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Aftershock 2011/4/13 12:20
Peter san and All

A very big aftershock happened in the northern part on April 11. It was after the great earthquake for one month. After the silent prayer, the shake was immediately noticed. I am posting from my mom's house.

I was assuming 7 at the worst level from the announcement of IAEA. Residents surrounding in the nuclear power plant of Fukushima are very puzzled.
by Kaoru (guest) rate this post as useful

About the upgrade 2011/4/13 13:44
First, I am sorry to learn of additional damage and fatalities due to the latest aftershock. It must be so difficult to carry on with this uncertainty about whether or when another dangerous event might occur. My sympathies to all.

About the upgrade from 5 to 7 of the nuclear plant condition: it is my understanding this is a record-keeping change, not reflective of something that actually happened within the past 24 hours. Just as the original earthquake was first reported as severity 8.9 and later as 9.0, that does not mean that the earthquake itself changed--just the reporting of it. Apparently the authorities have now concluded that the nuclear emergency should be classified as a 7 (and should have been so classified since some unspecified time in the past). So they have changed the records to reflect this assessment. I don't think it means that there is more reason for concern now than there was two days ago. Even if the condition were miraculously solved tomorrow, it would not lower the rating, so far as I understand.

Peter, I have heard that debris from the tsunami will in fact be carried to the West Coast of North America. The largest portion is expected in about three years, according to what I learned. It is not well known, since it pales in comparison with what happened in eastern Japan, but the tsunami of March 11 caused tens of millions of dollars of damage in Hawaii, additional damage in California, and resulted in the loss of one life in California. Four people were swept out to sea in Washington State but subsequently rescued.
by wata geiru rate this post as useful

Change in rating 2011/4/13 16:36
We had not heard here in the east about the tsunami's damage to California and Hawaii - how terrible. Nor did we know about the eventual floating in of debris from Japan. I'm a little skeptical that such a thing can be predicted, or happen at all. I would have thought this debris would have eventually sunk to the bottom somewhere much closer to where it originated.

As for the upgrade in ranking, according to the IAEA, my understanding is that it wasn't based on the direct condition of the nuclear reactors, but on further measurements that showed the extent of the radiation pollution in surrounding areas, which was greater than they thought, with wider consequences than reported initially.

This is why, I suppose, the Japanese have been declaring wider margins in evacuating people from the areas affected, among other measures, like the condemning of farm products from the area.
by Steffi (guest) rate this post as useful

Debris landfall forecast 2011/4/13 18:11
Steffi, the debris landfall forecast was based on well-known circulation patterns in the Pacific Ocean. I am sure you are correct that the majority of the debris will either sink or perhaps be captured in the area where already there is a huge collection of flotsam, but there is so MUCH debris (including a lot of wood0 that some of it will undoubtedly remain to reach North America. I guess we will learn in 2014 or so whether this forecast is correct.

I have heard the same as you concerning the reasoning for the assignment of levels 1 through 7 to nuclear emergencies. In very recent news, there was a statement that Fukushima Daiichi, as of now, has released about one-tenth as much radioactive material as did Chernobyl in total. I have the sense though that even the "released" material is much better contained to the immediate area of the reactors at Fukushima, due to better original construction than was the case at Chernobyl.
by wata geiru rate this post as useful

Very interesting 2011/4/13 22:08
Steffi, The more information you provide the more interesting the story becomes. Actually it has all the makings of a great article. I would certaily like to know more details if you would like to share them. Can I make the assumption that your father was a German national and your mother Japanese?
I am researching an article on one of the US Navy men buried in the Foreigner's Cemetary, and I am looking for two others to make a short series covering the period from 1858 to the conclusion of the Pacific War.
by Tracy (guest) rate this post as useful

Wata geiru 2011/4/14 01:24
It will be interesting to see what actually winds up landing on our shores years after the tsunami event. Thanks for your explanation.

I think you are right about the comparisons with Chernobyl, and that the pollutions are relatively local. The problems remain, however, because as of now, I don't hear of any permanent solutions to actually shutting the Fukashima plants down, and perhaps there aren't any. I read recently that Chernobyl, after 25 years, still has 3000 people employed there to keep the place safe. Also, that many many surviving local people have serious related health issues, like thyroid and liver problems. I do hope that doesn't happen to the local Japanese people here.

Tracy - my parents were both European, but not "nationals" as normally defined. We were in fact without papers, and needed special US consul-created passports to immigrate to the US. One of these days I'll write it all down, maybe for an article or short book, and see how it looks - before I get too old and start forgetting all of it.
by Steffi (guest) rate this post as useful

Steffi 2011/4/14 08:27
I certainly agree with Tracy that your parents' story is a fascinating one. I've heard of people with similar backgrounds who ended up in Shanghai but I think it's much rarer to have landed in Japan. Yes, please write that down, for younger members of your family even if not for wider distribution. These events are important, although overlaid with sadness.
by wata geiru rate this post as useful

Tonights Haiku 2011/4/14 10:20
As darkness falls...
the last of the snow...
is gone.....

So now in southern NH the snow is finally gone...
Just in time for our a road trip..NORTH
to Vermont, Maine and Canada..where there still is plenty of snow..
and no palm trees...
sorry..just whining...
Kaoru..are you still in Yokohama ?
by Peter (guest) rate this post as useful

Hakone 2011/4/15 02:02
My family enjoyed the travel of Hakone. I am still in Yokohama. About 19 miles have the danger of the radioactivity from Fukushima Plant. There is bad news. The Meteorological Agency announced that there is a possibility that the large earthquake of magnitude 8 occurs in one month. Tap water and the food of Yokohama are safe now.
by Kaoru (guest) rate this post as useful

Kaoru 2011/4/15 11:51
Is the Meteorological authority's forecast based on the customary pattern of aftershocks, or is there some other indication of a large earthquake that may occur?

I will be sure to watch NHK World tonight to learn more about this development.
by wata geiru rate this post as useful

Japan Meteorological Agency 2011/4/16 12:01
by ... (guest) rate this post as useful

Thank you for JMA link 2011/4/16 13:48
I didn't find any prediction of an 8.0 quake within one month nor hear that on the news (NHK). I hope it doesn't happen.
by wata geiru rate this post as useful

Stardust Bar 2011/4/17 13:55
Stationed in Yokohama, U.S.Navy with MSTS at North Pier, billet at Kishine Barracks 1959-1961.
Drank my share of Kiren Beer at the Stardust and the other bars outsside of the gate, also the Bar Flora down the way. Good Memories.
by Rick Morrow (guest) rate this post as useful

MSTS 2011/4/17 21:59
What became of all those MSTS ships? I made six crossings, 1951-1961.
The names are probably familiar to you:

Gen Edwin D. Patrick
Gen George M. Randall
Gen Mason M. Patrick
Gen W. O. Darby (twice)
Gen W. A Mann

All the trips sailed from and to Seattle except the last return home on the Mann. We sailed into Oakland, CA on that voyage...
by Eric (guest) rate this post as useful

MSTS Ships 2011/4/18 08:45
Eric: I suggest you enter each name into an internet search engine. I'm sure you'll be able to find the info you seek, plus a lot more about each ship that you most likely don't know.
by Lori (guest) rate this post as useful

MATS to Japan early 1960s 2011/4/18 11:32
Anybody fly from California to Tokyo area (Atsugi or Yokota or ??) around 1961? I'm interested in knowing the mid-ocean stop...was it Wake? Midway? Guam? Thanks.
by wata geiru rate this post as useful

I remember the Navy base and housing 2011/4/18 23:04
I spent the fifth grade on the Navy base in Yokohama in 1960. I won the Datsun Fairlady that was given away via a raffle ticket on the base. The money collected was donated to Japanese orphans.
by sharron harris (guest) rate this post as useful

Hi Sharron! 2011/4/19 00:22
Were you a student at Nile C. Kinnick ?
I was in the 5th grade in 1960...
by Eric (guest) rate this post as useful

Tsunami warnings from long ago..... 2011/4/21 02:15
April 20, 2011
Tsunami Warnings, Written in Stone

ANEYOSHI, Japan \ The stone tablet has stood on this forested hillside since before they were born, but the villagers have faithfully obeyed the stark warning carved on its weathered face: gDo not build your homes below this point!h

Residents say this injunction from their ancestors kept their tiny village of 11 households safely out of reach of the deadly tsunami last month that wiped out hundreds of miles of Japanese coast and rose to record heights near here. The waves stopped just 300 feet below the stone, and the village beyond it.

gThey knew the horrors of tsunamis, so they erected that stone to warn us,h said Tamishige Kimura, 64, the village leader of Aneyoshi.

Hundreds of these so-called tsunami stones, some more than six centuries old, dot the coast of Japan, standing in silent testimony to the past destruction that these lethal waves have frequented upon this earthquake-prone nation. But modern Japan, confident that advanced technology and higher seawalls would protect vulnerable areas, came to forget or ignore these ancient warnings, dooming it to repeat bitter experiences when the recent tsunami struck.

gThe tsunami stones are warnings across generations, telling descendants to avoid the same suffering of their ancestors,h said Itoko Kitahara, a specialist in the history of natural disasters at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto. gSome places heeded these lessons of the past, but many didnft.h

The flat stones, some as tall as 10 feet, are a common sight here along Japanfs rugged northeastern shore, which bore the brunt of the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami on March 11 that left almost 29,000 people dead and missing.

While some of the stones are so old that the characters are worn away, most were erected about a century ago after two deadly tsunamis here, including one in 1896 that killed 22,000 people. Many of the stones carry simple warnings to drop everything and seek higher ground after a strong earthquake. Others provide grim reminders of the wavesf destructive force by listing past death tolls or marking mass graves.

Some of the stones were swept away by the tsunami last month, which scientists say was the largest to strike Japan since the massive Jogan earthquake in 869, whose waves left sand deposits miles inland.

Aneyoshifs tsunami stone is the only one that specifically tells where to build houses. But many of the regionfs place names also seem to indicate places safely out of the wavesf reach, like Nokoriya, or Valley of Survivors, and Namiwake, or Wavefs Edge, a spot three miles from the ocean that scholars say marks the farthest reach of a deadly tsunami in 1611.

Local scholars said only a handful of villages like Aneyoshi heeded these old warnings by keeping their houses safely on high ground. More commonly, the stones and other warnings were disregarded as coastal towns grew in the boom years after World War II. Even communities that had moved to high ground eventually relocated back to the seaside to be nearer their boats and nets.

gAs time passes, people inevitably forget, until another tsunami comes that kills 10,000 more people,h said Fumio Yamashita, an amateur historian in Iwate Prefecture, where Aneyoshi is located. He has written 10 books about tsunamis.

Mr. Yamashita, 87, who survived the recent tsunami by clinging to a curtain after waters flooded the hospital where he was bedridden, said Japan had neglected to teach its old tsunami lore in schools. He said the nation had put too much store instead in newly built tsunami walls and other modern concrete barriers, which the waves easily overwhelmed last month.

Still, he and other local experts said that the stones and other old teachings did contribute to the overall awareness of tsunamis, as seen in the annual evacuation drills that many credit with keeping the death toll from rising even higher last month.

In Aneyoshi, the tsunami stone states that ghigh dwellings ensure the peace and happiness of our descendants.h Mr. Kimura, the village leader, called the inscriptions ga rule from our ancestors, which no one in Aneyoshi dares break.h

The four-foot-high stone stands on the side of the only road of the small village, which lies in a narrow, cedar-tree-filled valley leading down to the ocean. Downhill from the stone, a blue line of paint has been newly sprayed on the road, marking the edge of the tsunamifs advance.

Last week, a university group said the waves had reached their greatest height in Aneyoshi: 127.6 feet, surpassing Japanfs previous record of 125.3 feet reached elsewhere in Iwate Prefecture by the 1896 tsunami.

Just below the painted line, the valley quickly turns into a scene of total destruction, with its walls shorn of trees and soil, leaving only naked rock. Nothing is left of the villagefs small fishing harbor, except the huge blocks of its shattered wave walls, which lie strewn across the small bay.

Mr. Kimura, a fisherman who lost his boat in the tsunami, said the village first moved its dwellings uphill after the 1896 tsunami, which left only two survivors. Aneyoshi was repopulated and moved back to the shore a few years later, only to be devastated again by a tsunami in 1933 that left four survivors.

After that the village was moved uphill for good, and the stone was placed. Mr. Kimura said none of the 34 residents in the village today know who set up the stone, which they credit with saving the village once before, from a tsunami in 1960.

gThat tsunami stone was a way to warn descendants for the next 100 years that another tsunami will definitely come,h he said.

For most Japanese today, the stones appear relics of a bygone era, whose language can often seem impenetrably archaic. However, some experts say the stones have inspired them to create new monuments that can serve as tsunami warnings, but are more suited to a visual era of Internet and television.

One idea, put forth by a group of researchers, calls for preserving some of the buildings ruined by the recent tsunami to serve as permanent reminders of the wavesf destructive power, much as the skeletal Atomic Bomb Dome in Hiroshima warns against atomic war.

gWe need a modern version of the tsunami stones,h said Masayuki Oishi, a geologist at the Iwate Prefectural Museum in Morioka.

Despite Aneyoshifs survival, the residents are in no mood for rejoicing. Four of the villagefs residents died last month: a mother and her three small children who were swept away in their car in a neighboring town.

The mother, Mihoko Aneishi, 36, had rushed to take her children out of the elementary school right after the earthquake. Then she made the fatal mistake of driving back through low-lying areas just as the tsunami hit.

The villagefs mostly older residents said they regretted relying too heavily on the stone, and not making more effort to teach younger residents such tsunami-survival basics as always to seek higher ground.

gWe are proud of following our ancestors,h the childrenfs grandfather, Isamu Aneishi, 69, said, gbut our tsunami stone canft save us from everything.h
by Steffi (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Tsunami warnings from long ago..... 2011/4/21 08:03
Steffi, you post the most interesting articles. Was this one from the New York Times?
by Barbara (guest) rate this post as useful

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