Saturday, March 12, 2011

Tragedy In Japan

My heart goes out to the people of Japan. An earthquake and the resulting tsunami, the earthquake magnitude an unfathomable 8.9, hit a center 80 miles off the coast, raising a tsunami 10 meters (about 30 feet) high, which swept through areas north of Tokyo, sweeping away everything... homes, boats, buildings and of course people... and leaving in its wake many people trapped in rubble. Fires are burning in a number of areas.

There is conflicting information at this point about the degree of damage to, and danger from, nuclear power plants which sustained damage; apparently radioactive gas was released, and an area of about 10km radius about one of the plants is being evacuated. Another plant threatened to overheat its rods, but apparently that has been contained.

The photos on the web are heartbreaking. The devastation in some places is total in a way that most Americans can only imagine. (I am reminded of the photos in New York after 9/11/2001, or the photos of the Galveston Beach area after Hurricane Ike. To be honest, the photos of Hiroshima from 8/6/1945 also came to mind; the devastation is that great.) At least 1,000 people were killed, and the actual toll is nowhere nearly complete.

At this point we can only hope for the best. As avenues appear for sending help, I'll post them on this blog.

UPDATE:  PBS has a map of live recent seismic data.

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