Guardian: Press agencies have been gathering pictures from some of the worst-hit areas of Japan showing how communities are slowly repairing their towns. In a series of montages they have combined pictures taken during or just after the tsunami hit, with images taken up to a year later. Photographs: AP, AFP, Getty Continue
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow): More than 20 million tons of trash was deposited into the Pacific Ocean last March when a tsunami ravaged coastal areas around Japan, a mind-boggling amount considering that’s around ten times the amount that usually winds up in the Pacific each year.
Scientists believe some of that trash is floating towards the Hawaiian Islands, and concern for Hawaii’s environment and maritime industry is growing. Continue
Japan PM on Fukushima: “Taking this as a lesson, we will lead the world in clean energy such as solar and biomass”
Prime Minister Naoto Kan said Tuesday that Japan would abandon plans to build new nuclear reactors, saying his country needed to “start from scratch” in creating a new energy policy….
Mr. Kan said Japan would retain nuclear and fossil fuels as energy sources, but vowed to add two new pillars to Japan’s energy policy: renewable energy and conservation.
Continue: Climate Progress
The following map is a modified version of the earthquake vulnerability map published on Views of the World last month (see that page for more details on the underlying earthquake map). The map itself does not show much new information, but includes an aditional layer containing the largest cities of the world, the so-called megacities (depending on the definition, these are cities with a population of more than 5, 8 or 10 million).
Continue: Views of the World
For the past 20 years or so, some seismologists in Japan have warned of the seismic and tsunami hazards to the safety of nuclear power plants, most notably Katsuhiko Ishibashi, now professor emeritus at Kobe University. Their warnings went unheeded. Yet in the immediate aftermath of the magnitude-9.1 earthquake that struck Tohoku on 11 March, pundits could be found on many Japanese TV stations saying that it was “unforeseeable”.
Guardian: Flawed earthquake predictions gave Fukushima a false sense of security
Japanese put their faith in a system that has consistently failed to predict the risk of major earthquakes, says scientist
Tokyo Electric Power Company was reporting on Saturday on its survey of high-water marks left on the plant’s buildings.
It says it found that the tsunami reached up to 15 meters on the ocean side of the reactor and turbine buildings. The figure is far beyond the company’s originally estimated height of 5.7 meters.
Japan-based Associated Press photographer David Guttenfelder documents the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami that devastated the north-east of the country
PARIS, March 31 (Reuters) – Japanese authorities grappling with a nuclear disaster must hand out iodine tablets now and as widely as possible to avoid a potential leap in thyroid cancers, the head of a group of independent radiation experts said.
France’s CRIIRAD group says Japan has underestimated the sensitivity of the thyroid gland to radioactivity and must lower its 100 millisieverts (mSv) threshold for administering iodine.
The IAEA adds its voice to Greenpeace, calling for an expansion of the evacuation zone near Fukushima; yet the Japanese gov’t decides not to act ‘until necessary’; TEPCO plans to scrap four of the six stricken reactors
* A total of 11,438 people were confirmed dead by Japan’s National Police Agency as of 0600 GMT (2 a.m. ET) on Thursday, while 16,541 were missing.
(Reuters): Here are some facts about radiation and the health dangers it poses-
Below are different levels of massive radiation exposure in a single dose – all measured in millisieverts — and their likely effects on humans, as published by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency:
– 50-100: changes in blood chemistry
– 500: nausea, within hours
– 700: vomiting
– 750: hair loss, within 2-3 weeks
– 900: diarrhea
– 1,000: hemorrhage
– 4,000: possible death within 2 months, if no treatment
– 10,000: destruction of intestinal lining, internal bleeding and death within 1-2 weeks
– 20,000: damage to the central nervous system and loss of consciousness within minutes, and death within hours or days
Sources: Taiwan Atomic Energy Council, World Nuclear Association, US Department of Transportation, US Environmental Protection Agency
Radioactive iodine-131 at a concentration 1,850.5 times the legal limit was detected in a seawater sample taken around 330 meters south of the plant, near a drainage outlet of the four troubled reactors, compared with 1,250.8 times the limit found Friday, the agency said.
A Greenpeace team of radiation experts is monitoring locations around the evacuation area that surrounds the crisis-stricken Fukushima/Daiichi nuclear plant. They’re there to independently assess the true extent of radiation risks that the local population may be facing.
Continue: Greenpeace Int
A map, which provides a general representation of the risks of earthquakes on humanity using records from the past 4,000 years, has been produced by a geographer from the University of Sheffield.
The new World Earthquake Intensity Map has been created on an equal-population map and allows us to understand the earthquake intensity in relation to today´s population distribution, giving an idea of where most people are at risk in regards to seismic activity.
It provides a visualisation of all major earthquakes that have been complied in the Global Significant Earthquake Database. The database contains information on destructive earthquakes from 2150 BC to the present day that meet at least one of the following criteria: moderate damage (approximately $1 million or more), 10 or more deaths, magnitude 7.5 or greater, modified Mercalli intensity X or greater, or the earthquake generated a tsunami.
Continue: Views of the world
Social and Spatial Inequalities Research Group,Department of Geography,University of Sheffield
Food aid is flowing, refugees are restoring daily routines, and even mobile banks are appearing in north Japan as the nation rallies around victims of the March 11 double disaster.
Nearly two weeks after an earthquake and tsunami plunged the Asian nation into its worst crisis since World War II, an increasingly thorough and successful humanitarian relief operation is replacing the scenes of suffering and devastation.
Every day, the world over, large amounts of high-level radioactive waste cre- ated by nuclear power plants is placed in interim storage, which is vulnerable to natural disasters, man-made disasters, and to societal changes. In Finland the world’s first permanent repository is being hewn out of solid rock – a huge system of underground tunnels – that must last 100,000 years as this is how long the waste remains hazardous.
Continue: Into Eternity The Movie
ONKALO is Underground Rock Characterisation Facility being built for rock characterisation for the final disposal of spent nuclear fuel. Read more. Posiva Finland
2011 March 22 07:18:47 UTC
LONDON (AlertNet) - Despite the high death toll and shocking devastation caused by last week’s quake and tsunami, aid workers are not pouring into Japan.
By and large Japan, as one of the most developed countries, has the capacity to respond and it has only accepted international support in a few specific areas, such as search-and-rescue teams, medical help and nuclear specialists.
Temporary housing is taking shape next to an evacuation centre in this northern Japanese town, among the first places where rebuilding from the devastating earthquake and tsunami 10 days ago has begun.
Health action in crises
WHO is providing answers to the general public’s frequently asked questions concerning exposure, food, shelter and individual protective measures on the radiation incident in Japan.
(CNN) — A massive emergency response operation is under way in northern Japan, with world governments and international aid groups coming together to bring relief to the beleaguered island nation.
16.03.2011 | Potsdam: The earthquake disaster on 11 March 2011 was an event of the century not only for Japan. With a magnitude of Mw = 8.9, it was one of the strongest earthquakes ever recorded worldwide. Particularly interesting is that here, two days before, a strong foreshock with a magnitude Mw = 7.2 took place almost exactly at the breaking point of the tsunami-earthquake. The geophysicist Joachim Saul from the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences (Helmholtz Association) created an animation which shows the sequence of quakes since March 9.
Continue: GFZ Potsdam
A United Nations forecast of the possible movement of the radioactive plume coming from crippled Japanese reactors shows it churning across the Pacific, and touching the Aleutian Islands on Thursday before hitting Southern California late Friday.
Continue: NY Times
Interaktive: NY Times
March 17, 2011
The first readings from American data-collection flights over the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in northeastern Japan show that the worst contamination has not spread beyond the 19-mile range of highest concern established by Japanese authorities.
Continue: NY Times
Thursday, 17 March 2011 11:23
Six days into the worst natural disaster in modern Japanese history, millions of people still lack drinking water as relief efforts are hampered by fuel and water supply shortages, the ongoing nuclear crisis, mangled roads, and extraordinarily cold weather.
According to the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare, 1.6 million households in 11 prefectures do not have drinking water. Other government sources estimate that as many as 2.5 million households could be affected. The ministry is distributing bottled water and is sending hundreds of water supply vehicles to the three prefectures—Miyagi, Fukushima, and Iwate—that took the barrel end of the twin catastrophes.
Continue: Circle of Blue