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Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

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Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

Old 14th Mar 2011, 20:37
  #441 (permalink)  
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Old 14th Mar 2011, 21:39
  #442 (permalink)  
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Ken, I too send my best wishes from Christchurch.

I thought we had it bad down here when we lost our home on 22nd Feb but then I saw the news flashes on Friday night NZT of what was happening in areas of Japan and it was obvious that our problems paled in comparison. Good luck.
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Old 15th Mar 2011, 03:41
  #443 (permalink)  
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Thank you all again. I am humbled by your kindness. Let me reiterate, we are fine here at home, and in Yamagata generally. I live in Oishida, about 55km NW of Sendai. In Oishida, the earthquake registered magnitude 5. It was violent, prolonged and scary. The worst part was knowing (from the direction of motion, I am a geologist) that it was coming from the monster thrust fault off the Miyagi coast, and what that would mean for the poor souls close to the ocean.

The power went off for a day, hence no internet access. We have torches, radios, batteries and candles. I filled the bath with water while it was still running, fortunate because the water was off for two days. We had enough to get by with only a minor amount of tidying up and trivial discomfort.

Today, here, most things are working relatively normally, although it is very quiet. We have run out of supplies of petrol (all the filling stations are closed), kerosine (for heating) and bottled gas (for cooking). I am going to have to siphon the works van (fortunately full) to fill the memsahib's car. The government has started to release its strategic reserve of fuel and we expect it to start arriving soon. There seems to be no major problem with reserves, but our arterial link with the south, the Tohoku expressway is still closed. The alternative route is via Niigata on the west coast and then across, but those connections to Yamagata and Miyagi are mountainous, congested and slow. Train services are still stopped. Yamagata airport (domestic) is now open.

We have been asked to conserve power, so lights and heating are largely off. We continue to be blessed with fine weather, the snow stopped on Friday evening. There are some shortages in the shops but local produce is readily available. We have rice and water, the main issue is distribution. The hospitals in Yamagata are full with evacuees, everyone has been asked to stay away except in cases of serious emergency.

Everyone is calm. Japan is a country used to dealing with floods, typhoons, earthquakes and fires. The emergency services are well trained, well equipped and disciplined. We thank all of our friends for their support whether it be practical, financial or moral. Particularly we thank the US military.

Lots of harrowing footage on TV. Last night a weeping grandfather who had his grand-daughter swept out of his arms. I'll stop there.
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Old 15th Mar 2011, 04:50
  #444 (permalink)  
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Some good news. Fuel is being delivered by sea to Sakata, on Yamagata's Japan Sea coast. From there it can be transported north through Akita to Iwate, or east though central Yamagata to Miyagi. Those are reasonable to good roads though pretty much mountains all the way.
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Old 15th Mar 2011, 04:57
  #445 (permalink)  
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That is welcome news. Are there indications that international assistance is getting in to the areas most devastated?

Last edited by 11Fan; 15th Mar 2011 at 06:15. Reason: removed irrelevant information
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Old 15th Mar 2011, 06:11
  #446 (permalink)  
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I extend my heartfelt sympathies to all PPRuNers in Japan
who are affecte......

Oops better not. I'll probably get banned again for posting
something decent and humane....
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Old 15th Mar 2011, 06:22
  #447 (permalink)  
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The assistance being offered by foreign countries is all very well, but how will these aid workers cope in an area where their language is unlikely to be understood? How many people in Japan will be able to offer help in translating the difficult technical terms required to ensure effective action is achieved?
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Old 15th Mar 2011, 06:32
  #448 (permalink)  
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After watching new video of the tsunami, the walls could have been twice their height and the water would still have breached the defences.

It's hard to imagine the force behind that water to do so much damage.

Our best wishes in this difficult and trying time.
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Old 15th Mar 2011, 06:40
  #449 (permalink)  

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They will go in and try to save lives or, sadly, recover. Language irrelevant. If they need something, someone local will help with translation. And the dogs they bring with them don't need spoken language.
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Old 15th Mar 2011, 07:12
  #450 (permalink)  
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Yep, RT has got it.
However they do it the international Urban Search And Rescue teams seem to slot in seamlessly together, with common standards of training and techniques, and there are probably expert translators as part of each team.
At a lower level, there is no language barrier when someone hands you a bottle of drinking water, or whispers a few words in your ear in an unknown language as they give you a hug or holds a hand or kicks a football around with a bunch of kids for a few invaluable minutes.
For quite a few days, and for hundreds of thousands of people, these will be the things they treasure the most.

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Old 15th Mar 2011, 07:27
  #451 (permalink)  
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Thanks for posting Ken and glad to hear you are Ok. Makes me appreciate how lucky I am to live in a more benign part of the world.
It's good to hear that shipping will be able to make deliveries I was concerned how they knew that approaches to and indeed ports themselves still had sufficient depths of water for safe navigation, something that delayed operations in Haiti.
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Old 15th Mar 2011, 07:30
  #452 (permalink)  
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I don't think language will be too much of a problem. All Japanese learn English at high school and there are always some who speak it well enough to communicate the basics. My guess is they will be assigned an area, some transport and pretty much left to get on with it.

The weather has deteriorated, and it is snowing here now. Miyagi is always on the lee side when it snows here so it is probably still dry there. Not so for Iwate.

This luchtime, the memsahib spoke to her esteemed teacher who lives in Sendai. Power and phones are now on, but not water. He and his family are unharmed. His house has structural damage but is still standing. Everything is on the floor. His factory is disrupted, the industrial mixers (they weigh about 500kg each) both overturned and his ovens went walkabout. Everything in his shop (patisserie) has sold out. Not trivial, they are short of food. No fuel and damaged roads obviously, so people have resorted to bikes to get about.
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Old 15th Mar 2011, 08:19
  #453 (permalink)  
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For 11fan. There was a big splash on TV last night showing S&R teams arriving at Narita. I'm sure that today they will be on-site and on the job. Everyone in Japan knows they are here.

Other assistance, I'm not sure. Medical supplies will definitely be coming in by air to Yamagata airport. The airport itself is situated right on the main arterial route to Miyagi, and it's a very good all weather mountain road.

We aren't short of staples or water. Yamagata (and Miyagi) are highly fertile and very productive suppliers of food to southern Japan. We also have the transport. The problem is to get the distribution, and the fuel sorted out. Sakata re-opening is very good news indeed. Sendai is the capital and entrepot of Tohoku. Sakata is small, but it will take a lot of the strain for bulk commodities.
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Old 15th Mar 2011, 09:39
  #454 (permalink)  
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Ken - is there any discussion in Japan about whether buildings could be made tsunami proof? Its seems strange that this hasn't been taken into account in building design for structures on the coastal littoral, given the events of 2004. The only option people living in these areas had was to try and and escape to higher ground, which was impossible for many given the amount of warning they had.

I am wondering whether each community should at least one tsunami proof structure in their midst.
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Old 15th Mar 2011, 10:15
  #455 (permalink)  
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Reports. Bread baker made and gave free bread until he ran out of supplies. Old lady still not connected to the sewage system (septic tank) put out a sign "please use this toilet".

dead_pan. There are tsunami- and earthquake proof buildings here. These are school gymnasium/hall structures. Every community with a school has one. I will post later with some photos of the construction standards.
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Old 15th Mar 2011, 10:20
  #456 (permalink)  
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Trying to build something Tsunami-proof would present a whole range of engineering challenges, but worth a discussion. Personally, I think not, simply based on: 1 cubic metre of water weighs 1 ton, moving at even 100kph that is a whole lot of energy. Now imagine that 'wall' of water having not only the 'face', but all the combined mass behind it, and the size building you would need to house numbers of people, and I think the strength requirement is just too great. Of course the further away from the waterfront you are, and the higher you are, so the energy is significantly dissipated - but near the waters edge and low down is where you need the protection.

I'd like to hear a building engineers view, though.

Edited to note: this was drafted before Kens comment above, and I'm glad I'm wrong.
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Old 15th Mar 2011, 10:28
  #457 (permalink)  
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Just read of large aftershock in Yamagata taking place at 10:05. Hope Ken is ok.
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Old 15th Mar 2011, 10:48
  #458 (permalink)  
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Part of the civil defence system here is to provide shelter. School gyms are one of the preferred choices. In 2009, my community re-built its junior high school, and the following photos show something of the current public building standards in Japan.

Foundations. The cylinders are the bases to which the steel columns are bolted.

Steel. Inner steel framing and outer concrete reinforcement.

This is what the government requires and the community provides for emergency shelter. And school sports.

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Old 15th Mar 2011, 11:03
  #459 (permalink)  
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A truly substantial structure, Ken.

Many thanks - and good to know that you are still safe.

I reckon that you are about 100 miles as the crow flies from the Fukushima Daiichi power station?
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Old 15th Mar 2011, 11:13
  #460 (permalink)  
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Matsushima, Miyagi (Bay of Islands, one of Japan's top three must see) port will open tomorrow for ships to 30,000 tonnes.

This is my house. Who of you live in a country where 3 stories require a steel frame?

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