Super Typhoon Songda Approaching Okinawa, US Military bans Alcohol

May 28, 2011 § Leave a comment

Airmen and Marines on Okinawa are banned from drinking alcohol this weekend if and when incoming Super Typhoon Songda nears the island, according to both services.

The ban goes into effect when the storm is within 12 hours of making landfall and the military announces a Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 1 warning level, which was expected to occur sometime Saturday afternoon.

Songda has had wind gusts from 160 to 200 mph and is the first major storm to threaten Okinawa this year, though the official storm season does not begin until June 1.

In a prepared statement Thursday, the 18th Wing commander, Brig. Gen. Ken Wilsbach, said typhoons “can pose a significant challenge to military operations on Okinawa — a challenge that requires complete readiness of personnel to prepare for a storm’s arrival and to resume full operations after a storm passes.”

All active-duty servicemembers are covered by the alcohol ban, including those people on leave and those on TDY who are awaiting transportation.

Civilians are not covered but are “encouraged to refrain from alcohol consumption” during the storm.

The alcohol ban will remain in effect until Songda passes and the military declares the situation all clear, according to Wilsbach’s announcement.

Liquefaction: Land Sinkage from Earthquakes

May 10, 2011 § 15 Comments

Chiba Sidewalks Dropping from Liquefaction

As the rest of the world continues on with its own environmental disasters – Japan continues to grapple with the massive amounts of destruction caused by the great 9.0 earthquake and tsunami, tomorrow marking two months its two month anniversary. The aftermath in Tohoku and the nuclear crisis in Fukushima has left the Japanese government reeling with where to begin.

Chiba, home to Japan’s Disneyland largest concern is not damage from tsunamis, which dissolved towns in the east after the barrage of earthquakes along the pacific plate, but “land liquification.” Much of Tokyo’s real estate (particularly near Tokyo bay and other coastal areas) is artificial (landfill) – positively reacting to large earthquakes by turning its land mass into liquefaction. The ground sinks beneath a person’s feet; residential and commercial structures, roads, parks, power lines are slowly sinking into the earth with each aftershock or subsequent earthquake. Parked cars have sunk into the asphalt whereby it is half visible from the ground. The prestigious bay area home to tall luxury condos and newly built homes to young families has turned into a quicksand land mass within hours. This area was once the beach and ocean 30 decades ago. People chose to reside in this area in hope of a raising their families in the new communities of Chiba.

Urayasu and Ichikawa are attempting to secure a solution as to this date, the liquified areas have made roads inaccessible to much of the public.

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Fukushima Daiichi: 200 Radius KM will develop Cancer

April 14, 2011 § Leave a comment

1 Month Later – 9.0 Earthquake & Tsunami: Another Big One

April 11, 2011 § Leave a comment

Tsunami-hit towns forgot warnings from ancestors | The Associated Press | News | Washington Examiner

April 11, 2011 § Leave a comment

Tsunami-hit towns forgot warnings from ancestors | The Associated Press | News | Washington Examiner.

One stone marker warned of the danger in the coastal city of Kesennuma: “Always be prepared for unexpected tsunamis. Choose life over your possessions and valuables.”

Magnitude 7.4 Hits Japan Again

April 7, 2011 § Leave a comment

A magnitude 7.4 earthquake just hit Japan again-less than a month after the 9.0 that devastated and crippled more than 1/2 of Japan. Officials said the aftershock hit 25 miles (40 kilometers) under the water and off the coast of Miyagi prefecture. The USGS later downgraded it to 7.1.

Buildings in Tokyo, which was about 205 miles (330 kilometers) from the epicenter, shook violently for about a minute. USGS geophysicist Paul Caruso said the aftershock struck at about the same location and depth as last month’s quake. The USGS said the aftershock struck off the eastern coast 40 miles (65 kilometers) from Sendai and 70 miles (115 kilometers) from Fukushima.

Nuclear Plants: Japan’s nuclear safety agency said power plants along the northeastern coast were under control after backup generators kicked in at three – Rokkasho, Higashidori and Onagawa – that lost power.

The aftershock knocked out two of three power lines at the Onagawa nuclear power plant north of Sendai, which has been shut down since the tsunami. One remaining line was supplying power to the plant and radiation monitoring devices detected no abnormalities. The plant’s spent fuel pools briefly lost cooling capacity but an emergency diesel generator quickly kicked in.

The International Atomic Energy Agency said progress was being made to stabilise the Fukushima Daiichi plant, where workers have been injecting nitrogen into a reactor to prevent a potentially explosive build-up of hydrogen gas.

“The situation at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant remains very serious,” Denis Flory, head of the IAEA’s nuclear safety department, told reporters.

Within one hour, all supermarkets and convenience stores shelves were wiped clean with water, ice, instant noodles, bread, toilet paper/tissues, rice, batteries and emergency supplies and food. Numerous buildings had broken windows and tiles, with quite a few small electrical fires were reported.

In Ichinoseki, which is also inland, buildings shook violently, knocking items from shelves and toppling furniture, but there also appear to be no major damage there. Hotel workers lit candles so guests could find their way around. In Miyagi prefecture motorways were closed and bullet train services were partially suspended.

In Sendai, hotel guests and diners ran out onto the streets, some clutching torches as they began walking home in near-darkness.

Sirens from emergency vehicles filled the air, but more than three hours later there were no reports of major damage.

Police and the fire service officials said they had received numerous calls about fires and gas leaks. NHK, Japan’s public broadcaster, said seven people had been injured, two of them seriously.

The earthquake sent the dollar sliding against the yen and wiped out early gains in European stock markets. European stocks ended down 0.2 percent and the S&P 500 finished down 0.15 percent, while the dollar extended losses against the yen. U.S.-dollar denominated Nikkei futures NKc1 were down 1.6 percent. Japan is the world’s third-largest economy and investors feared the new quake could harm the global recovery.

“It got people thinking that maybe this is not finished yet, and this is of a bigger scale than what we had expected,” said Jack DeGan, CIO @ Harbor Advisory Corp in New Hampshire.

By 1:30 a.m. (1630 GMT) seven people were reported injured, two seriously, a spokesman for the National Police Agency said.





Tokyo Radiation

March 30, 2011 § Leave a comment

Radiation in Tokyo – live from Meguro-ku

Live Geiger Counter

Location: Meguro ku:  about 10 mins walk from Ebisu station. Data is updated every minute so each time you visit this page you should see the graph update.
Equipment: American rm80 geiger counter with data logging.
Units are in uR/hr.
We have been monitoring for over a year, normal levels are 10-15 uR/hr.

Fukushima Exposure March 15
Highest levels detected  March 15 from Fukushima radiation 36uR/hr about 3x normal background levels. This has been the max for Meguro area to date. graph here click

Other field readings: Leaving Tokyo. With portable geiger.
Makahari Chiba 99uR/hr, about 8 x normal background levels.click

Some perspective: Same geiger taken onboard a flight at max altitude. 153ur/Hr.  About 12 x normal background radiation. Greater radiation exposure flying than max Tokyo exposure so far. click