Friday, March 11, 2011

Japanese Earthquakes

As you probably already know, there was a terrible earthquake in Japan over night our time this morning, and I've been pretty much glued to the news this morning and exchanging e-mails with some of our friends and business associates in Tokyo, so this weeks newsletter is going to be a little short. If you have been following the situation and want to help, please make a donation to the Red Cross. You can follow the situation in real time on the Red Cross's facebook page here. Our thoughts and prayers will be going out to everyone effected by this terrible disaster. Some folks are saying this may be the worst earthquake ever recorded in Japan, and they are going to need all the help they can get.

In the mean time, take a look at this short video of the skyscrapers in Tokyo swaying (as they are designed to) during the earthquake. Kudo's to Japanese engineering, is it any wonder that commercial space in Toyko is so expensive to build!?

Even the giant 60 foot Gundam in Tokyo didn't make it:

UPDATE: Live feed from NHK World News.

UPDATE 2: The situation at the Fukushima Nuclear plant seems to be deteriorating. This is really bad.

UPDATE 3: We've been glued to NHK World news live feed all weekend. It's hard to really comment on this. The level of damage and devestation is just staggering. Some of those areas hit hardest by the Tsunami look like an atomic bomb went off. Total devestation. I can't begin to comprehend how many people in Japan have probably lost their lives, and how many survivors have lost everything. Our hearts go out to everyone in Japan who is suffering through this terrible catastrophe.

UPDATE 4: This is a thing of beauty:

UPDATE 5: Staggering before and after photographs. More here.


MARl0 said...

My heart goes out to everyone in Japan. I feel sick just thinking about the devastation and lives lost over there. ;_;

D2M said...

Oh my oh my! I have friends in Misawa, Japan (military base). Misawa is plenty north of Sendai but it's still located on the North-East coastal area. One my friends tweeted they got 25 earthquakes of at least 4.5 intensity in 24 hours. I found some information online that said it was actually a 6.

All I've heard is that 1) the electricity went out and 2) all the personal were accounted for. So most people are alive, but there's nothing about how much damage was caused or how the rest of the city is fairing.

It so heart breaking to think that areas I drove through and visited might not be around any more. :(

Ben said...

Here are a few more links to give you a better idea of the devastation:!5780964/the-japan-earthquake-seen-by-millions-of-digital-cameras-updating-live/gallery/13
(Tsunami, bad; tsunami with flaming building, scary.)

My thoughts and prayers go out to the residents of Miyagi prefecture (especially Sendai), Tokyo, and all other parts of Japan affected by this historically awful disaster.

Robert said...

A lot of areas lost power because several nuclear power plants scrammed automatically during the earthquake and went off line. Cel and data networks failed or shut down over wide areas also. Rail lines have been cut in several areas.

I hear they may have a problem at one of the damaged nuclear plant in Fukushima and could have to vent a little radioactive vapor to cool off the core. That's really bad.

Some of the reported aftershocks could be considered major quakes in and of themselves. I really don't think anyone will be able to get a handle on just how bad the damage is for at least a couple of days, maybe even longer than that.

This won't be a 'Katrina' though, the Japanese are much better prepared for these kinds if disasters and will be right on top of relief efforts. They've been through this stuff too many times before.

D2M said...

Finally got some good news: everyone in the Misawa/Aomori area seems to be doing fine. I guess they lost their electricity, water, and gas but there was no flooding or major structural damage to the area. The bad news is still really cold there (below freezing) so the lack of heat is a problem.

It's true that the Japanese prepare for these types of disasters. Part of the reason there isn't more wide-spread destruction is because the buildings are designed to "sway" with the quakes. And I think there'd have been fewer dead still if they'd had more warning. (It was really the speed of the thing that killed so many people.)

tenkenX6 said...

A very, very tragic event. My thoughts and prayers goes out to everyone affected by this tragedy. All of my relatives live in Japan, so I got extremely worried when I first heard of this. However, all of them are safe and doing fine. The past several days have been very surreal for me.

Unknown said...

Utada and Shinichi Osawa have been on twitter and Facebook a lot, giving updates. The whole J-Pop community seems to be rallying in support of the people. GACKT has already organized a benefit concert. Many anime seiyu have also been on the webs saying that they are OK...and to please help the people of Japan. I hope everyone contributes whatever they can, either through the American Red Cross, or another legitimate charitable organization.

Robert said...

We recieved a request from one of our vendors in Tokyo for some VERY specific items that we are going to FedEx out to them this afternoon. Things like bottled water, flashlights, batteries, and small generators are in very short supply over there right now.

I hope everyone is giving whatever they can for a relief efforts. If you don't know what to do, a donation to the Red Cross will be a great help.