Earthquake 3/11/11

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Mar 16th, '11, 22:46
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Re: Earthquake 3/11/11

by entropyembrace » Mar 16th, '11, 22:46

The temperature is dropping below freezing and it´s snowing over much of northern Japan where the earthquake and tsunami damage is the worst. This is very bad for people still trapped under the rubble and those left homeless. :cry:

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Mar 16th, '11, 23:43
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Re: Earthquake 3/11/11

by kymidwife » Mar 16th, '11, 23:43

Just a word of caution to add to the gloom of this disaster... investigate the legitimacy of charities before donating. Huckabee Report today said over 400 fraudulent charities for this disaster have already been shut down. FBI has issued similar warnings. ... ?track=rss

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Mar 16th, '11, 23:50
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Re: Earthquake 3/11/11

by Chip » Mar 16th, '11, 23:50

Entropye... wrote:The temperature is dropping below freezing and it´s snowing over much of northern Japan where the earthquake and tsunami damage is the worst. This is very bad for people still trapped under the rubble and those left homeless. :cry:
Ugh, that is really bad news.
kymidwife wrote:Just a word of caution to add to the gloom of this disaster... investigate the legitimacy of charities before donating. Huckabee Report today said over 400 fraudulent charities for this disaster have already been shut down. FBI has issued similar warnings. ... ?track=rss
Thanks Sarah. That really sucks! But does this surprise anyone, really?

Sadly, I have been considering running a TC fund raising event for the victims and even did some pre prep for it, but I have shied away due to reports like this. I have done a bunch of these (non TC) over the years including a very successful one for an organization we belong to for 9/11, very rewarding. The focus was getting virtually 0% admin and 100% to the needed charities.

So many even legal charities take so much out for admin that little is left for the actual need ...

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Mar 17th, '11, 00:06
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Re: Earthquake 3/11/11

by bagua7 » Mar 17th, '11, 00:06


If in the end you decide to set up a charity for the Japanese quake/tsunami disaster via TC, please let us know because I'd like to contribute.



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Mar 17th, '11, 00:29
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Re: Earthquake 3/11/11

by Xell » Mar 17th, '11, 00:29

For TC members who want to help probably would be best to transfer directly to people living in Japan, who can then transfer to town hall. Here in Nagayo people doing this already. Also i heard that ship with food and cloth already going to those places from Nagasaki.

Government is really slow, most biggest problem now that they simply can't reach people in need.

Some good news too, i'm reading russian nuclear physicist forum. Message appeared from people over there (i mean people who went to Japan to help out), that barely, but situation is under control. Biggest problem is 4 reactor with spent fuel. Let's hope it's true and nothing serious happens actually.

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Mar 17th, '11, 05:56
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Re: Earthquake 3/11/11

by togei » Mar 17th, '11, 05:56

Here is a blog, in English, from MIT. It is much more informative than the newspapers.

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Mar 17th, '11, 06:03
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Re: Earthquake 3/11/11

by JBaymore » Mar 17th, '11, 06:03

This is a great link on actual measured radiation levels in Ibaraki-ken (prefecture) that one of my friends on Facebook posted. Ibaraki is even closer to Fukashima-ken than the Tokyo-to area. It is almost all in Japanese......but you likely can figure out what you are looking at if you can't read anything.

The number charts are pretty clear even if you don't read Japanese.



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Mar 17th, '11, 06:51
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Re: Earthquake 3/11/11

by togei » Mar 17th, '11, 06:51

Great site, John.
The following is from William D. O'Neil, posted to the NBR list. I didn't ask him if I could post this here but I don't think there will be a problem passing it along.
It deals with radiation levels. It is a little more detailed and should show, while the situation is not normal. the press coverage is lacking in detail.

Begin paste,

It may be helpful to say a few words about
radiation dose measurements. The standard unit of
measurement is the sievert (abbreviated Sv).
There is a pretty good article at . The basic
point to remember is that a measurement in
sieverts tells us how much total dose would be
absorbed per unit of mass by a human in that
position. For instance, a dose of 1 Sv is enough
to make you sick, although you would probably
recover without gross ill effects.

(For the benefit of those who were introduced to
radiation more than twenty or thirty years ago is
may be helpful to note that 1 Sv = 100 rem.)

Most of the reporting about radiation in
connection with Fukushima is in terms of the
_rate_ of dosage accumulation, usually reported
in millisieverts per hour, mSv/h, meaning
thousandths of a sievert per hour. Some is in
microsieverts per hour, meaning millionths of a
sievert per hour. (The standard symbol for
microsievert involves the Greek letter mu, µ,
which may not always reproduce well in email, so
I use mmSv, for milli-millisievert.) The peak
rate so far reported at the plant perimeter is
about 12 mSv/h. It's alarming in the sense that
exposure to this for four days would make you
quite ill. But that was a brief spike and it
seems clear that so far no one outside the plant
perimeter has been exposed enough to be a really major source of worry.

There is word now that the exposure limit for the
workers struggling to contain the damage in the
plant has been raised to 250 mSv. How serious is
this? It is certainly very high relative to the
typical radiation burden from natural background
sources such as cosmic rays and naturally
occurring radionuclides -- roughly 100 years
worth for people living in most places. But there
are places on earth where rates of 250 mSv per
year occur naturally and have throughout human
history, without any notable ill effects on the
local population. So an exposure of 250 mSv may
not be too bad, especially since I'm sure that
they will take all the protective steps. One
problem is that it does not need much margin in
case a person comes down with some unrelated
disease that requires high-dose radiation
treatment. Certainly, anyone who is exposed at
such a level should never be allowed to work near a nuclear plant again.

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Mar 17th, '11, 10:51
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Re: Earthquake 3/11/11

by Robert Fornell » Mar 17th, '11, 10:51

Thanks Dave and John for those 3 great posts especially the ones from MIT and Ibaraki.

Hope all's well with you and yours.

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Mar 17th, '11, 12:57
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Re: Earthquake 3/11/11

by iannon » Mar 17th, '11, 12:57

Just an FYI for those of you on Comcast/Xfinity CDV Phone service that have friends or loved ones in Japan. Just got word that they are making all international calls to Japan free thru April 10th and retro'd back to March 11th if you have been calling already

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Mar 17th, '11, 19:02
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Re: Earthquake 3/11/11

by Robert Fornell » Mar 17th, '11, 19:02

This off Facebook by a gentleman who sat in on a conference at the British embassy.
Japan Nuclear Update - British Embassy
by Paul Atkinson on Tuesday, March 15, 2011 at 2:55am

I have just returned from a conference call held at the British Embassy in Tokyo. The call was concerning the nuclear issue in Japan. The chief spokesman was Sir. John Beddington, Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Government, and he was joined by a number of qualified nuclear experts based in the UK. Their assessment of the current situation in Japan is as follows:

* In case of a 'reasonable worst case scenario' (defined as total meltdown of one reactor with subsequent radioactive explosion) an exclusion zone of 30 km would be the maximum required to avoid affecting peoples' health. Even in a worse situation (loss of two or more reactors) it is unlikely that the damage would be significantly more than that caused by the loss of a single reactor.

* The current 20km exclusion zone is appropriate for the levels of radiation/risk currently experienced, and if the pouring of sea water can be maintained to cool the reactors, the likelihood of a major incident should be avoided. A further large quake with tsunami could lead to the suspension of the current cooling operations, leading to the above scenario.

* The bottom line is that these experts do not see there being a possibility of a health problem for residents in Tokyo. The radiation levels would need to be hundreds of times higher than current to cause the possibility for health issues, and that, in their opinion, is not going to happen (they were talking minimum levels affecting pregnant women and children - for normal adults the levels would need to be much higher still).

* The experts do not consider the wind direction to be material. They say Tokyo is too far away to be materially affected.

* If the pouring of water can be maintained the situation should be much improved in time, as the reactors' cores cool down.

* Information being provided by Japanese authorities is being independently monitored by a number of organizations and is deemed to be accurate, as far as measures of radioactivity levels are concerned.

* This is a very different situation from Chernobyl, where the reactor went into meltdown and the encasement, which exploded, was left to burn for weeks without any control. Even with Chernobyl, an exclusion zone of 30 km would have been adequate to protect human health. The problem was that most people became sick from eating contaminated food, crops, milk and water in the region for years afterward, as no attempt was made to measure radioactivity levels in the food supply at that time or warn people of the dangers. The secrecy over the Chernobyl explosion is in contrast to the very public coverage of the Fukushima crisis.

* The Head of the British School asked if the school should remain closed. The answer was there is no need to close the school due to fears of radiation. There may well be other reasons - structural damage or possible new quakes - but the radiation fear is not supported by scientific measures, even for children.

* Regarding Iodine supplementation, the experts said this was only necessary for those who had inhaled quantities of radiation (those in the exclusion zone or workers on the site) or through consumption of contaminated food/water supplies. Long term consumption of iodine is, in any case, not healthy.

The discussion was surprisingly frank and to the point. The conclusion of the experts is that the damage caused by the earthquake and tsunami, as well as the subsequent aftershocks, was much more of an issue than the fear of radiation sickness from the nuclear plants.

Let's hope the experts are right!
Last edited by Robert Fornell on Mar 18th, '11, 00:13, edited 1 time in total.

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Mar 17th, '11, 19:30
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Re: Earthquake 3/11/11

by JBaymore » Mar 17th, '11, 19:30

Robert, no problem. Doitashimashite.

I want to share some stuff I heard on the "news" here with everyone........

So...... this morning I heard a news report that had a Japanese-American reporter located neat the Fukashima power plants talking about the radiation situation there. The "premise" of the piece was that she wanted to go to a doctor to check on the possible impacts of the radiation on her own health.

So she goes to the Japanese doctor (who just happens to also speak fluent English) and they the tape some of the conversation. The reporter is trying her best to get the doctor to explain how horrible the radiation risk all is. The doctor is calmly explaining that while she is of course concerned what MIGHT happen, at the moment it is not all that much of an issue outside the power plant ground themselves. The reporter is clearly not satisfied with this calm approach, and keeps pressing the issue. The doctor explains the importance of taking care of her patients in the hospital, and that she must also assure them that the problem is not all that serious yet. The reporter sort of does the "your a doctor...aren't you concerned" bit yet again... and the doctor says of course she is concerned, but the numbers are not that bad now.

So the reporter kind of ends the conversation sounding a bit deflated, and explains that she wanted to now go to one of the radiation scanning stations near the plant to check out her actual radiation exposure. They again play the taped audio....and she explains what she is experiencing.....since the techs obvously are all speaking only Japanese. They scan her with a geiger wand, read out the numbers, and the reporter is saying she is nervous since the geiger counter is making noise and the meter is moving upward "toward the red zone". The upshot at the end is that there is absolutely nothing to be concerned about and that the most they suggested is her maybe washing off the soles of her shoes. She is clearly not happy with this.... (an incredulous "That's It!)...... and asks them to give her a face mask.

In the audio background I am listening to the techs Japanese audio through the voice over... and one of them is saying sort of disparaginglly to/at her, "Lady, there is NO problem." (That was not translated into English.)

This afternoon on the same station I heard the first "crack" in the "doom and gloom....we're all gonna die" reporting bit on the radiation issue I have heard yet here in the western press. I cannot remember the name of the person they were interviewing, but she was from an international science organization (she was American). Once again the reporter was trying to lead in the direction of "isn't it all awful". The interviewee did not take the bait. In fact she fired back an eloquent and (I think) well reasoned broadside.

This lady did not pull any punches. She basically said that most Americans that think significant levels of radiation from the current situation in Japan are going to get to this country (including Hawaii) are absolutely crazy. She said it thay way.... "crazy".

The reporter pushed her to ask about if it was not prudent to heed the American warnings about a 50 mile radius versus the Japanese approach to the smaller evacuation zone and just "head for the hills".

This person then said she wanted to explain what the consequences of this "head for the hills" attiude is doing. She said that Americans have already bought up just about the entire stock of potassium iodide pills in America. She said that there is absolutely no reason for anyone in American to be taking them because significant radiation will not be reaching America. (The word "crazy" came up again.) And that by so doing, Americans who have done this have taken potentially valuable stock of these pills off the market for people in Japan who MIGHT actually NEEED those pills to augment the existing Japanese stockpiles.

She then also said that the dispute about the range of the evacuation zone was also an issue that needed to be looked at in a big picture way. She said that Americans have the luxury of not having to move many people out in that kind of larger zone; the japanese don't. And that everyone seems to be just about forgeting that the radiation issue is the most minor part of the devestation and displacement that the earthquake and tsunami have caused. That to add a huge displacement of more refugees out of the evacuation zone right now will cause more hardship and deaths than keeping them right where they are (indoors)...... given the actual readings outside the confines of the actual plant grounds.

Anyway....... just some more perspectives on all this mess for what it is worth.



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Mar 17th, '11, 20:29
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Re: Earthquake 3/11/11

by JBaymore » Mar 17th, '11, 20:29

Powerful reminder of the OTHER part of the disaster in Japan: ... ndai-japan



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Mar 18th, '11, 06:19
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Re: Earthquake 3/11/11

by David R. » Mar 18th, '11, 06:19

Here is a french blog where artists show drawings which will be sold. Benefits will be given to give2asia. Some of them are really stunning.

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Mar 18th, '11, 12:23
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Re: Earthquake 3/11/11

by rdl » Mar 18th, '11, 12:23

if we look at human nature - facts and figures are just not what we crave - it's fear and the emotional.
and the dark side is nuclear reactors and energy. so i fully understand the media's use of the gloom and doom. and just maybe this heightens our response to tragedy. if you recall there was an earlier sendai earthquake, the week before march 11th, that was felt as far as tokyo. but without the destruction nobody paid attention to it.
in january the volcano in kyushu erupted - ... ights.html
causing ash clouds and evacuations. still not enough.
i know 3/11 is a once in a thousand year event, but it is also one that reaches so deep and shakes up to act, with compassion, with fraudulent schemes, with gloom and doom, with genuine fear. the duality of nature.
caveat emptor was coined long ago.

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