Archive for March 12th, 2011
CNN on the brutal power of nature:
The powerful earthquake that unleashed a devastating tsunami Friday appears to have moved the main island of Japan by 8 feet (2.4 meters) and shifted the Earth on its axis.
“At this point, we know that one GPS station moved (8 feet), and we have seen a map from GSI (Geospatial Information Authority) in Japan showing the pattern of shift over a large area is consistent with about that much shift of the land mass,” said Kenneth Hudnut, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).
Reports from the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology in Italy estimated the 8.9-magnitude quake shifted the planet on its axis by nearly 4 inches (10 centimeters).
The temblor, which struck Friday afternoon near the east coast of Japan, killed hundreds of people, caused the formation of 30-foot walls of water that swept across rice fields, engulfed entire towns, dragged houses onto highways, and tossed cars and boats like toys. Some waves reached six miles (10 kilometers) inland in Miyagi Prefecture on Japan’s east coast.
The quake was the most powerful to hit the island nation in recorded history and the tsunami it unleashed traveled across the Pacific Ocean, triggering tsunami warnings and alerts for 50 countries and territories as far away as the western coasts of Canada, the U.S. and Chile. The quake triggered more than 160 aftershocks in the first 24 hours — 141 measuring 5.0-magnitude or more.
The quake occurred as the Earth’s crust ruptured along an area about 250 miles (400 kilometers) long by 100 miles (160 kilometers) wide, as tectonic plates slipped more than 18 meters…
Mercifully not a very important one… at least not in my opinion:
… an expert worried that it might be sold for scrap.
See, even the thieves possibly think so.
The LA Times is reporting:
Japan — An explosion at a nuclear power station tore down the walls of one building Saturday as smoke poured out and Japanese officials said they feared the reactor could melt down following the failure of its cooling system in a powerful earthquake and tsunami.
It was not clear if the damaged building housed the reactor. Tokyo Power Electric Co., the utility that runs the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant, said four workers were injured but details were not immediately available.
Footage on Japanese TV showed that the walls of one building had crumbled, leaving only a skeletal metal frame standing. Puffs of smoke were spewing out of the plant.
“We are now trying to analyze what is behind the explosion,” said government spokesman Yukio Edano, stressing that people should quickly evacuate a six-mile radius. “We ask everyone to take action to secure safety.”
Japan has declared states of emergency for five nuclear reactors at two power plants after the units lost cooling ability.
The most troubled one is facing meltdown, officials have said…
Russia Today has this news video:
They are saying that should it reach full meltdown, the results would devastating even for Korea, China and Russia, on a scale 10 times worse than that of Chernobyl!
Dear Lord… Let us continue in prayer!
UPDATE I: Nuclear accident shakes Japan
Japan is facing an unprecedented nuclear emergency after a major uranium leak.
Radiation levels at the Tokaimura nuclear fuel-processing plant in north-east Japan are 15,000 times higher than normal.
The authorities have warned thousands of residents near the site of the accident to stay indoors and to wash off any rain that falls on them.
“There is a strong possibility that abnormal reactions are continuing within the facility,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiromu Nonaka told an emergency news conference. “There are concerns about radiation in the surrounding areas.”
He said that it was very likely that there had been a “criticality incident” at the plant.
Criticality is the point at which a nuclear chain reaction becomes self-sustaining.
“The situation is one our country has never experienced,” Mr Nonaka said.
Three workers from the plant have been taken to hospital and hundreds have been forced to leave their homes.
One of the three workers in hospital is reported to be in a serious condition, suffering from continuous vomiting.
Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi has set up an emergency task force to tackle the accident.
A government request for help from US military forces in Japan for help was turned down. The US said its forces were not equipped to handle such accidents[!]
The above and more is in the BBC.
UPDATE II: Russia Today, again… Japan Nuclear Disaster Meltdown Radioactive Material in Atmosphere
There’s now even talk of the apocalypse…