Saturday, March 12, 2011

Situation in Japan - The Wait Begins

Whilst we know T-chan's parents are safe, communications with Sapporo seem to have been quite badly affected. Landlines are still out, and even contacting T-chan's mother by phone is disrupted except for texting. We're now waiting to until T-chan can get back to Sapporo. Edit - seems that NTT lines were working, but other providers were struggling with demand and infrastructure problems in Sapporo.

We know that Hakodate (southern Hokkaido) was hit by a 2m tsunami and has sustained some damage, but news is still filtering out slowly. Airlines are now warning of significant disruptions to flights into Tokyo - but we're still hopeful there will be little affect on T-chan and L-kun flying to Japan on Tuesday. On more serious news - there is the real prospect of massive loss of life in North-Eastern Japan, with entire cities (such as Minamisoma, with a population of some 70,000 people) and large numbers of towns being either completely inundated, or worse, destroyed completely. Edit - the extent of damage here is now unclear.

Two nuclear reactors in Fukushima prefecture, near the worst hit area, have caused atomic emergency warning (and evacuations to be undertaken) as control to the cooling to the reactors have been at least temporarily lost - at best this will result in the release of some radioactive steam into the atmosphere, but at worst the reactors will continue to increase in temperature... and some limited meltdown occur. This is important as it could be the make or break of modern nuclear reactors.


  1. I am very glad to know T-chan's parents are OK.
    My brother's mother-in-law lives in Fukushima in the North-Eastern area. His wife finally got in touch with her.
    The nuclear reactors are found to be not at their worst. Hopefully, they will be cooled down tomorrow with sea water.
    I hope T-chan will be able to see her parents.

  2. We've finally been able to re-establish good contact with T-chan's parents.

    I have to say that the Fukushima reactor situation is one that is surrounded by fear - especially with the news of the hydrogen explosion at the #1 power station.

    It's good that they are being cautious - and increasing the evacuation zone. Still, it's hard to know when the situation will start getting better.

    I understand that they have already started pumping seawater in - but it sounds like a last defence option. Hopefully works.

    We're definitely nervous about whether T-chan and L-kun will be able to make it back home. Still, it's hard to put our worries alongside the situation that is facing so many people in Japan.