March 16, Wednesday - 6

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March 16, Wednesday - Day 6

snow in my valley -
what are my poor neighbours
doing right now?

We woke up to snow and very cold wind in our mountains.
Just thinking of the people up in the North is painful.

Yesterday, about 300 people from a village trying to evacuate the radiation area had a hard time to find a shelter that would accomodate them (most of them elderly) and had to settle down after being refused about 5 times, finally in various places, families being separated in the chaos.

What will the radiation diaster bring today?

Japan now faces three problems:



Earthquake M 5.7 in the morning at 5:30
2011年3月16日 5時34分 : マグニチュード 5.7

Felt as quake strenght 3 in the south of Chiba.


Geiger Counter morning in Tokyo : 18.42 cpm

Rolling blackouts in Kanto continue.
The zones includes some 330,000 households in a number of municipalities in the Kanto region, including Yokohama and Kawasaki.

. . . . . at 11:00
White ?smoke ?steam is leaking from the Fukushima Power plant Reactor Nr. 5, they do not know what it is. It needs cooling water, but that can not be provided.

. . . . . at 12:30
More earthquakes along the coast, but no new tsunami.
We watch the devastated areas now under a load of snow, it looks eerie . . .

. . . . . at 12:50
Earthquake M 5 rattles off Ibaraki, close to Tokyo.

Just watching TV is scary right now, every few minutes
an earthquake warning
DING DONG ... Red Alert ... DING DONG

. . . . . at 13:00
Earthquake M 6:0, off the coast of Chiba, close to Tokyo

. . . . . at 13:20
Earthquake M 5.6, off Fukushima coast

. . . . . at 15:33
Earthquake M 5.6, off Iwate coast

. . . . . at 21:00
Our home was shaken many times today, but not from an earthquake but very strong cold northern wind, almost typhoon strength. Temperatures are falling now, snowflakes outside whirling in the storm and minus four centigrade forecast for tonight in Okayama. It is minus 2 already.

Much worse cold is expected in Northern Japan. The influenza is taking its toll now on the population. Water and blankets are still not enough. One nigiri rice ball ration as food for the whole day. No hot soup for many of the shelters yet.


Bulletins from NHK online

source : www3.nhk.or.jp

Tuesday, March 15, 2011 04:27
A company official said at a news conference on Tuesday that the level of cooling
water is now too low to measure.

He indicated that the fuel rods
may have overheated and begun melting.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011 02:28
A strong earthquake hit eastern Shizuoka Prefecture in central Japan on Tuesday night.
Japan's Meteorological Agency says the focus of the quake was in eastern Shizuoka Prefecture and it struck at 10:31 PM Tuesday, local time.
The quake had an estimated depth of 14 kilometers with a magnitude upgraded from 6 to 6.4.
The agency says there may be slight changes in sea levels but there's no need to worry about tidal damage.
Fujinomiya City in Shizuoka Prefecture was struck with an intensity of 6-plus on the Japanese scale of zero to 7. The quake was felt across the Tokyo and Tohoku areas.
The agency says there is a possibility that aftershocks with an intensity of 5-minus to 5-plus could occur within a week.
The Meteorological Agency has denied any link between the strong earthquake that struck central Japan on Tuesday night and Friday's massive quake in the country's northeast. It added that the latest earthquake was not related to a much-feared major quake expected to hit central Japan.
He said the latest earthquake did not occur within the anticipated area of the expected major quake in central Japan.
The official said the mechanism of the plate tectonics in Tuesday's earthquake was different from that of the expected major quake.
He said measurement devices around the anticipated zone of the possible major quake show no prominent change in the ground stress levels.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011 03:04
Tokyo Electric Power has found it difficult to spray water from a helicopter to cool down a storage pool for spent nuclear fuel inside the No.4 reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
If the reactor can't be cooled, the fuel rods may emit hydrogen or melt down. Tokyo Electric Power considering pouring water onto the storage pool in the containment vessel through a hole on the roof created by the blast.
Workers are currently unable to approach the storage pool due to the high radiation levels. Tokyo Electric Company is studying the possibility of using fire engines and other options to inject water into the reactor.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011 07:34
The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency says the coolant level has fallen in the No.5 reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
The Agency says it can adjust the water levels by using the No.6 reactor's generator, which wasn't damaged by the tsunami. Workers are currently pumping water into the No.5 and No.6 reactors.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011 10:12
Tokyo Electric Power Company said early on Wednesday that a fire had broken out at one of the reactor buildings at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The same building was the scene of a fire the day before.
The utility says a worker spotted flames at around 5:45 AM near the northwestern corner of the building that houses the No. 4 reactor.
The company says workers cannot get any closer to the spot because the radiation level is higher there.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011 10:25
Radioactivity forecast system down
A computer system that forecasts the spread of radioactivity has not been working due to malfunctioning monitoring posts around a troubled nuclear power plant in quake-hit Fukushima Prefecture.
The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency says it does not know when the system will be back in operation.
The system, called SPEEDI, predicts how radioactive substances will spread in case of radiation leakage from nuclear power plants, based on measurements taken at various locations, prevailing winds and other weather conditions.
SPEEDI data are intended to be used to draw up evacuation plans for residents around power plants in case of accidents.
The system is monitored at government offices, including the industry ministry and the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency in Tokyo.
Friday's earthquake caused power outages around the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
The agency says it cannot expect the SPEEDI system to function fully, since many monitoring posts are not operating due to power outages.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011 11:52
Some European airlines are re-routing flights to Narita Airport near Tokyo to other airports in Japan, apparently out of concern about radiation leaks from the nuclear power plant in Fukushima Prefecture.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011 12:42
Japan's top government spokesperson says the radiation level at the quake-hit nuclear power plant in Fukushima Prefecture, north of Tokyo, rose briefly on Wednesday morning.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano told reporters on Wednesday the level of radiation near the front gate of the Daiichi plant started to rise around 10:00 AM, but was falling as of 10:54 AM.He said what appeared to be white smoke was detected near the Number Three reactor at around 8:30 AM, but it's not clear if there's a link between the smoke and the increased radiation.
Edano said the temporary rise could have been due to radioactive vapor in the smoke.
Edano also revealed that the reading was over 1,000 microsieverts at one time on Tuesday night, and around 600 to 800 microsieverts before it showed a drastic increase.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011 14:02
The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency told reporters on Wednesday that the level of radiation near the plant's main gate rose to 10 millisieverts per hour at 10:40 AM, but dropped to 2.7 millisieverts per hour within 30 minutes.
The agency said the radiation increase prompted workers at the plant to temporarily evacuate.
The agency said Tokyo Electric Power Company suspects that the increase was caused by the Number Two reactor. The reactor's pressure control facility, called the suppression pool, has been damaged.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011 17:58
Japan's science ministry has observed radiation levels of up to 0.33 millisieverts per hour in areas about 20 kilometers northwest of the quake-damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
Experts say exposure to such radiation for 3 hours would result in absorption of 1 millisievert, or the maximum considered safe for 1 year.
The ministry gauged radiation levels for 10 minutes from 8:40 PM local time on Tuesday at 3 places in Fukushima Prefecture, whose residents are being instructed to stay indoors. The measurements produced readings as low as 0.22 millisieverts per hour.
It is not known whether these levels have changed since the measurements.
A former chief of the Radiation Effects Research Foundation, Shigenobu Nagataki, said radiation at such levels does not immediately affect human health. But he said that if such levels continue to be observed, authorities must review ways to evacuate people.
The ministry said it also observed maximum radiation levels of 0.0253 millisieverts in areas 30 to 60 kilometers from the plant on Wednesday morning. The levels are slightly higher than normal.

. . . . . Bulletins other than reactor

Wednesday, March 16, 2011 03:04
Quake deaths, missing exceed 10,000
The number of dead and missing from Friday's massive earthquake and tsunami in northeastern Japan has exceeded 10,000. This is the first time since World War Two that Japan has recorded so many victims in a natural disaster.
Police say 3,373 deaths have been confirmed so far, and 7,558 people remain unaccounted for.
In Miyagi Prefecture, 1,619 deaths have been confirmed, and 2,011 people remain missing. In Minami-sanriku Town, roughly 1,000 bodies have been discovered. Around 8,000 people, or nearly half the town's population, are missing.
Police have found several hundred bodies on the beaches of the Oshika Peninsula.
In Onagawa Town on the peninsula, about 5,000 people, or half the population, remain unaccounted for.
Iwate Prefecture has 1,193 confirmed deaths and 3,318 missing. A total of 373 deaths have been confirmed in the cities of Rikuzen-takata and Ofunato. Rikuzen-takata has 1,282 missing.
Fukushima Prefecture has confirmed 506 deaths and 2,220 missing. In Namie Town, the whereabouts of around 900 residents remain unknown.
Over 440,000 people are in 2,400 shelters in northeastern and central prefectures. Some shelters have yet to receive food and water and other essential supplies.
Relief efforts are being hampered by a shortage of fuel for trucks and ambulances.

Aftershocks are continuing in quake-stricken areas of Japan, while temperatures dropped to around freezing early on Wednesday morning.
On the Pacific coast of northeast and central Japan, more than 200 aftershocks of magnitude five or higher have occurred since Friday.
Japan's Meteorological Agency says strong aftershocks are likely to continue, and near the epicenter, the intensity could reach 6-minus to 6-plus on the Japanese scale of zero to 7.
Snow began falling on Tuesday night in many parts of the devastated area. The winter pressure pattern is expected to strengthen, bringing chilly weather until Friday.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011 07:34
TEPCO Tokyo Electric Power Company is expected to continue power outages for a third day on Wednesday in most areas. Tohoku Electric Power will also begin power cuts, except the areas in northeastern Japan that were severely affected by Friday's earthquake.
Tokyo Electric Power says there will be blackouts in several prefectures neighboring Tokyo, excluding areas affected by the quake, from 6:20 AM to 10:00 PM. Most of Ibaraki Prefecture and parts of Chiba and Tochigi prefectures will be excluded. In some areas, power may be cut twice.
On Tuesday, 5 million households were affected by the outages.
The company says it cannot meet the peak evening demand of 38 million kilowatts of electricity, and will only be able to supply 33 million kilowatts.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011 08:11
The number of dead and missing from Friday's massive earthquake and tsunami in northeastern Japan has exceeded 11,000.
This is the first time since World War Two that Japan has recorded so many victims in a natural disaster.
Police say 3,676 deaths have been confirmed so far, and 7,558 people remain unaccounted for.
Relief efforts are being hampered by a shortage of fuel for trucks and ambulances.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011 15:09
The US-based General Electric Company, or GE, will send 10 gas turbine generators to Japan to help replace power generating capacity lost when nuclear reactors were damaged in Friday's mega-quake.
GE said on Tuesday it was sending the generators on request from Tokyo Electric Power Company, which is struggling with a nuclear crisis at its Daiichi plant in Fukushima Prefecture. GE manufactured 2 of the plant's 6 reactors.
GE said 3 of the 10 gas turbine generators have been moved to Florida ahead of being flown to Japan.
The company said it is also offering technological assistance to Japan through a joint venture set up with Japanese electronics-maker Hitachi.
. . . . . and
Japan's Foreign Ministry has received inquiries about 500 foreign nationals missing since Friday's earthquake.
The ministry also noted that some countries are urging their citizens to leave Japan or refrain from visiting due to the series of nuclear accidents in the disaster zone.
(GABI : Many foreigners are trying to leave and are stranded at Narita airport.)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011 19:20

Emperor delivers message to people over quake

Japan's Emperor Akihito has delivered a video message to express sympathy for people affected by Friday's devastating earthquake and call for concerted efforts to overcome hardships.
The speech on Wednesday was the first in which the Emperor expressed his feelings on video.
He said the death toll has been increasing daily and that it is not clear how far it will rise. He said he hopes the safety of as many people as possible is confirmed.
He expressed deep concern about the situation of the quake-hit nuclear power plant in Fukushima Prefecture, and said he hopes related people's efforts will prevent the situation from worsening.
The Emperor said he hopes from his heart that all people will pull together and care for each other to survive during this difficult time.
He expressed a wish that affected people will never give up hope and will take care of themselves to continue their lives.
The Emperor also expressed hope that everyone in the country will continue to monitor the process of rebuilding affected areas.


Voices from around

Toyota output reduction may top 40,000 vehicles amid power crisis
Toyota Motor Corp. may lose output of at least 40,000 vehicles after Friday's 9.0-magnitude earthquake damaged factories and crippled nuclear power plants, which led to electricity shortages.
Toyota had closed 12 plants across the nation through Wednesday, said spokeswoman Shiori Hashimoto.
Sony Corp. and Toshiba Corp. also shut plants following the earthquake and tsunami.
"Not only is the struck region one of our production bases, those directly hit and vastly affected include our dealers, suppliers and numerous other partners," Toyota President Akio Toyoda said in a statement on the company's website.
source : japantimes.co.jp

Through the shaking, Japan comes together
For centuries, Japan had operated on the unvoiced logic that the only certainty in this world is disaster — specifically, tensai (天災, heavenly disaster). Four centuries ago, Edo (江戸, Old Tokyo) citizens said to each other that they had four major things to fear: jishin (地震, earthquakes), kaminari (雷, lightning), kaji (火事, fire) and oyaji (親父, fathers).
These four were the major culprits to wreak havoc but at the same time there was little anyone could do to prevent them. Jishin heads off the list as a matter of course — accordingly, Tokyoites approach earthquakes with a particular mindset.
First off, they are prepared.
source : japantimes.co.jp

Tepco, Toshiba, JR East May Be Among Most Hurt by Earthquake
Tokyo Electric, battling to avoid a meltdown at its Fukushima nuclear plant, faces “severe” rebuilding costs and Toshiba’s nuclear business may see increased scrutiny, said Minoru Matsuno, president of Value Search Asset Management Co. in Tokyo.
“For Tokyo Electric and anything nuclear-related, it’s going to be pretty bad,” said Makoto Kikuchi, chief executive officer at Myojo Asset Management Japan Co., a Tokyo-based hedge fund advisory firm. “The biggest fear I have is what will happen at the nuclear power plant as it would be a real disaster if the situation deteriorates into another Chernobyl.”
Prime Minister Naoto Kan ordered Toshiba President Norio Sasaki to help with efforts to stop radiation leaking from the Fukushima plant, ...
Shin-Etsu, which makes the silicon wafers needed to produce semiconductors, said last week it stopped operations at its manufacturing complex in Annaka, Gunma prefecture; the Kashima Plant in Kamisu, Ibaraki prefecture; and the Shirakawa Plant in Nishigo Village, Fukushima prefecture. The company will resume operations after safety inspections and measures have been completed, it said on its website.
Sony, Japan’s largest exporter of consumer electronics, said yesterday that it’s halting production at eight factories that make products ranging from Blu-ray discs, magnetic heads and batteries. That’s two more plants than the company said on March 11. The company makes about 10 percent of the world’s laptop batteries, according to Dennis Chan, an analyst at Yuanta Financial Holding Co.
Canon, Nippon Steel, Suzuki Motor, Nippon Paper Group Inc., Nippon Suisan Kaisha Ltd., Mitsubishi Motors Corp. and convenience-store operator Lawson Inc. yesterday disclosed they were affected or were suspending operations, joining the growing number of Japanese companies from Sony to Toyota Motor Corp.
Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K. halted shipments at two refineries., JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corp.
Toyota, Nissan Motor Co. and Honda Motor Co. -- said thousands of new vehicles were damaged.
Tokyo Disney Resort will maybe shut down for three months.
Mitsui Mining & Smelting Co., Mitsubishi Materials Corp. and Dowa Holdings Co. said March 11 they stopped operations at metal smelters following the earthquake.

. . . . . and more and more and more
source : www.businessweek.com

. . . . .

More questions than answers about the
. Radioactivity measurements .  
from a friend in Germany/Soul


Haiku from Chen-ou Liu

Ishinomaki -
a baby found alive
in wood and mud

The sound of a baby’s cry amid the rubble seemed so impossible that soldiers searching a tsunami-smashed village dismissed it as a mistake.
But it came again. And they realised they had not been hearing things.
They pulled away wood and slate, dug back thick oozing mud – and there was the child they were to describe as a ‘tiny miracle’.
The four-month-old girl had been swept from her parents’ arms in the shattered village of Ishinomaki when the deadly wave crashed into the family home.
source : www.dailymail.co.uk

comments from friends :
Unbelievable! Thanks for sharing!


Haiga from kitsune miko


quote from Kuni

Basho's journey and Nuclear Plant
This is a map I made for haiga ebook of "Narrow Road to the Deep North" by Matsuo Basho. I added a blue square to the map, indicating where the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant is.
source : seehaikuhere.blogspot.com



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  1. May the peace that passes all understanding dwell within you.
    Susan D.

  2. Anonymous3/16/2011

    Anyone can rise above fear for a day and
    meet each new situation with courage.

    quote of the day

  3. Anonymous3/16/2011

    It was two thousand plus yesterday, another one thousand more deaths verified, in just a day gap is such a sad news!!! ;-(

  4. Anonymous3/16/2011

    Japan's scenes of rubble---
    they will rebuild
    they have done it before

    Fred Masarani

  5. We must look to the good that will come of this. New, more failsafe designs will come. And the world will be safer. I was reading a Newsweek today that was printed before the quake. 'Nuclear energy is part of the solution, not the solution.'
    We need nuclear energy, but more failsafe nuclear energy.

  6. Anonymous3/16/2011

    i hope you are safe... i wish you all the best moments you can find -
    Brett Brady

  7. Anonymous3/16/2011

    It is hard to find words to express the sadness I feel for Japan.
    Even in these dire circumstances the dignity of the people of Japan shines through. You are an inspiration to me. Bless all of you.
    Lisette, facebook

  8. So sad, sooo sad...

  9. Anonymous3/16/2011

    Hi, Gabi, We'll all pull together and get through all this...it will soon be a bad dream!

  10. Anonymous3/16/2011

    until these crisis end
    daily I will continue to send
    hope that Japan will mend


  11. Anonymous3/16/2011

    dear Gabi, we are in faith & hope with you & all Japanese!!

  12. shinto archway
    on either side of rubble
    a threshold

    half moon
    across the mushroom cloud
    a kneeling monk

    a quiet monastery
    so far


  13. Anonymous3/16/2011

    It's so sad my worst fears have come true.
    When I see the images of devastation on TV screen and read the gory details of massive destruction in Japan, my poetic sense is stunned. No haiku or tanka seems to be meaningful in changing the catastrophe that has struck thousands of people and changed the future course of life and economy in Japan and other countries.

    Last evening I was watching the pictures in comparision between what happened in Hiroshima and Nagasaki then and what happened now in various places following the tsunami.
    The entire humanity is on the brink of collapse, which will gradually unfold. It's time we wake up and learn to live in tune with nature.
    A friend from India

  14. Anonymous3/16/2011

    Thanks Gabi San for updating us the news after the Earthquake. Are you 1000 km up in the mountains of Okayama, when the wind blow N.E. does it affect much at your valley? Now, to have rain or not to have rain also a big problem, ya?

  15. God's hand-
    It destroys
    And helps stand up again !

  16. Twilight shadows
    The land of the rising sun
    After the earthquake.

  17. Anonymous3/17/2011

    Our prayers are with you, Gabi!

  18. Gabi..
    I find I have Japan and her people on my mind all day.....it is challenging to imagine and challenging to process....

  19. Message from a friend:
    . . . we feel very helpless.
    A disaster on a such epic scale is so awful. We are now particularly worried about the nuclear fallout for our friends in Tokyo. Please take care and if you speak to Gabi san, tell her I read her messages in Facebook every day and these are helping to understand what's happening in Japan. Through her I am starting to understand the 'spirit' of Japanese people who have a strong courage.