March 23, Wednesday

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New York City’s Japan Society has created a disaster relief fund to aid victims of Japan’s Tohoku earthquake.
source : blog.dramafever.com


Gabi reports:

. . . . . at 0:54
Earthquake M 5.2 off the coast of Iwate
and a few more lighter shocks off Chiba.

It was very cold this morning, minus 2 centigrade, outside everything is white with frost. And this cold weather might continue for a few more days.

Radiation levels in microsievert per hour
from Monday to Tuesday (according to Japan Times)
Fukushima - 9.60
Tokyo - 0.144

. . . . .

The supply of necessary goods to the people in the shelters is still a major problem.
Lawson wanted to send rice balls to Northern Japan, but had a hard time finding a way of transportation of their perishable goods within a limit of 30 hours.
Citizen volunteers have been actively discouraged by the government from jumping into their cars and delivering aid themselves.

many ask :
. Is Government Bureaucracy Slowing Help?

Reporting about the power plant in Fukushima is sometimes difficult to understand for lay people. But even the
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) raised concerns about a lack of information from Japanese authorities (as we watching TV also do).

. Radiation leaks .  

. . . . .

More strong earthquakes, see NHK bulletin below.

The World Bank said the disaster damage from the Great East Japan Earthquake may reach as high as 235 billion dollars.
This is much more than from the Kobe earthquake in 1995.

Many of the identified dead are now burried, since there is not enough fuel to use in the crematoriums. Soldiers dug rows of graves in the disaster areas.

Groups of foreigners bring car loads of food and prepare curry for a shelter, another group of Jews started providing bread.
They bring all their stuff, mose come from regions that have experienced strong earthquakes or tsunami themselves.

English language teachers, who stayed in some small towns along the coast, will keep staying there with the evacuees and teach English to the children as best as the situation makes it possible.

Travellers from many countries are not coming in such large numbers any more.
Singapore airlines cut down to about half of its flights to Japan.

Korea is not importing much fresh fish from Japan, because the consumers are afraid of radiation contamination.

The long-term effects on the Japanese economy are still not feasible, but it looks quite bleak right now.


Other reactors along the coast in Japan are upgraded.
The Chubu plant in Omaezaki had its emergency equipment put to higher ground, including diesel generators for emergency power.

Okayama town has offered about 30 city housings to evacuees.
The homes will be equipped with basic needs, like futon and stove. The inhabitants can stay free of rent for six month. During this time, Okayama town will try and help them find work in or around the city.
Other communities made the same plans and pledges.

. . . . . at 16.30
More black smoke is coming out of one reactor again.


Bulletins from NHK Online

source : www3.nhk.or.jp

Wednesday, March 23, 2011 02:01
Power restored to control room of No.3 reactor
Tokyo Electric Power Company says it has restored the electricity supply for the control room of the Number 3 reactor at the quake-damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
TEPCO said lights in the control room were switched on again on Tuesday night.
Eleven days have passed since the massive earthquake devastated northeastern Japan and cut off external power to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
TEPCO reconnected power cables to the Number 3 and Number 4 reactors earlier on Tuesday.
The lights are now working in the control room of the Number 3 reactor. This will make it easier to repair the reactor's cooling system.
TEPCO will now try to reactivate vital monitoring systems in the control rooms, such as those for measuring temperatures inside the reactors and water levels in the spent fuel storage pools.
TEPCO says it will transmit electricity to the cooling pump for the Number 3 reactor on Wednesday.
The company says if the pump functions normally, it will begin cooling the reactor and the spent fuel storage pool.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011 02:01
Kan pledges full disclosure of reactor information
Prime Minister Naoto Kan says he will provide the European Union with as much information as possible about the problems at the quake-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
Kan held phone talks with European Council President Herman Van Rompuy on Tuesday.
Van Rompuy told Kan that the EU stands by Japan and will do its utmost to assist the quake-devastated country.
Kan said he will ensure maximum transparency in providing information to the international community about the nuclear crisis caused by the March 11th earthquake. He also promised to attend the Group of Eight nations' summit in France in May.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011 02:01
9,199 confirmed dead in March 11 disaster
Police say 9,199 people have been confirmed dead and nearly 14,000 are missing after the March 11th earthquake and tsunami that hit northeastern Japan.
5,607 of the victims died in Miyagi Prefecture.
More than 4,200 people are unaccounted for in the region.
2,773 people are confirmed dead and over 5,000 are missing in Iwate Prefecture.
In Fukushima Prefecture, 762 people died and nearly 4,500 are missing.
This is the worst natural disaster in Japan since the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake that claimed more than 100,000 lives.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011 02:01
Tohoku shinkansen to resume full service in April
East Japan Railway, or JR East, briefed the transport ministry on Tuesday on the progress of repairs to the bullet train line between Tokyo and Shin-Aomori.
The route runs through regions hit by the March 11th earthquake and tsunami. The service was suspended after the disaster and has only been resumed in sections near the 2 terminals. The super-express trains cannot run in the middle section between Nasu-Shiobara and Morioka stations.
JR East told the ministry that although the repair work will take more than one month, the bullet train line sustained relatively minor damage.
The company said the sections near Nasu-Shiobara will be restored first.
The railway operator also said 3 local train services in the quake-hit city of Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, are likely to resume operation in early April.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011 06:12
Thermometers working again at 3 reactors
Tokyo Electric Power Company says thermometers are working again at 3 of the reactors at the quake-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.The March 11th earthquake and tsunami cut off power and the reactors' measurement equipment stopped working.
TEPCO tried to restore the instruments' functions with make-shift power sources, including batteries. It says the thermometer at the Number 3 reactor started working again last Saturday morning.
At that time, the temperature of the reactor's external surface was 366 degrees Celsius, much higher than normal. The company increased the amount of sea water it was using to cool down the reactor.
The thermometers for the Number 1 and Number 2 reactors were restored on Sunday.
The power company says it will pour more water onto the Number 1 reactor, as its temperature was 394 degrees on 3:30 PM on Tuesday.
TEPCO says the functioning thermometers, along with devices to measure pressure and water levels, will provide better information about the condition of the reactors.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011 08:05
Aftershocks hit northeastern Japan
Powerful and persistent earthquakes have jolted the Tohoku region in northeastern Japan, which was devastated by the March 11th quake.
Quakes jolted Fukushima Prefecture at 7:12 (M 6.0), 7:34 and 7:36 (M 5.8) AM on Wednesday morning.
The intensity of the first and third quakes measured 5-plus on the Japanese seismic scale of 0 to 7 in Iwaki City in the prefecture.
The Meteorological Agency says the preliminary magnitude of the first quake was 6.0.
It issued no tsunami warning.
This was the first quake with an intensity of upper 5 on the seismic scale since last Saturday.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011 10:34
Govt. to gauge radiation 30 km off Fukushima coast
Japan's science ministry says it will expand the scope of its radiation monitoring in waters around the quake-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant to 30 kilometers offshore.
The ministry said it will start the monitoring on Wednesday, after detecting radiation above legal limits in the ocean around the plant.

A survey ship is to collect seawater at 8 locations at 10-kilometer intervals over a distance of 70 kilometers.
The ministry plans to release its findings after comparing the new readings with old data collected yearly in the same areas.
Experts say rainwater and water sprayed on reactor buildings of the plant to cool their spent fuel storage pools could be flowing into the ocean.
The Tokyo Electric Power Company, which operates the plant, said the amount of radioactive iodine-131 found 330 meters south of the plant's water outlet was 127 times the legal limit. The amount 16 kilometers south of the plant was 16 times the limit.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011 11:01
.Aftershocks hit northeastern Japan
Strong earthquakes jolted the Pacific coast of northeastern Japan on Wednesday morning.
The Meteorological Agency has issued warnings to the region about the possibility of strong aftershocks from the March 11th quake, saying they could trigger more tsunami.
A quake with a magnitude 6.0 jolted Fukushima Prefecture at around 7:12 AM, followed by a magnitude 5.8 tremor about 20 minute later.
These were the first earthquakes since Saturday with intensities of 5-plus or above on the Japanese seismic scale of 0 to 7.
The agency says that about 70 aftershocks with intensities of 4 or higher have shaken wide areas of the northeastern Tohoku region as well as areas around Tokyo.
It says the frequency of the aftershocks is declining but warns of the possibility that tremors of magnitude 7.0 or higher could occur.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011 11:13
Govt.: Do not eat vegetables from Fukushima
The government is calling on consumers to refrain from eating leafy vegetables such as spinach and cabbage produced in Fukushima Prefecture, where the troubled nuclear power plant is located.
Prime Minister Naoto Kan issued the instruction on Wednesday after it became clear that radiation levels much higher than legal limits were detected in some vegetables grown in Fukushima.
Kan said consumers should not eat leafy vegetables like spinach, cabbage, and komatsuna produced in Fukushima, and added broccoli and cauliflower to the list.
He also issued instructions to suspend shipments of turnips from Fukushima, and parsley and raw milk from neighboring Ibaraki.
According to the health ministry, radioactive cesium at a level 164 times higher than the legal limit was detected in a leafy vegetable called kukitachina, sampled in Fukushima on Monday.
Other vegetables with excessive radiation levels include cabbage and broccoli from Fukushima and parsley from neighboring Ibaraki.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011 11:42
No.3 reactor's pump to undergo test run
The Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, plans to test-run a cooling pump at the No. 3 reactor of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on Wednesday, in the latest bid to restore cooling functions at the plant.
TEPCO said the electricity supply for the control room of the reactor was restored on Tuesday night for the first time since the devastating quake and tsunami on March 11th, allowing lights in the room to be turned on again.
The reactor is the first among the troubled No. 1 through 4 reactors to have external power restored at its control room.
On Wednesday morning, a local TEPCO branch told reporters that it will check whether the pump can supply water to the reactor from its tank.
Meanwhile, work to inject water into the spent fuel storage pool of the No. 4 reactor resumed shortly after 10 AM.
TEPCO plans to inject water for about 3 hours using a vehicle with an arm that can be extended more than 50 meters to spray water with great accuracy.
The Tokyo Fire Department plans to spray water into the No. 3 reactor for about 2 hours on Wednesday afternoon.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011 12:58
Above normal radiation figures
Radiation levels in many areas of eastern and northern Japan continue to be higher than normal.
Municipalities and other institutions are measuring their radiation levels.

According to measurements taken by 9 AM Wednesday, 6.09 microsieverts per hour were observed in the city of Fukushima, 65 kilometers northwest of the quake-damaged Fukushima Daiichi power plant.
In the town of Onagawa, about 160 kilometers northeast of the plant, the figure was 1.3 microsieverts.
In Kitaibaraki City, located south of the Fukushima plant, the radiation level was 1.45 microsieverts.
In Mito City, further south, the figure was 0.33 microsieverts.
Radiation levels were also higher than usual in other cities, including the prefectural capitals of Yamagata, Tochigi, Gunma, Saitama, and Tokyo.
Health authorities say one hour of exposure to the radiation at Fukushima city, which showed the highest reading, would equal one-100th of the amount of radiation received in a single stomach X-ray.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011 12:18
US suspends food imports from near Fukushima
The US government is suspending food imports from areas near Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
Japan has confirmed that levels of radioactivity exceeding its standards have been found in farm products from some of these areas.
The US Food and Drug Administration said on Tuesday it is putting an immediate hold on dairy products, fruit and vegetables from Fukushima, Ibaraki, Tochigi and Gunma Prefectures.
The FDA says it will stop shipments of these products at US border entry points without screening them for radioactive substances.
The US agency says all other food and animal feed from the affected prefectures will be checked for radiation before being distributed in the United States.
US food safety officials have not said how long the measures will last, or how the rejected products will be disposed of.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011 13:35
Edano comments on veggie shipment suspensions
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano has officially announced that the government has instructed the governors of Fukushima and Ibaraki prefectures to suspend shipments of and warn against eating some farm produce because of radiation contamination.
Edano said at a news conference on Wednesday that eating such vegetables and drinking milk from the prefectures temporarily pose no health risks.
But he said the government issued the instructions at an early stage as a precaution, assuming that contamination will be found in the area for a long time.
Edano also said the government will compensate farmers affected by the suspensions.
He added that other farm produce from the area poses no health risks, and called on consumers to remain calm.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011 14:52
TEPCO asks for emergency loans
Tokyo Electric Power Company has asked Japan's major banks for at least 1.5 trillion yen, or about 18 billion dollars in emergency loans.
Sources say the utility has approached Sumitomo Mitsui Bank, Mizuho Corporate, Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, and the trust bank Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking for the emergency financing.
The loans are needed to help the utility cope with the crisis at the quake-stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant, and prepare for expected severe power shortages.
Procuring cash has become a major issue for the power company as the end of the current business year approaches.
The relevant financial institutions are in the final stages of discussion with the company and are expected to provide the loans by the end of this month.
As a result, it is expected that Tokyo Electric Power will have enough working capital to cope with the current nuclear emergency. The funds will also be used to repair and boost the company's thermal power plants to deal with expected power shortages.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011 15:13
High levels of iodine in Tokyo tap water
Radioactive iodine has been detected in Tokyo tap water in levels above the safe limit for infants.
The Tokyo Metropolitan government says 210 becquerels of iodine-131 were detected on Tuesday in one liter of water at one of its purification plants in northern Tokyo.
A sampling on Wednesday also showed roughly 190 becquerels per liter.These levels are below the 300-becquerel per liter safe limit for adults, but far above the 100-becquerel limit for infants.
Tokyo says infants in the central 23 wards, plus 5 adjacent cities, should refrain from drinking tap water.
It is also urging beverage makers in these areas not to use tap water in infants' drinks.
Tokyo says the safety level assumes long-term consumption, and that there is no risk to health if tap water is consumed over a short period.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011 17:22
Rain may have put iodine in Tokyo water
Professor Yasuyuki Muramatsu of Gakushuin University says the high level of radioactive material in Tokyo's tap water was likely caused when air mixed with Tuesday's rain, raising the iodine level in the water before it reached the purifying plant.
Muramatsu says drinking tap water over a short period poses no health risk even for infants. He added there's no problem using tap water for non-consumption purposes, such as bathing and laundry.
Muramatsu urges continued monitoring to see if the high levels of radiation are sustained and whether the contamination spreads over a wider area.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011 17:41
High-level radiation in Fukushima water
High-levels of radiation have been detected in tap water at municipalities across Fukushima Prefecture, where the troubled Dai-ichi nuclear power plant is located.
Water sampled in Iitate village on Sunday contained 965 becquerels of radioactive iodine-131 per liter, more than 3 times the government safety limit of 300 becquerels per liter.
Water sampled in Tamura city last Thursday contained 348 becquerels of iodine, but the level was down to 161 becquerels 2 days later.
Water from 4 other cities in the prefecture had iodine levels above the 100-becquerel per liter safety limit for infants as of Monday.
Japan's science ministry has been monitoring radiation levels in all 47 prefectures, and prefectural governments in Niigata, Kanagawa, Ibaraki and Gunma have been taking their own measurements. But none have reported radiation levels above the government safety limit.
The health ministry ordered all prefectural governments on Sunday to test their tap water.
The ministry will look into why high levels of iodine were detected in tap water in Tokyo, which is roughly 200 kilometers away from Fukushima Prefecture.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011 18:55
Tokyo shoppers rush for mineral water
Supermarkets in Tokyo are crowded with shoppers buying mineral water after a radioactive substance in unsafe levels for infants was detected in Tokyo tap water.
At a supermarket in eastern Tokyo, stocks of plastic 2-liter mineral water bottles sold out in 20 minutes, immediately after the Tokyo Metropolitan government's announcement on Wednesday about the detection of iodine in tap water.
Shoppers who came later bought up smaller water bottles or bottles of barley tea.
A housewife with 3 children said she was worried because she heard children are more vulnerable to radioactivity. She said she believed it is not known how long such substances remain in water.
A woman in her 60s said she had visited 4 supermarkets for water. She was concerned about absorbing water through cooked meals.
The store manager called on customers to stay calm, saying additional water deliveries were expected soon.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011 18:55
Radiation could affect people outside 30km zone
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano says computer forecasts show that radiation leaking from a nuclear plant could pose a hazard to people outside its 30-kilometer zone.
Edano said at a news conference on Wednesday that a computer forecast system has shown that radiation levels in some areas outside the 30-kilometer zone would exceed 100 millisieverts, which is the level that could affect the human thyroid if a person is exposed to it outdoors for 24 hours.
Edano cited a lack of data and the need for more precise calculations, and said there is no need for immediate evacuation or to seek shelter indoors.
At the same time, he urged people living downwind from the plant to stay indoors as much as possible and keep the windows shut as a precaution.
The computer 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 can be used to draw up evacuation plans for residents around power plants in case of accidents.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011 19:02
Extremely high radiation found in soil
Japanese authorities have detected a concentration of a radioactive substance 1,600 times higher than normal in soil at a village, 40 kilometers away from the troubled nuclear power plant in Fukushima Prefecture.
The disaster task force in Fukushima composed of the central and local governments surveyed radioactive substances in soil about 5 centimeters below the surface at 6 locations around the plant from last Friday through Tuesday.
The results announced on Wednesday show that 163,000 becquerels of radioactive cesium-137 per kilogram of soil has been detected in Iitate Village, about 40 kilometers northwest of the plant.
Gakushuin University Professor Yasuyuki Muramatsu, an expert on radiation in the environment, says that normal levels of radioactive cesium-137 in soil are around 100 becquerels at most. The professor says he was surprised at the extremely high reading, which is 1,630 times higher than normal levels.
He warns that since radioactive cesium remains in the environment for about 30 years it could affect agricultural products for a long time. He is calling on the government to collect detailed data and come up with ways to deal with the situation.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011 19:13
TEPCO: Black smoke rises from No.3 reactor
The Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, says black smoke was seen rising from the No.3 reactor building at the quake-damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant at around 4:20 PM on Wednesday.

TEPCO told reporters that it received a report 1 hour later that the smoke had gradually cleared.
The company said that the level of radiation near the main gate of the plant, 1 kilometer west of the No.3 reactor, was 265.1-microsieverts-per-hour at 5 PM. They added there had been no major change in the levels after the smoke was observed.
On Monday afternoon, gray smoke was seen rising from the same reactor building. TEPCO said that the plumes turned white before disappearing.
The power company evacuated workers from the control room of the No. 3 reactor, as well as firefighters from Tokyo and Yokohama preparing for a water-spraying operation.
The firefighters had to abandon their planned water spraying operation for the day.


Voices from around

source : だるまのブログ Daruma Blog
Japanese Prayer for the Victims

. . . . .

The government will shortly issue instructions to municipal governments to collect vehicles destroyed by the tsunami that followed the Tohoku earthquake and scrap them after a certain undefined period of time, according to government sources.
As owners of wrecked cars are eligible to claim refunds based on the automobile weight tax when they scrap their vehicles in certain cases and also collect insurance if their cars are covered, it will be difficult for local governments to act on their own initiative to scrap the cars, according to the Cabinet Secretariat and the Environment Ministry.
source : www.yomiuri.co.jp

Oil distributors have been working overtime to resolve serious shortages of gasoline and heating oil in areas of eastern Japan struck by the magnitude-9.0 earthquake and tsunami.
Cosmo Oil Co. announced Monday that fires that broke out the day of the earthquake at its refinery in Ichihara, Chiba Prefecture, had been extinguished.
source : www.yomiuri.co.jp

. . . . .

All 6 Fukushima reactors reconnected to external power
All six reactors at the quake-stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant have been reconnected to external power, plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Tuesday, although smoke detected at the No. 2 and No. 3 reactors the day before had temporarily hampered efforts to restore power and cool down spent nuclear fuel pools.

Tokyo Electric Executive Vice President Sakae Muto said, "I think the situation will head toward a better direction, but it is too early to say that things have stabilized sufficiently."

source : mdn.mainichi.jp

. . . . .

Sake brewer vows to rebuild after tsunami
This was his sake brewery, one of the best in Japan, with a history that goes back hundreds of years. A week after he barely escaped a tsunami that flattened it and nearly everything else in sight, he's come back for the first time, and it takes him a second to collect his thoughts.

Konno, 64, is a respected man in this town on Japan's eastern shore, and others bow as they pass him amid the wreckage. As the initial shock and sorrow of their tragedy fades, the small towns hit hardest by the disaster are beginning to think about the future, and it will be men like Konno who lead the way.
source : japantimes.co.jp

. . . . .

With Help From Jewish Community,
Free Bakery Up and Running in Sendai
source : www.chabad.org

. . . . .

Matsushima ... Japanese, with photo
Zuiganji temple storehouse is damaged. THe red bridge is heavily damaged.
Now the scene does not look so much different than before the tsunami hit, but the oyster farming is destroyed.
source : yahoo.co.jp


tenka taihei to i-narabu kawazu kana

sitting in a row
for peace on earth...
these frogs

Kobayashi Issa
Tr. Gabi Greve

source : www.crafty-games.com

I can pray ... and I do ... with every breath in every day.

with the temple gong ...
my heart

I'm thinking of you and yours ... and the folks of Japan.
And, I want you to know that.

A friend from USA.



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  1. Anonymous3/24/2011

    As I see the events unfold, I continue to send hope and have hope and confidence in the Japanese spirit.

  2. 毎日お祈りしています。消息不明の方がみつかりますように、被災された方が救われますように。

  3. Anonymous3/24/2011

    Hello Gabi. I am happy this finds you safe at home in Japan.
    My son still is in Yokota, but his family is back now.
    They love Japan and are heartbroken at the tragic disaster, as am I.
    an old friend

  4. In the afternoon
    a plume of smoke
    from the nuclear reactor
    new feeling of fear
    the old man watches

    Angelika Bygott

  5. Fred Masarani wrote

    Tokyo tap water is radioactive---
    send them
    Poland Spring

  6. now no more nuke there
    it has been pretty cold
    we are back in winter


  7. so enormous , how do they deal with the radiation.
    Usually the US drops those emergency food our of helicoptors or planes... maybe they do that there as well, its the Red Cross that does it. I am in New Orleans and we are used to this diaster now, but not this radiation.

  8. Gabi is so great keeping us all informed.