I have created two pages to host about the very first day of the Japan earthquake and tsunami, and aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami. But now I find that the details is hard to be followed, now I created a recap page to continuing what I found and noted about the disaster. Don’t worry, I won’t leave important details.
What happened so far in my blog above and yesterday before recap?
The Nuclear Power Plant
So far, it has been reported before that the coolant sistem in Fukushima-Daiichi (Fukushima 1) and Fukushima-Daini (Fukushima 2) power plant has been failed. Government have already evacuated peoples within 3km radius, then extended to 10km radius, and there is plan to extend the radius further to 20km. Any attempt to reduce it’s temperature is failed. Then suddenly there were explosion on the Fukushima 1. Radiation material (caesium) has already detected at 20-fold times higher than normal, and to be exposed to that level of radiation for 1 hour is just like exposed to normal radiation for 1 years. It has been reported that 3 peoples are exposed to the radiation. But many officials believe that there is no danger to be feared of. Japan nuclear accident rated 4 on 0-7 scale rate for now.
The Refugees Condition
So far, there are so many aftershocks and new earthquakes from different locations in Japan. People rushing to buy key food stock from local store. Long queue is sighted at every petrol stations, with waiting line at least for 5 hours. People have to walk 5 hours for 20km to get home. But now, looks like Taxi and train now started to operation again. Now the climate is extremely cold, with thick snow spotted on the ground. Electricity still hasn’t got to normal. People advised to conserve energy. Communication still crammed. Food store is ran out of key ingredients. There are also food store that give away cheap foods.
The Search and Rescue
So far, the Japanese International Red Cross and many other organisation is actively helping the refugees and searching for people that still trapped under the debris. SAR attempts must be done in very careful way because of the aftershocks that can make debris fall and also trap the SAR teams. Death toll reported to reach 687, with 650 people missing. There are many military now in the road, going to the places needs help.
The World Response
So far, at least 50-60 countries have expressed condolence on the tragedy that happened in Japan. President Barrack Obama has already called by himself. Pope Benedict XVI also has expressed his condolence. Every country has offer every help they can. The SAR team from Korean was the first to touchdown in Japan. Russia says they will increase coal and LNG supply if necessary.
The Economic Impact
So far, Yen Exchange Rate and Nikkei Stock Exchange has dropped to a very low level. At that time, it recorded to touch the level of 1 USD = 81.815 JPY.
What happened after then?
The Nuclear Power Plant
After then, the engineer of the plant confirmed that the primary containment vessel is intact following this morning’s blast. The radioactive level has fallen in recent hours. 110,000 people have been moved away from Fukushima 1 power plant, and 30,000 from Fukushima 2. People exposed to the radioactive can reach 160 people. 9 people have shown sign of possible exposure.
At 07.00 Japan local time at day +2 (Monday), it’s confirmed that cooling system on the 3rd reactor of Fukushima 1 has failed. The one that exploded before is from 1st reactor of Fukushima 1. Fukushima 1 itself hosts 6 reactors (3 were offline at the time of quake), when Fukushima 2 hosts 4 reactors. 2 hours later, the 3rd reactor is apparently in danger, but attempts were under way to do controlled release pressure into air. Looks like the engineer now pumping sea water into the coolant, that showing how grave the situation is, because this move is like a last-ditch move, that renders the reactor permanently unusable.
At 09.00 local time, the legal limit for radioactivity in Fukushima 1 has passed. At 11.00, officials said that “there is possibility that partial fuel rods meltdown has occurred” on 3rd reactor. At 13.30, the pressure release for 3rd reactor is finished, but partial meltdown in the reactor is thought to be “highly possible”. Then it’s known that the high radioactivity in Fukushima 1 comes from that 3rd reactor. At 15.30, a warn about 3rd reactor is given that it could explode like 1st reactor. But officials believe that it can withstand explosion like the 1st reactor. At 20.00, the officials says in the TV that sea water is begin to be pumped into the 3rd reactor, like what they did on 1st reactor. 10 minutes later, the valve at the 3rd reactor is failed. At 22.00, they also planning to inject sea water into the 2nd reactor. That makes 3 reactor failing already.
At 23.00, government declared a state of emergency at the second nuclear power plant in Japan, the Onagawa nuclear power plant. The cause is the reading of radioactivity above allowed levels in the area surrounding the plant. At friday, first day of the earthquake, fires brokes off at one of the reactor building at Onagawa power plant, but was able to put out. There also water leak reported from other reactor. Onagawa was in the Miyagi prefecture, which is the hardest region hit by earthquake.
Expert says that the government is likely suppressing the information about the Fukushima 1 power plant, despite that the pressure is beyond what the device is designed for. Given the situation, it’s likely to explode and spread the radioactive farther beyond 20km evacuation border, even more than 50km.
At 01.00 in the next day, cooling system at one of the reactor at Tokai nuclear power plant has stopped working. Tokai is inside Naka’s district, 120km north of Tokyo. At the closer examination, found out that it’s only one from two cooling pump that stopped working. The other pump is still working, and it’s said that there are no problem with cooling the reactor. Meanwhile, the radiation level at Fukushima-Daiichi reported has drop. Hundreds of people is checked for radiation exposure.
In Tuesday (March 15), a third blast was happened on 2nd reactor (the first and second was on the 1st and 3rd reactor in above story, respectively). And a fourth blast happened on 4th reactor in the same day. There was fire blazing out from the spent fuel storage ponds at the 4th reactor. Kyodo news agency suspect that the storage pool maybe boiling, and can caused further radiation leak.
In Wednesday (March 16), there was the fifth explosion, comes from 4th reactor for the 2nd time. The fire have been put out, according to the officials, but smoke seems to come out from 3rd reactor. Radiation level has risen rapidly this morning, and the workers had to be withdrawn, only left 50 workers behind.
In the connection about sea water being injected to the cooling system, the strategy has put the 1st and 3rd reactor under control, but the 2nd reactor still remain unstable. Japan’s nuclear safety agency suspect that the explosion may have damaged the suppression chamber, which may allow the radiation to leak. For information, the Tokyo distance to Fukushima power plant is 150km.
At 09.00, South Korea announce it will sends 50 tons of Boron, as requested by Tokyo. The Boron is essential in stopping fission nuclear reaction. At 16.00, they are planning to send it to Japan.
At 15.30, the workers of Fukushima plant have already been returned after being evacuated. Now they’re using helicopter to pour water over one of the reactors, which has just taken off.
In sum, that makes 4 power plant have problems, 3 of them have been declared emergency state, a total of 7 reactor is in problems, 5 blasts happened to 4 reactors, and the 3 of them has been injected with sea water, which will render them permanently unusable. 2 of them already in stable state when injected with sea water, while 1 of them remain unstable.
- You can view the technical briefing of the status of the stricken nuclear power plant from Tepco, the company who runs them.
- There is an explanation of meltdown from BBC.
The Refugees Condition
After then, the automated alert about aftershocks become regular part of experience. The electricity is undergo intentional outage to handle power shortage. Transportation slowly getting back to normal. at 07.00 Japan local time at day +2 (Monday), another aftershock hit. In stores, water, instant food, batteries, and toilet paper is run out. In the refuge camp emergency shelters, they only eat biscuits and rice balls. at 09.00 local time, big earthquake is happening, measured 6.2, and it’s closer to Japan than the initial 8.9 earthquake on Friday. At 11.00, aftershocks is still going on regularly.
At 15.00, food, water, and fuel already running out at the center of Sendai. A usual queue is found on any shop that opens. A longer queue is found at petrol gas station. At 18.30, queues at petrol station reaching two miles.
At 19.40, nearly 310,000 people have been evacuated at emergency shelters. Peoples now have already creating and looking through notes and list of missing people. Japan’s biggest instant noodle maker, Nissin, says it will distribute more than one million packets of noodle to the tsunami victims. As of 20.00, Naoto Kan announced that they’re able to rescue 12,000 people. They also announced that tomorrow, there is a substantial amount of shortage power supply.
Officials announced that healthcare facilities could accept sufferers who are not able to show health insurance card. They also able to withdraw their money from banks just with proper ID. The earthquake in Japan is likely have caused between US$ 14.5 billion to US$ 34.6 billion damage to the property in the country. But the worse part is that there is another possibilities of more tsunamis are coming.
As of Wednesday (March 16), more than 500,000 people have been made homeless, in freezing weather. The temperature is about 0-4 C degree. Snow is predicted in the days ahead. It’s all will be alright if there was shelter equipped with room heater, but there’s no adequate electricity for all those shelters and 500,000 people. The Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) is implementing rolling blackouts in Tokyo area for the third consecutive days. The outtage will lasts 3 hours for every affected areas.
At 11.00, another earthquake with magnitude of 6 hits east Japan, with power that enough to sway buildings in Tokyo. The Japanese government has decided to accept the help of doctors from overseas as an exceptional measures.
- You can see Japan before and after the tsunami impact on this Australia’s ABC site.
- There is a detailed report of the power outtages in BBC.
The Search and Rescue
At 09.00 Japan local time at day +2 (Monday), US Navy’s 7th fleet is assisting with the rescue operation off the coast. The number of Japanese soldiers being deployed to cope with the disaster now reach 100,000. The Red Cross is doing great job. They have volunteers coming from all over the country. They say that not only medical that’s in the top priority, but also to continue the flow of relief material. At 23.30, they said that they now bringing medical and food supplies for 3 days worth by helicopter to the inaccessible areas. So many elderly suffering from hypothermia. Now it’s so cold in Japan that thick snow can be observed on the ground, even colder than night.
It’s now realized that when the earthquake strike, the land is subsidence. A lot part of the city is now underwater, the land actually dropped. So when the tsunami first came, it’s now just stayed there, because the land now is actually lower than the sea level.
Official said that more than 1,300 thought have died. Nearly 900 have been killed. At 11.00, the number people confirmed died now 1,167. More than 200 bodies found in Higashimatsushima. At 16.00, it reported that police says 10,000 people thought to have died, with 17,000 still missing. 379 bodies recovered during noon. At midnight, it rises to 1,351 people confirmed have died. In Higashimatsushima, Kessenuma, and Sendai, 515 death have confirmed.
As of Wednesday (March 16), more than 3,300 people have been confirmed dead, and 11,000 still missing. The government has deployed 100,000 troops to deal with the disaster.
Meanwhile, the Shinmoedake volcano in southern part of Japan has resume eruptions after weeks on inactivity.
- Red Cross has set up a webpage to help people locate family members missing after earthquake and tsunami.
- Read this dramatic story from Kyodo news agency about a person that has washed away 15km from the shore.
The World Response
At 20.30, the Pope Benedict XVI is praying for Japan and praised the dignity and courage with which the Japanese has coping with tragedy.
German announce that it will halt a plan to extend the lives of its ageing nuclear power plant for three months.
The Economic Impact
Japan is likely to be suffer temporary economic impact. Compared to the Kobe Earthquake, when the economy is shrank 2%, then rebounding even further, now the Japan economy is relative weak before the earthquake, so the rebound is not very expected.
Tokyo Disneyland closed 10 days for safety checks. Toyota, Honda, and Nissan are all halt some production at least until Monday. Governor of Bank of Japan said it will provide US$ 24 billion – US$ 37 billion liquidity to keep market stable.
In Wednesday (March 16), Nikkei stocks already up 6% after dropping 17% in the last few days. China announce that it will start to check for radiation on Japanese goods arriving at ports and airports. Meanwhile, Toyota has just said that it will restart some domestic auto parts production in Thursday.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.