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Earthquake-R-Us

As some of you know, Living Intentionally is located in Japan. Japan has just experienced its biggest earthquake in recorded history. Things are rather complicated here.

I was far from the epicentre when the earthquake struck, so I was in no immediate danger. As I was right at Shimizu Port in Shizuoka City, however, the danger from a potential tsunami was very real. We got to high ground at Kusanagi and watched the news for any information. The information was spotty at first, and that posed real concerns.

Cell phone service was badly disrupted, so contacting my kids was difficult. Eventually, word came that the girls were fine, but my son’s location wasn’t known. The relief felt upon finding him was profound.

The next 24 hours was all about getting to Tokyo to be with/take care of family. Now that I’m here, the concern is for us all to not be exposed to radiation. Apparently, there’s been an explosion at one of the Fukushima nuclear reactors. The government and TEPCO are being both quiet and contradictory about the state of things. As such, I can only assume the worst.

About all I can do at this point is to ensure that my family eats sufficient kelp to build iodine stores in the body and hope that all the preparation is for nothing. I’d appreciate you keeping a kind thought for us. The tsunami wiped entire towns and villages off the planet. Thousands are missing and it’s only going to get worse.

Wow. Just wow.

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8 Comments
  1. Trane I have been thinking of you and wondering how you and your family survived these horrific events in Japan. I just happened to switch the news on not long after the quake and to see the massive waters flooding from the tusanami well … there has to be a horrific death count. 4 passenger trains are missing altogether as is one ship with 100 people on board. Given it happened on a Friday afternoon those trains would have been FULL of commuters.

    The information coming through on the nuclear situation from Al Jazeera [better even than the BBC which has been good; CNN has been more sensational] is that the US has flown in some equipment which will help to cool the reactor down. However for a radius of 10 km people are being given tablets and warned to evacuate. How truthful this is .. who knows. But that is what is coming over the news which is 24/7 at the moment.

    When these disasters happen in one’s own part of the world the whole savage side of nature is presented to us in all its fury. It is unforgiving and causes unimagineable loss and pain to thousands of people.

    My thoughts are with you and your family and with all of those in Japan whose lives have been affected by these events. The carnage on the streets after the water subsided is unbelievable. If you do not have television and wish to communicate with the outside world please feel free to contact me. My email address is attached to this posting privately.

    Lyn in Oz

    • Hi, Lyn.

      Thanks for the kind thoughts. Here in the Tokyo area, things are absolutely fine. Once the disturbance to the power grid was solved, things have gotten quite back to normal. The initial tremblor put a fair bit of chaos into motion, but that has nicely resolved. About the only issue that remains is that of the reactor and we’re taking in a fair bit of kelp now to help build up healthful iodine stores in the body. Just in case.

      It will be interesting to see how this all plays out in the weeks and months to come. One thing is certain: Japan will never be the same.

  2. Update on television news coming in to me in Oz : ONLY CNN is running the story at present which suggests that you are not in a critical situation with the nuclear power stations. 120,000 people have been evacuated to a 20km radius from the problem reactor. There is no reported crisis but rather management of ongoing situation. [this is anyone’s guess on what it really means but because the other stations are not showing anything on Japan at the moment it is likely that there is no actual crisis with nuclear reactors in Japan].

    49 countries are contributing aid; the US has its aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan nearby and I’m not sure how other countries are getting the aid into Japan from the news reports.

    If anything significant is reported on tv I will report back here .. assuming your power lines will still be operating.

    Lyn

    • The biggest concern is that any news station will only get whatever news the government wants them to get. As such, it’s important to pay attention to the details. The devil is always in the details.

      In this case, it’s significant that they’ve reported measuring cesium isotopes in the atmosphere around the reactor. That can only happen if containment has failed in some fashion. Considering that they’ve now come forth and stated that a meltdown might actually be occurring in two reactors, we have a significant situation. It’s not a matter of whether it’s dangerous, it’s a matter of how dangerous it becomes.

      My advice for those of us in Japan is to eat lots of kelp and seaweed. Kelp contains ~415 mcg of iodine per 20 g. That means that an average adult of 18-40 years should eat 50-60 g of kelp/day to protect against radioactive iodine isotopes from binding in the thyroid receptors and causing DNA damage and radiation sickness.

  3. This is an interesting commentary on the nuclear fallout situation ….
    http://www.crikey.com.au/2011/03/14/nuclear-myths-erupt-in-japans-post-quake-confusion/

    and yes I’m afraid that all anyone is getting from the news media is what the government wants said.
    Lyn
    PS At least you have power and can see tv reports although I wouldn’t like to be anywhere near the whole thing. It looks as if it’s a long way from being sorted. CNN was reporting forecasts of another large earthquake from seismic experts. Again what to make of it!

    • Hi, Lyn.

      Yes, the situation here in Japan is definitely volatile. It’s uncertain how things will go with the cooling processes at the reactors and, yes, we’re certainly still at risk of significant seismic activity (although it’s unlikely to match what came before). All in all, I remain cautiously optimistic about TEPCO getting things under control at the Fukushima plant, but I’m not counting my chickens yet!

      trane

  4. I am very conservative in these sort of things and would have left the country by now until it was sorted. It comes in the high risk part of my antennae with awful results if it’s not contained. A lot of Australians have arrived back from Japan .. I have no idea what the radius of any uncontained disaster would be??

    • Unfortunately, leaving the country is currently not an option for me. If that changes, I will almost certainly make good the opportunity. 🙂

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