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Hes March 11th, 2011 10:46 am

The Japan Earthquake and Tsunami
Today Japan was hit by a 8.8/8.9 earthquake, shortly followed by a huge tsunami. I've heard reports of 15 a 20 minutes after the earthquake hit. An coastline area over 2100km was hit.

If you have watched the images of the Sendai area being hit by the waves, I am thinking how could anyone have managed to get themselves in safety. Those poor people, no way to go really.

Other countries in the Pacific are preparing for tsunami waves.

Moriath March 11th, 2011 10:52 am

Re: The Japan Earthquake and Tsunami
There is a video of the tsunami hitting Japan on the Guardian front page. It's really shocking to see cars trying to get away before being swept away like toys.

Experts are afraid that the tsunami waves are higher than some of the islands in their path and that these islands will disappear completely under the wave. A terrifying prospect.

Hes March 11th, 2011 11:00 am

Re: The Japan Earthquake and Tsunami
I hadn't noticed those cars but now I see it. Jeez.

wandrider March 11th, 2011 11:26 am

Re: The Japan Earthquake and Tsunami
Our Wizard Prayers & Magic Rescues & Protection Charms go out to our Wizard & Witch friends & Muggle friends in Japan!

These are troubled times... We send you our good magic & cast a spell for healing in your time of need from your American friends & everywhere else in the Wizard and Muggle World.

The Ministry of Magic will do its best to provide help in your time of need...

Luna Blessings :tu:

This is an interactive Earthquake Map that allows you to click on each earthquake (square marks) for more detail...

Click Here to See All the Recent Earthquakes Hitting Japan Area

Obviously, this is major activity with lots of powerful after shocks!

aerial March 11th, 2011 11:49 am

Re: The Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

Fury March 11th, 2011 1:14 pm

Re: The Japan Earthquake and Tsunami
I'm watching Fox News for all the coverage. The Tsunami is now hitting Hawaii, and is expected to hit Honolulu in less than 10 minutes. And it could also hit parts of the west coast.

Hes March 11th, 2011 1:20 pm

Re: The Japan Earthquake and Tsunami
The Philippines and Indonesia seem to be okay, in Indonesia the waves are under half a metre according the BBC.

Fury March 11th, 2011 1:27 pm

Re: The Japan Earthquake and Tsunami live video of waves hitting Hawaii

flimseycauldron March 11th, 2011 9:50 pm

Re: The Japan Earthquake and Tsunami
The pictures coming out of Japan are frightening. One broadcaster said that Japan hasn't been able to catch a break between it's economy, political scandals, and now this. :( Just watching video of oil refineries exploding is scary. Then the waves just washing houses and autos away....Fears over their nuclear power plants and leaking radiation. My heart goes out to them. :upset:

Wab March 11th, 2011 11:59 pm

Re: The Japan Earthquake and Tsunami
I'm still waiting for reliable reports from countries like Tuvalu. Even if the waves have mitigated by the time they get there, it's only 2m above sea level at it's highest point.

Midnightsfire March 12th, 2011 12:01 am

Re: The Japan Earthquake and Tsunami
Somebody posted this elsewhere:

The headline you won't be reading: "Millions saved in Japan by good engineering and government building codes". But it's the truth.

If they don't get to that nuclear reactor soon, though...

Lord Godric March 12th, 2011 12:04 am

Re: The Japan Earthquake and Tsunami
The threat of a nuclear catastrophe seems to be rising with every passing hour.
Without cooling water, the irradiated nuclear fuel could spontaneously combust in an exothermic reaction. Since the storage pools are not located within containment, a catastrophic radioactivity release to the environment could occur. Up to 100 percent of the volatile radioactive Cesium-137 content of the pools could go up in flames and smoke, to blow downwind over large distances. Given the large quantity of irradiated nuclear fuel in the pool, the radioactivity release could be worse than the Chernobyl nuclear reactor catastrophe of 25 years ago.

Alastor March 12th, 2011 5:32 am

Re: The Japan Earthquake and Tsunami
I'm not sure that I'll take it too seriously when Forbes cites a specialist working for a propaganda institution (Beyond Nuclear ). He may have an axe to grind.

That some nuclear plants seem to have some troubles is however a fact. Japan declares nuclear emergency

gertiekeddle March 12th, 2011 8:24 am

Re: The Japan Earthquake and Tsunami
There seems to have been an explosion close to Daiichi just now, though. Worse, in the meantime not even Greenpeace - who already told so yesterday - but also Japanese offices confirm that it is likely that a nuclear fusion is already happening in Daiichi. (Off-topic-remark: In Japan, who probably worked out the most save atomic power plants of the world; how much must happen until we finally get rid of those?)

From there are several ways, though. It's a catastrophe, without a doubt. The extension is however quite unknown yet. There were four or five nuclear fusions in human's history, Chernobyl being the worst in its spreading over so many parts of the Earth. If the nuclear fusion (which again can't be confirmed yet but likely is happening right now) hits the ground-water and keeps spreading cesium into the atmosphere, things will get worse than Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe ever was. If the fusion stops before it seriously damages the casings, the area will still be restricted for living for more than a lifetime, but it might be a relatively small catastrophe considering what could have happened.

And this all to a country which also has already to deal with a catastrophe after earthquake and tsunami, being in constant danger of further earthquakes and tsunamis. It's not yet a reason to develop end of the world scenarios, but it's no easy situation for everyone on this world.

wandrider March 12th, 2011 10:58 am

Re: The Japan Earthquake and Tsunami
Video of a huge explosion at nuclear power plant here!!! Wow, this is freaky... You can enlarge this video to full screen.

Click Here to Check Out Video of Huge! Explosion! at Nuclear Power Plant in Japan

Iwaki, Japan: An explosion at a nuclear power station tore down the walls of a building on Saturday amid fears that its reactor was close to a disastrous meltdown after being hit by a powerful earthquake and tsunami.

This is really bad IF there is going to be a large radiation leak??? I hope not!!!

gertiekeddle March 12th, 2011 11:28 am

Re: The Japan Earthquake and Tsunami
Officials claim that the explosion didn't add to the dangers already happening due to the (likely) nuclear fusion, but the latter alone of course already is the biggest damage which can happen at a nuclear plant.

An nuclear expert which name I didn't understood (maybe it was Sailer) claimed at the radio an half hour ago that Japanese officials must be very worried since they be now raised the restricted zone up to 20 miles. His view on the explosion is that it in fact is supporting the spread of radiation highly (Japanese officials confirmed that there have been leaks already, they just claim this new big leak doesn't make a difference in this). The expert said he's already sure that officials must know that the fusion is happening, but not speculate about it only and calls the catastrophe already as bad as Chernobyl. It might, in his view, get even worse, depending on weather issues and whether it's still possible to work in the contamined area to rescue the other reactors.

It seems people are also asked to take potassium iodide meds now. Both, the meds and the evacuation I actually judge positively. We're (hopefully) over a time where a State can't take according measures because otherwise people instantly believe things are worse than it is told.

However, even if this guy is partly wrong, the situations is shockingly enough. There seems to be not much what humans still can do to prevent an other damages on the two destroyed nuclear plants - for particular is the area is already restricted. The best news by now are that the wind blows towards the coast, but not towards further cities. That's a short-time relief, though.

ETA: The German expert was right. Japanese officials have confirmed that they by now know that there is a nuclear fusion. There seems to be still hope that the explosion in Daiishi didn't hit the reactor itself, though. What's up in Daini (the second no more cooled reactor) seems to be unknown at this point. Anyhoo: the nuclear catastrophe is there, people get evacuated, get meds and a nuclear rescue medicine team has instaled their department 5 miles from Daiishi.

wandrider March 12th, 2011 12:12 pm

Re: The Japan Earthquake and Tsunami
Let's hope the scenario is more like this, see below, and it is not another Chernobyl. Japan, no doubt, has far superior design & containment compared to what the Russians had. Hopefully, their design will work with such a powerful earthquake. I would agree it must be near the design limits, since the earthquake is a record high that would not be expected except maybe every 500 years or so.

Reuters says that:

"A nuclear industry body official said on Saturday he believed a blast at a Japanese atomic power plant was due to hydrogen igniting, adding it may not necessarily have caused radiation leakage. 'It is obviously an hydrogen explosion ... due to hydrogen igniting,' Ian Hore-Lacy, communications director at the World Nuclear Association, a London-based industry body, told Reuters after reports of the explosion in Japan."

And the AP adds that: " 'meltdown' is not a technical term. Rather, it is an informal way of referring to a very serious collapse of a power plant's systems and its ability to manage temperatures. It is not immediately clear if a meltdown would cause serious radiation risk, and if it did how far the risk would extend. Yaroslov Shtrombakh, a Russian nuclear expert, said a Chernobyl-style meltdown was unlikely. 'It's not a fast reaction like at Chernobyl,' he said. 'I think that everything will be contained within the grounds, and there will be no big catastrophe.'

gertiekeddle March 12th, 2011 12:23 pm

Re: The Japan Earthquake and Tsunami
I hope the same. I think we had four or five nuclear fusions (my dictionary provided this word - is it actually 'meltdown' in English it seems, I mean the latter then) in history, with most different results. Every single one surely was a catastrophe on its own and for the people living around the areas, but none as heavily causing damage like Chernobyl which caused damaged all over Europe.

The explosion indeed seems to have had a spectacular look, but wasn't the worst thing what could have happened. By now I do hope the reactor casings is able to hold the meltdown, so that not more radiation will spread. And that Daini will cool down without causing similar damages. That a lot of the area is already contaminated was confirmed by the officials, but there are still difference between the levels of nuclear power plant accidents. Bah, what a very unfortunate technology that is.

Back to the further damages the earthquake(s) caused it seems rescuing teams slowly make their ways to the regions being hit hardest. Following earthquakes don't seem to be visited as scaring as it first seemed. There seem to be over 1400 victims of the catastrophe confirmed by now, lives of those who were in this train which still is fully missed not yet counted. How people can cope with the mass of possible catastrophes and damages is beyond me.

wandrider March 12th, 2011 1:08 pm

Re: The Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

Originally Posted by gertiekeddle (Post 5708775)
I hope the same. I think we had four or five nuclear fusions (my dictionary provided this word - is it actually 'meltdown' in English it seems, I mean the latter then)

Actually, the technical word in English is 'Fission'. (Fusion is what the Sun does with Hydrogen.)

In Japan there is some form of uncontrolled 'fission' reaction that is not being cooled correctly, so the slang word would be "meltdown". Meltdown is an extreme, worst case, scenario, so hopefully it is just a fission reaction that has leaked into the containment areas. It will no doubt heat-up to leak into the containment area, but, hopefully, will not "meltdown" or break through the containment area. The nuclear plant will be shut down for clean-up, or it may close permanently if the contamination is too great in the containment vessels.

Hopefully, the high pressures are being bled-off into the atmosphere to manage the pressure & heat, so hopefully this will be all the fission particulates that will escape. I just hope the design allows for automatic pressure relief, otherwise there could be a "pressure bomb" that might explode & damage the containment area. If that happens, then a lot of fission materials will leak-out into the open & could contaminate large areas beyond the nuclear plant. That would be catastrophic for the Japanese, since land is so precious & limited there.

Hopefully, that is only a nightmare that is just a bad dream.

gertiekeddle March 12th, 2011 1:36 pm

Re: The Japan Earthquake and Tsunami
Thank you - a fission it is then! Then I guess meltdown equals 'Supergau' in German - what Chernobyl was due to it crossing the border to no more controllable, while other accidents in history count as 'Gau' when they still could controlled in some way.

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