March 20, Sunday

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Forever 21 is the latest business to help out Japan.
The fast-fashion retailer announced 100% of Friday's online sales will benefit earthquake and tsunami relief.
Posted: March 18, 2011 at 11:30 am
source : cocoperez.com


Gabi reports:

Last night I saw a feature about Hiraizumi, the temples are all right. They had a ceremony for the dead and it was very solemn.
It was good to see this world heritage site without damage.
I still have not seen any photos of the Matsushima temples.

. Basho, Hiraizumi and the brave warrious

. . . . .

full spring moon -
rays of hope
and fear

The moon hangs there beautifully above my bamboo grove.

But they predict more flooding during this spring moon tide during the night.

. high tides to hit affected area

. . . . .

A lot has happened since I turned off ...

read my updated new reports from NHK here,

. March 19, 2011

the situation is improving !


. . . . at 5:52 / 2011年3月20日 5時52分
Earthquake M4.5 off the coast of Fukushima


. . . . at 8:40

An old woman in a shelter summed it up:

"Why did we old people survive in such large numbers,
and so many young are misisng?
We have no place to go now, no one to care for us.
We are only a burden.

I do not feel happy to have survived,
I do not feel greatful to have survived.
I would give my life for one younger person to have survived.
What shall we do now, we old people without relatives?"

Tears rolled from her eyes as she spoke with a gentle voice.


Misinformation has been a great problem.
Someone built a "Wall of Shame" with the misinterpreting of the situation in Japan by sloppy reporters or plain fear mongers.

"This Wall of Shame is being assembled by various people, many of whom are on the ground in Japan as residents, not temporarily assigned journalists, who are sick of the sensationalist, overly speculative, and just plain bad reporting that has gone on since the Tohoku quake in Japan last Friday (March 11). "
source : Journalist+Wall+of+Shame

. . . . at 12:40
More than 20000 people are either dead or missing now.

The pressure in one of the reactors is rising and will be released by letting the air out (since the water release funcion is not working). (Sorry I do not know the special words used in English.) See later NHK bulletins for 14:30.

Seems we are still waiting for a meltdown
NOT to happen.

At 16:25 they said the pressure has stabilized so far.

Geiger Counter in Tokyo : 21.47 cpm

The construction of new prefab homes started.
More than 8.800 units will be built in Iwate. The grounds of local schools are the likely places for now.

Saitama Super Arena is now holding a whole village of evacuees with 5000 people, but only to the end of this month.

Fujisaki supermarket in Sendai opened with half-filled shelves to give the people a breath of "normal life". Many wanted the fresh vegetables on display.

More than 260 aftershocks of M 5 or more have been recorded since the onset of this disaster.

They found two more living, an old woman and a child of 16, under the rubble, rather weak but alive.

. . . . at 21:07
Earthquake M 5.8 off the coast of Iwate


Bulletins from NHK Online

source : www3.nhk.or.jp

Sunday, March 20, 2011 07:40
13-hour water spraying operation ends
Firefighters ended their 13-hour water spraying operation to cool the No.3 reactor at the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant at 03:40 AM on Sunday.
The Tokyo Fire Department started the operation shortly after 2 PM on Saturday.
The firefighters had set up an unmanned vehicle in front of the reactor building. The vehicle can spray seawater from a height of 22 meters directly into a pool containing spent fuel rods. A pump vehicle supplied seawater through an 800-meter hose.
After adjusting the position of the unmanned vehicle and the direction of its spray, the firefighters left.
The unmanned operation was originally planned to continue for 7 hours. But the fire department extended it by more than 6 hours after a government taskforce asked that water be sprayed for as long as possible.
The firefighters sprayed nearly double the capacity of the spent fuel rod pool.
The fire department will discuss with the government taskforce whether to spray more water.

Sunday, March 20, 2011 09:19
Water temperature drops in fuel rod pools
The water temperature is dropping in the spent fuel rod pools of the No.5 and No.6 reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.The Tokyo Electric Power Company restored a power generator at the No.6 reactor on Saturday morning.
A backup generator at the reactor had been used since the quake to cool the spent fuel rod pools at both the No.5 and No.6 reactors.
But as water temperatures rose, a single generator was unable to supply enough power for the two reactors.
The newly restored generator is being used to activate a cooling pump in the No.5 reactor.
The power company measured the water temperature of the spent fuel pool in the No.5 reactor and found it had decreased from 68.8 degrees Celsius at 5 AM Saturday to 43.1 degrees at 3 AM Sunday.
After the cooling pump at the No. 6 reactor was restored, the water temperature dropped more than 15 degrees, from 67.5 degrees Celsius at 11PM Saturday to 52 degrees at 3 AM Sunday.
On the other hand, the water temperature of the reactor vessels is rising.
The water temperature was 194.5 degrees Celsius in the No.5 reactor and 152.4 degrees in the No. 6 reactor at 6 PM Saturday.
Those temperatures are lower than when the reactors are in operation, but they are increasing.
The power company says it will begin cooling the reactor water as soon as the spent fuel rod pools are cooled down.

Sunday, March 20, 2011 10:38
Water spraying at No.4 reactor ends
Japan's Self-Defense Forces have finished spraying water to cool the storage pool for spent nuclear fuel in the No.4 reactor at the quake-hit Fukushima Daiichi power plant.
The operation started at 8:20 AM local time on Sunday and continued for more than an hour.
Using 11 fire trucks, including one borrowed from the US military in Japan, the workers sprayed 80 tons of water during the operation.
Employees of Tokyo Electric Power Company will try to repair equipment to supply outside electricity to the No.4 reactor.
Fire fighters of the Tokyo Fire Department are to start spraying water at the No.4 reactor at around 6 PM and continue spraying until Monday morning.

Sunday, March 20, 2011 11:49
Tokyo Electric Power Company says radiation levels around the compound at its Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant are on the decline since water-spraying began in earnest on Saturday afternoon.
The company told reporters that the radiation level at the plant's headquarters building, located some 500 meters northeast of the No. 3 reactor, dropped to 2,625 microsieverts per hour at 8:30 on Sunday morning.
The reading shows a drop of more than 800 microsieverts from 18 hours ago--about the time the water-spraying at the No.3 reactor began.

Sunday, March 20, 2011 13:19
Two reactors likely to get external power
Tokyo Electric Power Company is inspecting equipment on Sunday before turning on external power at 2 of the damaged reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
The power company says it will turn on electricity to resume cooling functions at the No.1 and No.2 reactors once it determines that the various parts of the facility are in working order. Engineers finished connecting the reactors to external power sources on Saturday.
The power company wants to have electricity back on in the central control room -- the heart of the plant -- by Sunday evening.
It says when the central control room gets power again, it can collect data on the condition of the reactors and other equipment.
To restore electricity to the No.3 and No.4 reactors, the utility company says it is considering laying power cables that bypass a radiation contaminated area.
The nuclear plant lost its cooling function for the reactors and the spent fuel rod pools when backup power generators malfunctioned after the quake.
A large amount of radiation could escape if measures are not taken to restore the cooling systems.

Sunday, March 20, 2011 13:40
Radioactive air to be released from No.3 reactor
Workers at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant will release air that contains radioactive substances to reduce pressure inside the Number 3 reactor.
The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency told a news conference on Sunday afternoon that air will be released directly from the container vessel later in the day.
Usually, air from the vessel is released through a suppression pool to reduce the amount of radioactive substances.
The agency says workers who are preparing to pour water into the reactor and installing power cables will first be evacuated.
It adds that more radioactive substances will be released, but that the agency and Tokyo Electric Power Company agreed that this has to be done.

Sunday, March 20, 2011 15:16
Gases to be vented from No.3 reactor
Workers at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant are preparing to release gases from the overheating Number 3 reactor to lower pressure inside its container vessel.
The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said on Sunday that pressure inside the vessel is rising despite efforts to cool the reactor.
The agency said the workers will first try to vent gases through a suppression pool to reduce the amount of radioactive substances released into the environment.
If the pressure doesn't decline, the officials will release gases directly from the vessel. If that happens, the level of radioactive iodine in the air will increase by 100-fold.
Reducing pressure is necessary to protect the container vessel, which keeps radioactive materials inside the reactor in case of an accident.
The plant operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company, says firefighters who are preparing to resume hosing water into the reactor and officials installing power cables will first be evacuated.
The agency says it agreed with the utility firm that it is absolutely essential to release gases despite the expected increase in radiation levels.

Sunday, March 20, 2011 16:38
Police say that over 8,000 people are confirmed dead and more than 12,000 are reportedly missing in the aftermath of the massive earthquake and tsunami that hit northeastern Japan.
In Minami-sanriku Town, the whereabouts of 8,000 people, about half the population, have not been confirmed.

Sunday, March 20, 2011 16:46
SDF ends spraying water on No.4 reactor
Japan's Self-Defense Force has concluded its water-spraying operation to cool the storage pool of spent fuel in the Number 4 reactor at the quake-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
The troops used 11 fire trucks, including one borrowed from the US military, to spray 80 tons of water during the task that lasted over an hour on Sunday morning.
This is the first time since the initial quake on March 11th that the Number 4 reactor has been doused. The Defense Ministry says troops sprayed the water through holes made in the roof and walls of the damaged building that houses the reactor. The ministry says the water penetrated the structure.
Cooling systems for the spent fuel rod pools at the Number 3 and Number 4 reactors have remained disabled since the quake, raising concerns over the leakage of radioactive material.

Sunday, March 20, 2011 17:42
No gases to be released from No. 3 reactor
The Tokyo Electric Power Company has decided against releasing gases from the overheating No. 3 reactor in an attempt to reduce pressure inside the containment vessel.
TEPCO officials in Fukushima said on Sunday afternoon that pressure within the reactor containment vessel has begun to stabilize, and gases don't need to be released for the time being.
They say they will closely monitor the situation.
The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency announced earlier on Sunday that pressure inside the vessel is rising despite efforts to cool the reactor by spraying seawater inside it.
The agency said the pressure must be reduced to protect the containment vessel, which holds radioactive materials inside in the event of an accident.
A release of gases could lead to radioactive substances being released into the environment.
Power company officials in Fukushima also say work to restore electricity to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant by connecting the damaged reactors to external power sources is continuing.

Sunday, March 20, 2011 17:42
Fukushima Daiichi plant to be demolished
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano has suggested that the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant will be demolished.
Edano told a news conference on Sunday that the government cannot make decisive statements without going through the required procedures.
He added that it is not clear if the plant can resume operations, given the state of the reactors.

Sunday, March 20, 2011 23:46
Radiation levels at Haneda and Narita disclosed
Japan's transport ministry has started disclosing radiation levels near the 2 international airports in the Tokyo metropolitan area in an effort to dispel unfounded fear.
With a serious situation continuing at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, Chinese authorities refused to unload cargo on a flight from Japan.
Some foreign carriers have landed flights bound for Narita at Kansai airport in western Japan.
To cope with this situation, the ministry started releasing radiation levels near Tokyo's Haneda airport and Narita airport.
The data are shown on English and Japanese web pages. They also show the distances from the Fukushima Daiichi plant, and, for comparison, the amount of radiation the body would receive from a single X-ray.
The website says even if a person was exposed to the radiation levels at the 2 airports for a year, it would be less than one third that received under normal circumstances.
The ministry plans to update the figure twice a day to prevent disruption caused by unjustified fears.


Voices from around

quote (summing up yesterday)
Japan nuclear rescue advances
Engineers enjoyed some success in their mission to stop disaster at Japan's tsunami-damaged power plant, though evidence of small radiation leaks highlighted perils from the world's worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl 25 years ago.
... Encouragingly for Japanese transfixed on the work at Fukushima, the situation at the most critical reactor -- No. 3 which contains highly toxic plutonium -- appeared to come back from the brink after fire trucks doused it for hours.

Engineers attached a power cable to the No.1 and No. 2 reactors, hoping to restore electricity later in the day. They also hope to reach No. 3 and 4 soon to test turning the pumps on.

Cooling systems have been restored at the least critical of the six reactors, No. 5 and 6, using diesel generators.

Three hundred technicians have been battling inside a danger zone to salvage the six-reactor Fukushima plant since it was hit by an earthquake and tsunami that also killed 7,508 people and left 11,700 more missing in northeast Japan.

The unprecedented multiple crisis will cost the world's third largest economy nearly $200 billion in Japan's biggest reconstruction push since post-World War II.

Tiny levels of radioactive iodine have also been found in tap water in Tokyo, one of the world's largest cities about 240 km (150 miles) to south. Many tourists and expatriates have already left and residents are generally staying indoors.

The sample contained 1.5 becquerals per kg of iodine 131, well below the tolerable limit for food and drink of 300 becquerals per kg, the government said.

Japan said the traces so far found posed no risks.

Prime Minister Naoto Kan, who has kept a low profile during the crisis except for shouting at plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO), sounded out the opposition about forming a government of national unity to deal with the crisis.
But the largest opposition party rejected that.

Showing the incredible power of the 9.0 magnitude earthquake, the largest in tremor-prone Japan's recorded history, Oshika peninsula in Miyagi prefecture shifted a whole 5.3 metres (17 ft) east and its land sank 1.2 metres (4 ft).

In contrast to the generally negative images so far, one video emerged showing the crew of a Japanese coastguard vessel successfully riding a massive wave by turning the bow directly at the wall of waters.
source : news.yahoo.com

quote : (Mainichi Japan) March 20, 2011  
Radioactive iodine beyond limit detected in tap water in Fukushima

Radioactive iodine beyond Japan's regulated standard was detected in tap water in a town in Fukushima Prefecture on Thursday, apparently due to the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, the government said Saturday.

The health ministry said levels on Friday and Saturday in the town of Kawamata were below the limit but milk there has been found to contain radioactive iodine above the country's standard, raising concern about radioactive contamination in the region.

Kawamata is located around 45 kilometers northwest of the nuclear power plant.

Meanwhile, slight amounts of radioactive iodine have been detected in tap water in Tokyo, its vicinity and most prefectures neighboring Fukushima, the government said the same day.
While the substance was found in Tochigi, Gunma, Niigata, Chiba and Saitama prefectures as well as Tokyo, traces of cesium have been also found in tap water in Tochigi and Gunma, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology said, adding the levels would not affect human health even if ingested.

The education ministry said 77 becquerels of iodine was found per kilogram of water in Tochigi, 2.5 becquerels in Gunma, 0.62 becquerels in Saitama, 0.79 becquerels in Chiba, 1.5 becquerels in Tokyo and 0.27 becquerels in Niigata, against an intake limit of 300 becquerels.

The amount of cesium per kilogram of water was 1.6 becquerels in Tochigi and 0.22 in Gunma, against the limit of 200 becquerels set by the Nuclear Safety Commission of Japan.

The Gunma prefectural government said it had detected the substances for the first time since it began testing tap water for radioactive materials in 1990.

source : Mainichi Japan

Don't panic the people
By Laurie Garrett, Special to CNN
March 20, 2011 -- Updated 0047 GMT
In testimony to Congress, Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Gregory Jaczko said, "There is no water in the spent fuel pool and we believe that radiation levels are extremely high, which could possibly impact the ability to take corrective measures."

Moreover, Jaczko insisted, the Japanese government's response to its ongoing radiation problems at the Fukushima-Daiichi power plant has understated the health risks posed by the damage there. The evacuation zone for safe distancing from the plant should be at a 50-mile periphery, he said -- three times the boundary set by the government of Prime Minister Naoto Kan.

..... In Japan, Naota Kan's government is desperately balancing on the fine line between providing an appropriate sense of urgency to propel mass evacuations from designated areas, while heading off mass panic across the nation.

What we are learning in the age of globalization is that frightening and tragic events in any part of the world can trigger amygdala responses in people thousands of miles away. The amygdala, a tiny almond-shaped body inside the human brain, controls fearfulness and, more importantly, anxiety.

An observer watching, for example, an earthquake on TV, experiences confusion inside the brain between profound empathy for the suffering of others and fearful apprehension that he will himself experience that tragedy. And this can produce extreme anxiety.

I do not know what exclusive information Jaczko possesses that leads him to signal to the people of Japan that they cannot trust their prime minister, that their government is lying to them, and that in the nation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the citizenry should reject the voice of Tokyo in favor of the cries from Washington.
source : edition.cnn.com

by Tod Ensign and Glenn Alcalay
A recently leaked Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) document lays out in the most bare-knuckled manner the policy of coverup.
Philip A. Pecorino 2002.
source : Philip A. Pecorino 2002.

William P. Barrett wrote:
Beware New Japan Disaster Relief Web Sites
First came the massive earthquake in Japan. Then the even bigger tsunami and threat of nuclear meltdown. Now there’s the totally predictable deluge of new Web sites promoting relief fundraising, which, if past experience in the Internet age is any judge, will prove to be havens of inexperience, inefficiency, profiteering or outright fraud.
.... Most of these domains are not functional with unique content but are parked with the companies that registered them, such as Godaddy.com. Some of the registrants have chosen to hide their identity–not exactly a confidence-building action among would-be donors–while others list obscure foreign locations, such as Portugal’s Madeira Islands.
source : blogs.forbes.com/

Gabi Comments:
We also have fraud warnings here on TV, especially for the elderly, who are now prone to new scams of getting at their money, involving the "tear appeal" of tsunami victims.




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  1. Anonymous3/20/2011

    We are all thinking of you and wishing you well. We do love you!

  2. サクラ散る 地震津波に 疲れけり

    sakura chiru jishin tsunami ni tsukare keri

    cherry blossoms fall
    I'm tired of
    earthquake and tsunami


  3. Old woman in shelter, so sad and true

  4. Buddhistically speaking, worrying won't help much, but, believe me, I can imagine how hard it is not to do this. On the one hand, living IN the moment is the best approach to accepting reality and looking for a solution. On the other hand, the present reality isn't exactly very encouraging.
    Like most things, though, we count on the surety that it will pass. In the case of Japan, I fervently hope it will pass quickly enough.

    toxic clouds hover
    above the nuclear plant
    ... cherry blossoms

    spring wind fills
    a firefighter's gas mask ...

    March quake --
    earth, fire and water at war
    at Fukushima

    These are not all that good, Gabi, but actually, whether or not we are aware of it, and despite everything ... spring is coming. I hope for you and all the Japanese in the homeland, that it will be here very very soon.


  5. yeh, the sacrofag needs to be built, Like in Chernobyl...

  6. Anonymous3/20/2011

    My thoughts, prayers and deepest sympathies are with Japan. Take good care, Gabi.

  7. Anonymous3/20/2011

    love letter to japan

  8. Anonymous3/20/2011

    I will miss so much the sight of the sakura this year and the hope and joy it brings to people.

  9. Anonymous3/20/2011

    Dear Gabi
    I do hope your situation is better now. Thinking of you and all the survivors.

  10. Anonymous3/21/2011

    My thoughts continue to be with you all. I hope conditions improve quickly for all.

  11. Anonymous3/21/2011

    There is one word to describe what I have seen recently, and this is 'Fear'.
    People here in Japan are glued to their tv and think of the worst that could happen ...
    Stay cool
    A friend from Kanasi

  12. Anonymous3/21/2011

    The people who are working at the power plant, despite the danger, are HEROES!

  13. "Don't panic!"
    It's a good motto.

  14. Anonymous3/21/2011

    march moon -
    no laugther
    no crying


  15. Anonymous3/21/2011

    It is pretty sad. The elderly seem to be mostly affected.


  16. Death is not the greatest loss in life.
    The greatest loss is
    what dies inside us while we live.

    Norman Cousins

  17. .
    It is not death that we should fear,
    but we should fear never beginning to live.

    Marcus Aurelius