Posts Tagged ‘earthquake’

Crappy TV Movie Validated by Science

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

From Slashdot comes news that the local atmosphere heated up right before the Sendai earthquake, and that such heating can be detected (and presumably photographed) via infrared.

What struck me about this story was that it validates the deeply unlikely premise behind a mediocre 1974 TV movie called The Day the Earth Moved. In it, an aerial photographer takes pictures of desert landscapes using a flawed film that reveals where earthquakes will strike due to a red line running down the middle of the fault zone. Naturally, the pictures reveal that a quake will strike a local town, and the usual race against time ensues.

So congratulations to writers Jack Turley and Max Jack. You were one of those thousands of shotguns firing in the dark that actually hit something.

Japan Earthquake/Tsunami Update for April 4, 2011

Monday, April 4th, 2011

A few more bits of new on Sendai tsunami/earthquake aftermath:

  • The latest official death toll is 11,828, with more than 15,500 still missing.
  • Some high-resolution photos of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear facility
  • Another good source of information on the Fukushima Daiichi reactors.
  • During the tsunami, Waves reportedly hit 100 feet high in Ofunato City.
  • And speaking of Ofunato City, here is footage of the tsunami coming in there:

    Someone has put up a series of videos called “people trying to escape from the tsunami,” some of which I’ve never seen before, and all of which look entirely too close for comfort.

    Here’s entirely-too-close footage of the tsunami coming in, including large tugboats and a van trying to escape, right before the cameraman decided he really needed to get to higher ground:

    A video from Kamaishi in Iwate:

    Tagajo City:

    Finally, some much-needed happy news:

    (This and all previous posts on the Sendai earthquake and tsunami can be found here.)

    Japan Mini Update on Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Reactor for March 29

    Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

    Slashdot posted a story linking a highly speculative piece in The Guardian saying that high levels of radiation might be a sign that molten fuel has leaked through the reactor vessel (not the containment vessel, as the Slashdot summary breathlessly announces). I have not seen any confirmation of this speculation, or indeed seen this speculation repeated outside Slashdot and a few other newspapers in the UK, and it is not confirmed by the most recent IAEA report.

    Here’s the official (and comprehensive) report on the current state of the six nuclear reactors at Fukushima Daiichi from the Japan Atomic Industrial Forum.

    Things are plenty bad at Fukushima, but (with the caveat that I am not even remotely a nuclear engineer) I see no solid evidence to suggest that there has been even a partial meltdown, much less that the core has melted through the reactor pressure vessel, much less that the containment vessel has been breached. Indeed this statement from the IAEA report would suggest a better cause for the radioactivity spike recently observed: “The Nuclear Safety Commission of Japan suggests that higher activity in the water discovered in the Unit 2 turbine building is supposed to be caused by the water, which has been in contact with molten fuel rods for a time and directly released into the turbine building via some, as yet unidentified path.”

    Japan suffered a real tragedy, with over 11,000 confirmed dead from the earthquake and tsunami, and Western journalists and bloggers seem unnaturally fixated on a serious but limited nuclear accident that hasn’t claimed any lives yet.

    (This and all previous posts on the Sendai earthquake and tsunami can be found here.)

    Japan Earthquake/Tsunami Update for March 29

    Tuesday, March 29th, 2011
  • Official death toll is at 11,102, with 16,493 people missing.
  • Resulting shortages continue to hit the global supply chain, including the world’s two-largest producers of 12″ silicon wafers for semiconductor fabrication and batteries for Apple’s iPod.
  • It has also resulted in food shortages…at a Calgary specialty grocery store. But thankfully, I’m not seeing any reports of a Pocky shortage…
  • Tsunami overwhelming the city of Kesennuma. This one appeared on Fark:

    More tsunami:

    Tsunami hitting port city, including floating some very big ships past with the debris wake:

    Aerial footage of cars attempting to escape the tsunami:

    This and all previous posts on the Sendai earthquake and tsunami can be found here.

    Japan Tsunami/Earthquake Update for Monday, March 21

    Monday, March 21st, 2011

    One more brief update on the aftermath of the Sendai earthquake/tsunami:

  • Death toll at 8,000, with 13,000 missing.
  • All six of the reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant appear to be under control, though there appears to be damage to the reactor cores of reactors 1-3. Those reactors have been given an International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES) rating of 5, which would put it on par with Three Mile Island, but well below the 7 assigned to Chernobyl.
  • Foot shortages in Tokyo appear to be easing.
  • Sendai port is open and receiving emergency fuel shipments.
  • Tsunami video from Miyako City in Iwate Prefecture:

    This and all previous posts on the Sendai earthquake and tsunami can be found here.

    Random Japanese Earthquake/Tsunami Updates for Thursday, March 17

    Thursday, March 17th, 2011

    A few random notes on the Sendai earthquake and tsunami:

  • Confirmed death toll is 5,962, with 9,522 people still missing.
  • Why Japan is more resilient than Haiti when faced with similar crises.
  • Nuclear scientists to the media: Stop being alarmist scaremongers.
  • A few firsthand reports from Slashdot Japan.
  • Five inspiring survival stories.
  • Top-down view of the tsunami engulfing a fishing port:

    Scenes of post-apocalyptic devastation:

    At lot of the videos I’ve put up are from Russia Today. Either they’re very good at getting high-quality source videos, or very good at ignoring copyrights…

    Japan Tsunami/Earthquake Update for March 16, 2011

    Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

    A few tidbits of news on the Sendai earthquake/tsunami aftermath in Japan:

  • Confirmed death toll is 4277. Missing toll is 8194.
  • Current estimates are that half a million Japanese are now homeless.
  • A better source for updates on japan’s nuclear reactors: the IAEA. As opposed to sensationalist MSM headlines like this one from CNN: “Japan’s ticking nuclear timebomb”.
  • Serious damage was sustained by the ports of Hachinohe, Hitachi, Hitachinaka, Ishinomaki, Kamaishi, Kashima, Ofunato, Onahama, Sendai-Shiogama and Soma.
  • How the Apple store in Japan helped out in the emergency.
  • Another gallery of aftermath photos.

    I’m not seeing too many new videos worth putting up. You’ve probably seen a lot of this video before, but here’s one long, continuous aerial take of the tsunami coming in:

    More volcano erruption footage:

    To end on an encouraging note, here’s a video of two dogs who survived the earthquake and tsunami:

    This and all previous posts on the Sendai earthquake and tsunami can be found here.

    Japan Earthquake/Tsunami Update for Tuesday, March 15

    Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

    Some news on the Sendai earthquake and tsunami:

  • Confirmed death toll above above 3,400, but estimates still above 10,000.
  • Supermarket shelves in Tokyo are bare
  • I can’t even pretend to keep up with all the contradictory twists and turns of the nuclear plant saga, but the latest news I saw was things were looking up. Slightly. Maybe.
  • Gilbert Gottfried fired from his gig as the voice of the AFLAC duck for telling jokes about Japan on Twitter. The jokes, while indeed in somewhat poor taste, are pretty mild for a comedian that appeared in The Aristocrats, and probably compared to the inevitable forthcoming South Park episode.
  • More aftermath pictures from the Sendair earthquake and tsunami.

    Tsunami coming in to Iwaki City:

    More tsunami wave footage:

    Rooftop tsunami footage:

    Sendai tsunami footage:

    The tsunami in Minamisanriku:

    Still more tsunami footage:

    The aftermath in Rikuzentakata:

    Shinmoedake volcano eruption in SW Japan:

    This and all previous posts on the Sendai earthquake and tsunami can be found here.

    Japan Tsunami/Earthquake: More Before and After Pictures

    Sunday, March 13th, 2011

    From ABC Australia.

    Japan Earthquake/Tsunami Update for Sunday, March 13

    Sunday, March 13th, 2011

    A few more quick updates on the aftermath of the Sendai earthquake/tsunami:

  • Current estimates for the death toll is that it will top 10,000 in Miyagi prefecture (which includes Sendai) alone.
  • The magnitude of the earthquake has been shifted upward to a 9.0.
  • The quake appears to have moved Japan’s coast by about eight feet.
  • It also shifted the position of Earth’s axis about 4-7 inches.
  • Conflicting reports as to whether the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor has melted down, has partially melted down, will meltdown, won’t meltdown.
  • One 60-year old man was found on the roof of his floating house ten miles out to sea.
  • Finally, expressing the lightning-quick reflexes they’ve long been known for, the State Department issued a travel warning for Japan.
  • More dramatic footage of the tsunami coming in. There’s one building that the water goes up against, and then through, and then, in a matter of about 10 seconds since the wave hit, the building is gone.

    Includes some of the above, and a lot more besides, off Japanese TV:

    Before and After aerial footage:

    Helicopter rescue footage:

    The tsunami even caught the Japanese Air Force unaware, which a number of (I think) F-16s picked up and carried into buildings or soaked with mud:

    Interesting video from 2010 explaining Japanese preparation for earthquakes and tsunamis: