said that it was likely that radiation was leaking from the pipes or the suppression chamber, and not directly from the pressure vessel, because water levels and pressure in the vessel were relatively stable.
Mr. Nishiyama also said that radioactive iodine in seawater just outside the plant had risen to 1,850 times the usual level on Sunday, up from 1,250 on Saturday.
“Radiation levels are increasing and measures need to be taken,” he said, but added that he did not think there was need to worry about high levels of radiation immediately escaping the plant.
Yukio Edano, the chief cabinet secretary, said he did not think the pressure vessel, which cases the fuel rods, was broken at the No. 2 reactor. He said pressure levels inside the reactor remained higher than atmospheric pressure, suggesting that there was no breach.
“I don’t think the container is breached, but there is a possibility the water is coming from somewhere inside the reactor,” he said. “We want to find out as quickly as possible where the highly radioactive water is leaking from, and take measures to deal with it,” Mr. Edano said on a live interview on the public broadcaster, NHK, early Sunday.
Naoto Sekimura, a professor of engineering at the University of Tokyo, told NHK on Sunday that information suggested that the No. 2 unit at Fukushima was leaking significantly more radiation that the No. 1 unit or the No. 3 unit.
“The No. 2 unit’s suppression pool, which connects to the containment building, is damaged, so its ability to contain radiation has been compromised,” Mr. Sekimura said. “They’ve got to find the source of the leak.”
Separately, the I.A.E.A., citing data from the Japanese authorities, reported that two of three workers who were exposed to radioactive water on Saturday suffered “significant skin contamination over their legs.”
“The Japanese authorities have stated that during medical examinations carried out at the National Institute of Radiological Sciences in the Chiba Prefecture, the level of local exposure to the workers’ legs was estimated to be between 2 and 6 sieverts,” the I.A.E.A. said on its Web site.
“While the patients did not require medical treatment, doctors decided to keep them in hospital and monitor their progress over coming days.”
The elevated levels of radiation at and around the Fukushima plant will require careful monitoring of seafood in Japan, said Kimberlee J. Kearfott, a professor of nuclear engineering and radiological sciences at the University of Michigan.
“It is extremely important that seafood be carefully monitored,” she said in an e-mail. “This is because many of the radionuclides are concentrated in the environment,” she added. “For example, iodines are concentrated in kelp (a Japanese food, seaweed) and shrimp.
“Iodines, cesium and strontium are concentrated in other types of seafood,” she continued. “Fish can act like tea or coffee presses. When you push down the plungers, the grounds all end up on one side. In this case, that is the fish.”
She said an example of this phenomenon occurred after the Chernobyl disaster, when specific radionuclides were concentrated far away in Norwegian lichens. Reindeer ate the lichens, concentrating it again, a danger to the native peoples whose diet includes a large amount of reindeer meat.
William J. Broad reported from New York, and David Jolly from Tokyo. Reporting was contributed by David E. Sanger from Palo Alto, Calif., Hiroko Tabuchi and Chika Ohshima from Tokyo, and Kevin Drew from Hong Kong.
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http://singlemindedwomen.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/japan-nuclear-meltdown-430x297.jpgThe New York Times...
Higher Radiation Levels Found at Japanese Reactor
First Breaking News...
MASSIVE QUAKE HITS JAPAN
Tokyo (CNN) -- An 8.8-magnitude earthquake hit Japan early Friday, triggering tsunami alerts and sending people fleeing out of buildings in the capital. The quake rattled buildings and toppled cars off bridges and into waters underneath.
In Tokyo, crowds huddled together and tried to reach relatives via cell phone. Its epicenter was 373 kilometers (231 miles) from Tokyo, the United States Geological Survey said. It triggered a tsunami alert for various countries, the National Weather Service said.
March 11, 2011 5:35 a.m. EST
Tokyo (CNN) -- An 8.9-magnitude earthquake hit northern Japan on Friday, triggering tsunamis and sending a massive wave filled with debris that included boats and houses inching toward land.
The number of fatalities was unclear, but Japan's Kyodo news reported at least 10 killed and numerous injured.
The quake prompted at least 20 countries and numerous Pacific islands to issue tsunami warnings. It was followed by powerful aftershocks that were felt in capital of Tokyo.
At Tokyo Station, one of Japan's busiest subway stations, people grabbed each other to steady themselves. Children cried. An announcement over the station loudspeaker warned commuters to remain underground.
With bus and train lines interrupted, workers and children poured into the streets after offices and schools were closed.
Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan appealed for calm and said there were no reported leaks of radioactive materials from power plants.
Firefighters battled a blaze at an oil refinery in Chiba prefecture near Tokyo.
"This was larger than anyone expected and went on longer than anyone expected," said Matt Alt in Tokyo.
"My wife was the calm one ... she told us to get down and put your back on something, and leave the windows and doors open in case a building shifts so you don't get trapped."
Richard Lloyd Parry said when the quake struck, he looked through a window and saw buildings shaking from side to side.
Such a large earthquake at such a shallow depth creates a lot of energy, said Shenza Chen of the U.S. Geological Survey.
A tsunami is sweeping across the Pacific Ocean, with a wall of water heading toward at more than a dozen countries.
An earthquake of that size can generate dangerous tsunamis to coasts outside the source region, the National Weather Service said.
Humanitarian agencies were working with rescue crews to reach the people affected.
"When such an earthquake impacts a developed country like Japan, our concern also turns to countries like the Philippines and Indonesia, which might not have the same resources," said Rachel Wolff, a spokeswoman for World Vision.
In Philippines alone, the tsunami is expected to hit in the early morning and the government has ordered the evacuation of 19 provinces along the coast, which could affect hundreds of thousands of people
Authorities in at least 20 countries and numerous Pacific islands issued tsunami warnings, the National Weather Service said.
The tsunami could cause damage "along coastlines of all islands in the state of Hawaii," warned the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. "Urgent action should be taken to protect lives and property."
Tsunamis are a series of long ocean waves that can last five to 15 minutes and cause extensive flooding in coastal areas. A succession of waves can hit -- often the highest not being the first, said CNN meteorologist Ivan Cabrera.
A day earlier, a 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck off of Honshu, the country's meteorological agency said.
CNN's Kyung Lah, Faith Karimi and Kevin Voigt contributed to this report.
March 12 2011 - 3:38PM PT -
CNN's reporting two "MAJOR" aftershocks. Tsunami alerts reinstated.
March 12 2011 - 11:07PM PT -
Japan upgrades magnitude of killer earthquake to 9.0; USGS keeps number at 8.9.
March 13 2011 - 2:52PM PT
Here is what I think is, thus far, the most horrifying video (no, no dead or dying people) of what the tsunami looked like, taken from someone who had time to get up to higher ground and watch the town around him get destroyed.
Just picked it up from Sean Bonner, on Twitter...
seanbonner Sean Bonner
Seriously, this first person Tsunami video is one of the scariest things I've ever seen.
[Scroll down -- if you're set with oldest to newest -- to see new photos and videos, along with updated news]
http://cbskllc.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/japan-earthquake-today-tsunami-warning.jpg?w=311&h=337First Breaking News...
MASSIVE QUAKE HITS JAPAN
Tokyo (CNN) -- An... more
Press TV launched today on the Eurobird Satellite 28.5 East. Viewers in the United Kingdom watching on BSkyB can watch the channel on 515. The channel is broadcasting Free-To-Air and does not require a subscription to Sky.
Japan are also due to launch NHK International in the United Kingdom. Digital Satellite Viewers can watch it before it launches on BSkyB
Press key in this order via remote.
Services - 4 - 4
Then add the following details
11.680 V Sr 27500 Fec 2/3
Highlight find channels and press select
Highlight 51108 from list and press the Yellow key then select
Channel is stored
To access press
Services - 9 then select 51108Press TV launched today on the Eurobird Satellite 28.5 East. Viewers in the United... more