March 29, Tuesday

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source : www.cafepress.com

. . . . .

"I lost it all -"
the old geisha
keeps going

Ito Tsuyako 伊藤艶子 is 84, sitting in a shelter in Kamaishi.
The tsunami wiped out her home and most of the town. All her possessions and trophies from a full life as musician and dancer geisha are gone.

"My spirit and my art performance is still strong. The tsunami can not take this away from me."

She has worked hard all her life, and was the last active geisha in Kamaishi.

Once the city will pick up after the rubble is cleared, she wants to be there and continue with her dancing performances, to bring some happiness to the people again, even if her other geisha friends are all gone by now.

. Source:  mainichi.jp


Gabi reports:

Not much change since yesterday :
. Daily Radiation Levels  

At least it is not as cold as the last few days.

More than 28.000 are now dead or misisng, the numbers still rising.

Fishermen along the coast are counting the undamaged boats on the fingers of one hand. The few that are left intact can not go out fishing, especially in Fukushima, because of radiation problems.

Greenpeace has been conducting tests of radioactivite too.
radiation of up to 10 microsieverts per hour in Iitate village, 40 km (25 miles) northwest of the plant.
. Radiation in Japan .  
. . . . .

With less air traffic these days, JAL will cancel about 11 flights from Narita and from Kansai airport to Beijing, Shanghai, Seoul and Honolulu.

. . . . .

They started building provisional housing for the evacuees, but there are not enough. So they draw lots to determine the lucky ones. We saw an old man with tears in his eyes:
"I was not lucky, no home for me yet. But this not right. I have a wife who can not move and has to lie in bed all day, we should have some comfort provided for her. This is not fair!"

. . . . .

Rainwater will not be allowed to enter water purification plants any more, and this is an order for "nationwide".
. Rainwater banned at water plants .  

An expert explained about the contamination of soil:
There were no special crucial values, nor special places where to take samples, nor laboratories to carry out the examinations ... since a contamination of soil was just not anticipated. New laws will have to be made now.

. . . . .

friends from Australia
Cate is organising to make Cranes of Hope:
. Cranes from Australia

A Japanese psychiatrist recommends:
. Take a break from bad news .  

. . . . .

. . . . . at 19:54
Earthquake M 6.4 off the coast of Fukushima
It was felt all the way south to Shizuoka.


Bulletins from NHK Online

source : www3.nhk.or.jp

Monday, March 28, 2011 19:15 (last night)
Damage to fishing
The marine products industry on the Pacific coast of central and northern Japan suffered serious damage in the March 11th earthquake and tsunami.
The fisheries ministry says 2,338 fishing boats had been reported damaged across the region as of Sunday.
The ministry says the number of damaged boats is certain to rise, adding that it has yet to form an overall picture of the damage.
It says almost all the fishing ports in the 3 northeastern prefectures of Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima have suffered severe damage.
The 3 prefectures, along with 3 others on the Pacific coast, supply nearly a quarter of Japan's marine products like squid and saury.
On Sunday, radioactive substances in excess of allowable levels were detected in the seawater near the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
The ministry says marine products from the area that are currently in markets are safe.
The ministry says that fishing activities in Fukushima and its surrounding areas is unlikely to resume for the time being, adding that it will continue carrying out safety checks.

Monday, March 28, 2011 19:15
Kan encourages SDF troops
Prime Minister Naoto Kan has offered encouragement to the Self-Defense Forces engaged in operations at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant and in relief work in northeastern Japan.
Kan visited the SDF command center at the Defense Ministry on Monday for the first time since the March 11th earthquake and tsunami.
About 100,000 SDF personnel have been mobilized to deal with the aftermath of the disaster.
Kan told ministry officials that he is proud of the way the troops have been carrying out such physically and psychologically challenging tasks as searching for survivors and retrieving bodies.
He also expressed gratitude to those who are risking their lives to get the damaged nuclear plant under control.
Kan said relief operations will last for a long time, and called on the troops to work harder to prevent what he called a national crisis from worsening.
Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa said morale was high among the SDF personnel when he visited Miyagi Prefecture earlier in the day.
Kitazawa said the public and the Self-Defense Forces have never been closer. He urged the troops to keep on working for the people with confidence and a sense of duty in mind.

Monday, March 28, 2011 20:17 (last night)
Exposed workers okay
Three men exposed to high levels of radiation at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant have left the hospital with a clean bill of health.
The 3 workers left the National Institute of Radiological Sciences in Chiba Prefecture on Monday.
They had been receiving special medical treatment after having been exposed to radiation while installing power cables at the Number 3 reactor complex on Thursday.
Two of the men stood in radioactive water for about 2 hours. They were due to receive treatment for burns, but doctors at the institute found that this was not necessary.
The institute says the level of their exposure was up to 3,000 millisieverts, less than initially thought.
The 2 men reportedly show no symptoms of burns, and their internal organs were exposed to very low levels of radiation.
The institute says the third man also has no symptoms.
The 3 men will undergo checks at the institute in several days' time.
Doctor Fumiaki Nakayama of the institute says that even if the men do develop symptoms, they do not need treatment, and the symptoms will eventually disappear.

Monday, March 28, 2011 22:38
Radiation hampers cooling efforts
The effort to cool reactors at the damaged nuclear power plant in Fukushima, northern Japan, is facing the risk of leaking highly radioactive substances.
The plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company, raised water pumping power on Sunday to cool the No. 2 reactor in a stable manner. On Monday, the company cut back on the amount of injected water.
The move followed the Nuclear Safety Commission's announcement that highly radioactive substances detected in puddles of water in the basement of the reactor's turbine building may have come directly from the vessel containing the reactor.
16 tons of water was being injected into the reactor every hour but TEPCO now says it wants to reduce the amount to 7 tons. This would be enough to replace the amount that is evaporating.
If the injected water level is reduced, temperatures may increase in the reactor.
TEPCO announced on Monday that radioactive substances 100,000 times higher than usual for water in a reactor core were detected in puddles in the No. 2 reactor's turbine building on Sunday.
High radiation figures were also recorded earlier in water in the basements of the turbine buildings for the No. 1 and No. 3 reactors. On Thursday, 3 workers were exposed to high radiation while working in water at the No. 3 reactor's turbine building.
The Nuclear Safety Commission said on Monday that the concentration of radiation at the No. 2 reactor was dozens of times higher than the other 2 reactors.
The commission said it assumes that radioactive substances from temporarily melted fuel rods at the No. 2 reactor had made their way into water in the reactor containment vessel and then leaked out through an unknown route.
TEPCO, later, reported that very high levels of radiation have also been observed in water in a trench just outside the turbine building for one of the reactors.
The commission said the biggest concern is the possibility of highly radioactive water seeping into the ground and the ocean. It added that all-out efforts should be made to prevent contaminated water from leaking and called on the government to intensify monitoring radiation levels in the ground water and seawater.

. . . . . . . . . . Now to Tuesday . . .

Tuesday, March 29, 2011 02:21

Radioactive water in external tunnels
The operator of the damaged nuclear power plant in Fukushima, northeastern Japan, has reported that very high levels of radiation have been observed in water in a trench just outside the turbine building for one of the reactors.
Tokyo Electric Power Company announced on Monday that a puddle of water was found in a trench outside the No. 2 reactor turbine building at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant on Sunday afternoon. It said the radiation reading on the puddle's surface indicated more than 1,000 millisieverts per hour.

The concrete trench is 4 meters high and 3 meters wide and houses power cables and pipes. It is located in the compound of the plant but outside the radiation control area. TEPCO says the trench extends 76 meters toward the sea but does not reach the sea, and that the contaminated water was not flowing into the sea.
TEPCO says it is trying to find out how the contaminated water came to be in the trench.
Radiation levels of more than 1,000 millisieverts per hour were recorded on Sunday in a puddle of water in the basement of the No. 2 reactor turbine building.
Puddles of water were also found in the trenches outside the No. 1 and No. 3 reactors. TEPCO reported 0.4 millisieverts of radiation on the surface of the puddle in the No. 1 reactor's trench. But it said it failed to measure the No. 3 reactor's trench because it was covered with debris.
TEPCO denies concealing data
TEPCO says it had no intention of concealing data regarding the high level of radiation detected on Sunday outside a turbine building at its Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
TEPCO Vice President Sakae Muto said at a news conference on Monday that he only received the report from the plant workers earlier in the day.

The plant operator has revealed that it found water in a covered tunnel outside the turbine building of the number 2 reactor, and that radiation of more than 1,000 millisieverts per hour was detected in the water.
Muto said the company has made this public and instructed the plant workers to quickly take steps to dispose of the water.
Asked by reporters if TEPCO was concealing information, Muto said the company has no intention of doing so.
He also said every day is full of events, and that TEPCO will quickly share information of high importance so that it can swiftly consider countermeasures.
Vice President Muto added that the plant operator will confirm the flow of information and have it thoroughly implemented in order to avoid misunderstandings.

. . . . .

Tuesday, March 29, 2011 02:20
Plutonium found in Fukushima plant soil
Tokyo Electric Power Company says plutonium has been found in soil samples from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
It says the radioactive substance appears to be related to the ongoing nuclear accident, but the level detected is the same as that found in other parts of Japan and does not pose a threat to human health.
TEPCO collected samples from 5 locations around the power plant over 2 days from March 21st and found 2 samples contaminated with plutonium.
Plutonium is a byproduct of the nuclear power generation process. At the number 3 reactor of the Fukushima plant, plutonium is an ingredient in mixed oxide, or MOX, fuel.
Radioactivity from plutonium can be shielded by a sheet of paper. But it can remain in lungs and other organs to cause long-term damages including cancer.
The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency says the detected level is the same as that found in the environment and not health-threatening for workers who conducted the sampling, nor residents in surrounding areas.
The agency said it is awaiting the results of another survey by the Science Ministry outside of a 20-kilometer radius from the plant, as well as a further survey by TEPCO in the plant compound.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011 02:22
Tsunami raised water levels over 40km inland
Japan's Land Ministry has found that the tsunami on March 11th ran more than 40 kilometers upstream from river mouths.
The ministry collected data of water levels from major rivers in the affected areas and calculated how far the waves traveled upstream.
The records show that the water of the Kitakami river in Miyagi Prefecture rose by 11 centimeters about 49 kilometers inland nearly 3 hours after the earthquake.
The Tone river rose by 30 centimeters at a point more than 44 kilometers from the estuary.
The ministry believes the waves would have reached further upstream if all the floodgates had been open. 6 of the 9 gates located 18 kilometers from the shore were closed when the tsunami hit one of Japan's longest rivers.
The tsunami caused severe destruction along a river several kilometers inland from the coastline.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011 09:58
Tsunami flooded 100 square kilometers of city land
A survey has found that a quarter of the land ravaged by the March 11th tsunami was in cities and towns. The damage to urban areas is likely to greatly hamper reconstruction of these communities.
The semi-public Geospatial Information Authority says the tsunami flooded a total 443 square kilometers of land in the 4 prefectures of Aomori, Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima.
Roughly a quarter of these areas, spanning 101 square kilometers, were commercial and residential parts of cities and towns.
Higashi-Matsushima City in Miyagi Prefecture had 63 percent of its land flooded by the tsunami.
The waves also swept through about half the town of Otsuchi in Iwate, and about 46 percent of Ishinomaki City and Yamamoto Town in Miyagi.
It will be a great challenge for these municipalities to clear space for temporary housing and rebuild vital infrastructure.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011 10:51
Kan denies his visit delayed nuke plant response
Prime Minister Naoto Kan has rejected views that his visit to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant a day after the earthquake delayed the crucial initial response to the developing disaster.
Kan was speaking before an Upper House committee on Tuesday. An opposition lawmaker argued that Kan's visit to the plant on the morning of March 12th caused Tokyo Electric Power, or TEPCO, to put off venting air from the No.1 reactor to ease pressure inside.
Kan replied that following reports of a breakdown in reactor cooling systems, his government invoked a law on nuclear disasters for the first time, declaring an emergency and launching a central task force.
He said he thought it was vital for him to visit the disaster site in such circumstances, and that listening to people leading the efforts on the ground helped him make various decisions later on.
Kan said his government told TEPCO in the early hours of March 12th that it should go ahead and vent steam from the No.1 reactor. He said it wasn't true that his visit caused a delay in the procedure.
The No.1 reactor suffered a steam explosion in the afternoon of March 12th, in the first visible trouble at the Fukushima Daiichi plant.
Kan also said that launching a joint task force with TEPCO on March 15th greatly helped the government to communicate better with the utility.
The prime minister said the situation at the nuclear plant remains far from certain, and that his government will continue tackling the disaster with the utmost vigilance.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011 11:49
Japan's nuke troubles threaten future power supply
Electric power companies in Japan have put on hold plans to restart nuclear reactors now undergoing checkups, and to build new ones in light of the nuclear crisis unfolding at the Fukushima Daiichi plant.
Kyushu Electric Power Company has delayed restarting 2 of its reactors at the Genkai nuclear power plant in Saga Prefecture.
Hokuriku Electric Power says the firm faces difficulty in rebooting 2 reactors at its Shika plant in Ishikawa Prefecture without first gaining the understanding of the prefectural government and residents.
Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, which operates the Fukushima plant, is too busy battling the crisis to complete regular checkups for 3 reactors at its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant in Niigata Prefecture.
Three nuclear power plant operators including TEPCO have shelved plans to build 2 new plants in northern Japan and one in western Japan.
Chugoku Electric Power says a new reactor at its plant in Shimane Prefecture will start operating later than scheduled after parts suppliers were damaged by the March 11th disaster.
Chubu Electric Power says it will review when to start building a new reactor at its Hamaoka plant in Shizuoka Prefecture.
The delays come after public concerns over the safety of nuclear reactors mounted amid the crisis. They also raise fears about Japan's future electricity supply.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011 12:28
Edano: Detection of plutonium a serious concern
Japan's top government spokesman says the detection of trace amounts of plutonium in ground at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant means the situation there is extremely serious.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said Tuesday that the density of plutonium found in soil samples taken from the plant a week ago was about the same as that found in the environment from past nuclear tests abroad.
But he said 2 of the samples appeared to contain the type of plutonium used in nuclear fuel, making it most likely that reactor fuel rods were the source.
Edano said that the traces of plutonium, combined with the detection of highly radioactive water, back up the view that nuclear fuel rods have partially melted.
He said the government is doing all it can to control the impact of the contamination and contain the situation.
Edano called for closer monitoring of data, saying that if higher levels of plutonium are found, the government will have to respond.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011 12:56
TEPCO urged to check leaked water in tunnels
The government's nuclear safety agency has ordered Tokyo Electric Power Company to closely monitor radiation and water levels in tunnels outside the turbine buildings for 3 damaged reactors.
The water was found leaking from the reactors and is filling tunnels linking the reactor buildings to outside the damaged Fukushima Daiichi power plant.
Radioactivity on the surface of water found just outside the turbine building of the Number 2 reactor is particularly high, at over 1,000 millisieverts per hour.
The nuclear agency told reporters on Tuesday that as far as it is aware, the tunnels are not flooded, and are not directly connected to the sea.
As of Monday, the water had reached 10 centimeters from the mouth of the tunnel for the No.1 reactor. It was about a meter from the mouth of tunnel from the No. 2 reactor and 1.5 meters from the No. 3 reactor tunnel.
The agency said it has ordered TEPCO to carefully monitor the radiation and water levels.
TEPCO is piling up sandbags and concrete around the mouth of the tunnels to prevent flooding.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011 14:36
More water pumped into No 1 Fukushima reactor
Tokyo Electric Power Company has begun pouring more fresh water into the No.1 reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant to cool it down.
TEPCO says the surface temperature of the No.1 reactor rose from 212.8 degrees Celsius as of 6 AM on Monday to 329.3 degrees 20 hours later.
It blames heat generated by the reactor's nuclear fuel. The reactor is designed to operate up to 302 degrees under normal conditions.
The power company raised the volume of water into the reactor from 113 liters a minute to 141 liters at 8 PM on Monday. As a result, it says, the reactor's temperature fell to 323.3 degrees as of 6 AM on Tuesday.
TEPCO says it will continue closely monitoring the reactor while fine-tuning water volume.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011 16:19
Leaked radioactive water hampers cooling of plant
No major progress is reported in the effort to drain radioactive water filling the basements of turbine buildings near 3 reactors in the damaged Fukushima nuclear facility. The delay is hampering work to cool down and stabilize the Daiichi nuclear power plant.
At the Number One reactor, workers have been pumping out contaminated water that filled the turbine condenser. Tokyo Electric Power Company says the water level inside the device has dropped, but cannot say exactly by how much.
The plant operator plans to drain the basements of the Number 2 and 3 units and transfer the leaked water into the condensers of the reactors. But the condensers are already full of water, which will first have to be moved to other tanks in the system.
TEPCO says work has already begun, but it is hard to forecast when the drainage will end.
Machines and equipment to restore automatic cooling systems for the reactors are installed inside the turbine buildings.
But the delay in draining contaminated water is blocking restoration.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011 16:55
Seawater radiation levels down

The Tokyo Electric Power Company says levels of radiation in seawater near the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant have dropped at 2 locations.

Seawater 50 meters north of the plant on Monday afternoon was found to contain 27 becquerels of radioactive iodine-131 per cubic centimeter, or 665.8 times higher than the regulated standard. The level at the location was 1,150 times higher than the standard on Sunday.

330 meters south of the plant, the level was 27.9 times higher than the standard on Monday afternoon, down from more than 1,000 times above the standard on Friday and Saturday.

At Iwasawa Beach, 16 kilometers south of the plant, the level was 58.8 times above the standard on Monday morning, up from Sunday's figure of 7.4 times.
Jun Misonoo of Japan's Marine Ecology Research Institute says radioactive substances that leaked into seawater from the plant is expected to initially flow south along the coast and be diluted by seawater.
The flow is likely to converge with the Japan Current off the eastern tip of Chiba Prefecture and go out into the Pacific Ocean, where the radiation concentration would likely be diluted considerably.
Misonoo urged careful monitoring of fish and shellfish for traces of radioactive substances such as cesium that come from power plants and remain in the environment for long periods.


Voices from around

. The Daily Reading List .  

. . . . .

Some headlines from the Japan Times of today

State to shoulder reconstruction

Over 40 still in evacuation zone

Embassies ready iodide tablets

Chief got sick during crisis: Tepco

Long-life cesium top threat to seafood

Food contamination to rise if crisis drags on

Radioactive ship turned away by China

Coke may import Korean water / Coca Cola

Blackouts crippling Kanto when country needs it most
"If we've lost 30 percent of our supply,
we'd better cut 30 percent of our demand."

illustration by Chris Mackenzie

source : japantimes.co.jp

. . . . .

Day 17 after the great earthquake and tsunami struck Japan.

I contemplate these days, how much psychological damage is being done by the constant influence of the media. I think it is important to be aware of how much negative influence we gain from 'bad' news, and limit this influence, and instead create 'good news', and also 'good images' internally for ourselves.

How do we deal with all this fear, trauma and stress?
Here are some amazing stories
I have seen that have inspired me:

~ Hideaki Akaiwa was startled at work by the now infamous earthquake and tsunami that shook and overtook Japan on March 11, Akaiwa rushed to high ground and immediately called his wife of two decades. When she didn't answer, Akaiwa ignored friends' pleas to wait for a military rescue, instead rummaging up some scuba gear and diving into the dark, cold, debris-filled tsunami. Hundreds of yards of swimming later, Akaiwa found his wife struggling against the 10-foot current that had overtaken the couple's Ishinomaki home. He later went on another scuba diving journey through the dangerous and dark waters to rescue his elderly mother who was trapped and alone on a roof top surrounded by water.

source : body mind spirit integration.com


2:46 QuakeBook 

The 2:46 Quakebook project started with a tweet and is on the verge of something great, a way that we can help all those hit by the the March 11th, 2011 earthquake and its aftermath.

Led by OurManInAbiko, a call went out across Twitter for contributors to create a book to raise funds for Red Cross Japan

source : quakebook.blogspot.com

. . Quakebook in the Japan Times . .



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  1. Anonymous3/29/2011

    Now we need candle light again, it is so bad.

  2. Anonymous3/29/2011

    My condolences goes to Gabi in Japan and all Japanese citizens.Indeed they are going through hard times.
    Let them remember that God is the master of our destiny.
    a friend from Kenya

  3. Dear Gabi,
    your poems and reports bring home the realities, big and small, of the situation to those of us who are geographically distant, but who hold you in our hearts.
    Thank you and bless you.

  4. Anonymous3/29/2011

    I second that. Thank you Gabi for your updates on facebook and the BLOG.

  5. Anonymous3/29/2011

    by the pond water below -
    lotus flowers

    Hino Tomiko 日野富子
    (1440 - 1496/5/20 )


  6. Anonymous3/29/2011

    Thank *you* Gabi, for all your hard work keeping us informed about the situation there.
    Hope you are taking care of yourself.

  7. I was inspired to write this haiku after reading
    your words below,Gabi - San

    whose womb,
    this mountain, pushing

    robert d. wilson

  8. がんばって!never give up!

  9. Anonymous3/29/2011

    Sorry to say that it is not only mighty forces of Nature- a very tiny part of the havoc it has played.
    The disaster is man made, everywhere, it is the so called leaders who are over jealous and ambitious, fearfu, to dominate they create Nuclear disaster when it goes beyond their control- It is time that this evil force is banned- now may be, some of them there will suffer for life.
    With heart felt empathy, though we cannot actually know it,
    a friend from India

  10. Anonymous3/29/2011

    i am sure Japan will rise again.
    This is an hour of trial which Maula has destined and has to be met with zen fortitude and courage. wish we could do something but we will welcome you or other friends to live with us if you can come here and wait till reconstruciton. we shall look after you.
    a friend from India

  11. God my friend, masters no ones destiny, a commitie of fools do´es

  12. Anonymous3/29/2011

    The geisha sounds like an amazing woman, Gabi.

  13. Anonymous3/29/2011

    Gabi san thank you for your introduction of precious news.
    It’s very interesting.


  14. Thanks for sharing this ... very powerful.

  15. Anonymous3/29/2011

    ..very strong/effective haiku, Greve Gabi:

    "I lost it all -"
    the old geisha
    keeps going

  16. Anonymous3/30/2011

    感謝 感謝 感謝

  17. Anonymous3/30/2011

    Thank you Gabi -
    a story of amazing endurance and spirit. :-)