Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Sendai Quake - Day 5

12:00 am - Here's a map of the area for that last M6.4 aftershock in eastern Shizuoka.

And there's little ol me in the neighboring prefecture. It shook well enough here, but wasn't scary. The M6 they had in Shizuoka was pretty bad though. Hope everything is going well there. I'll probably be taking my TV down again tonight just to be on the safe side.

By the way, sounds like the rolling blackouts will be continuing tomorrow. We'll see if we're included in that again or not. Interestingly enough, I hear some cities in Chiba that got hit effected by the large quake and subsequent tsunami were pretty ticked off at TEPCO including them in areas to cut power too, like I literally saw some politician yelling at some TEPCO guys on TV, so they've excluded a number of areas in Chiba and Ibaragi as a result.

Well it's late, and I need to get some sleep. See you all tomorrow.

10:45 pm - Indeed, we felt it as a 4 out in Ebina. Had a third soft aftershock as well. With all these earthquakes I'm starting to get a better handle on the differences between the levels of magnitude in an earthquake. I can't say this is something I'd particularly care to master, but that's the way it is.

10:40 pm - One more soft aftershock, followed by another.

10:35 pm - Just had a strong M6 hit central Shizuoka, which is the prefecture neighboring mine. It was supposedly around a 4 by the time it got out here though. My apartment shook pretty good, but not too bad. That's a pretty strong aftershock, especially 5 days later, and definitely one of the stronger aftershocks we've had in awhile. They say there's no fear of a tsunami.

9:15 pm - My apartment is still here. Yaay. I have electricity, gas, and everything as well. Whew.

I stopped by the convenience store I went to this morning, and they still had some cup ramen left, so I picked up a few while I could. I turned on the TV and noticed some variety shows are on right now. Thats the first time I've seen non-news on every channel since the quake. I want to keep up to date on the state of things, especially with the nuclear plants up in Fukushima, but at the same time I could use a break. Anyways, there's no heightened sense of alert, so I assume things are under control for the moment.

8:15 pm - Alright, everything is confirmed to be up and running again at work. Time to head home. Keeping my fingers crossed about the fire thing they announced.

7:16 pm - Got power back around 6:50, so pretty much 3 hours exactly of blackout. The batteries ran out around 6:40, or 6:45 though, so I almost made it with no down time. Oh well, can't be helped.

6:07 pm - Losing battery on my laptop. Switching to my netbook, at least for as long as the wireless holds.

5:45 pm - Two hours into the blackout. Been working frantically to keep our web server online as long as possible. I've got about 40 min left on battery after cutting all other non-essential systems. The blackout is scheduled to last until 7, but I've heard other areas came back before then. Might be cutting it close, but we'll see. We have backup power for the lights in the building too, but they've long dimmed. Plus the sun is going down. Getting darker but I can still see. A little more and I'll have to bust out the flashlight I guess.

5:30 pm - By the way, I heard them announce over the loudspeakers through the city that there is a fire in Nakashinden........ that's the portion of Ebina where I live. Great.


Fortunately I've moved the wireless into the server room so it can run on battery. Should be good for at least an hour.

2:00 pm - They're giving a weather report on the news now. Rain and snow in north eastern Japan. That won't help with the rescue efforts :(

Also, currently there is a light wind blowing SW, which is why some (relatively harmful) radioactive wind is flowing our way. Tonight, and into tomorrow, the wind will pick up and thankfully be blowing east out to sea. Even if the radioactive wind is harmless, it's nice to know it will be blown out to sea never to be seen again.

1:50 pm - I have heard rumors that radioactive wind could be flowing our way. I think they've taken some readings in Tokyo, but these were very small and of no harm to our health. I'm even further away from Tokyo, so it should be even weaker out here.

By the way, Kana is now in Kyushu. I hope she can stay there for at least a week while this settles down.

Also, I called someone at WCCO on Skype, and I might make the morning news there. How about that.

12:15 pm - Lunch! I'll be glued to the news.

12:00 pm - Seems there was a fire in reactor 4, and there may be radioactive material leaking from reactor 3. Yeesh. Nikkei article here. Also, according to the weather report, there is a light wind blowing southwest, aka in our direction from Fukushima, but we're 200 miles away. Later the wind will pick up and blow East into the sea though.

Also, I believe we're part of the group that may lose some power at 12:20... but who knows what will happen. I guess I'll find out when 12:20 rolls by.

11:15 am - Sounds like I'm on the news! I think you can watch it live here, but the feed isn't working for me in Japan.

11:00 am - Prime Minister Kan is giving a speech about the Fukushima nuclear plant situation right now. He started out summarizing the situation of what happened as a result of the earthquake and tsunami, and how that affected the reactors. He's asking people to remain evacuated beyond 20km. Those who are between 20-30km he's asking to stay inside. Most of the evacuations up to 10km appear to be mostly completed.

They are doing their best to prevent any further explosions or leakages of radioactive material. Three times he mentioned actually he mentioned they are doing everything they possibly can to contain the situation. He ended with asking the country of Japan to remain calm and cooperate with the situation.

10:55 am - They've been mentioned that if there is leakage of radioactive material into the environment, they recommend washing your hands, face and clothes after being outside.

10:35 am - There have been almost 200 aftershocks of M5 of higher since the main quake over the last few days. Also these earthquakes have been occurring over a 200km x 500km area in the sea east of Japan. The number of quakes and the scale it is occurring on it unbelievable. Fortunately they seem to be slowing down, but there was a quake centered on Tokyo around 5 am this morning. I didn't feel it out here as it was only a 1 by the time it got out this way. Also I was sleeping.

By the way, once again Boston.com has some amazing pictures in its Big Picture section. My personal favorite (in the 'shows the power of the tsunami' sense, not the 'wow a disaster!' sense), is #24 here.

10:25 am - Oops, mad a big typo in my last post. I mean to say I'm confident there won't be a leak of radioactive material into the environment, but I'm not an expert on the situation so I'll just be keeping my eye and ear on the news.

10:15 am - Right before I went to bed last night there was mention that the coolant levels inside reactor 2 in Fukushima plant 1 were lowering again. I woke to reports on an explosion heard sometime last night. Seems like the building itself is still intact? From the basic concepts of how these boiling water reactors work, even in the event of a meltdown the fuel should be melting into a pool on the bottom or in a torus of water under the reactor, so it should still remain contained. Of course if any of that leaks out into the environment, then definitely there is cause for alarm. I'm fairly confident this will won't happen, but I'm also not an expert. I'll just have to keep an ear out for information as the situation evolves.

Anyways, on my way to work sure enough cars were lined up as far as the eye could see for the gas station. Fortunately there was more food and supplies at the convenience store tonight. They're open 24/7, and get restocked at night, so probably the best time to go out and get food and supplies is late night or morning.

Hearing reports that the confirmed dead has risen to 2500, but the missing count is over 17,000 now. Unbelievable.

9:30 am - Wow, I'm over the 3000 mark now. That's approx 1800 hits since Friday. Thanks everyone!

8:30 am - Time to head out to work. Crossing my fingers we don't lose power again today.

Also, I just interviewed with Fox 9 in Minneapolis on Skype. I might be on the news!

8:10 am - Has it really been 5 days since the Earthquake? Well sounds like reactor 2 in Fukushima had some problems over night. Also the trains appear to be better than they were yesterday, but even then its definitely not going to be enough. Glad I'm a bike ride away from work!



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Kris, could you include (10:15pm CST) when you write or post(8:15 am)? I always have to do the math and subtract 14 hours to get CST (since you are 14 hours ahead of CST).

3/16/2011 12:44 AM  

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