March 27, 2011

Japan quake, tsunami, nuclear crisis: Heartwarming stories and footnotes in history


March 2011 Japan earthquake, tsunami, nuclear crisis:
Heartwarming stories and interesting footnotes in history

click HERE for a detailed post on the March 2011 Japan disaster, with general info, info on damage and destruction, fast facts on earthquake/tsunami/nuclear disasters

1. An 80-year-old woman and her 16-year-old grandson were found on March 20, nine days after the disaster. Jin Abe, 16, had crawled out of the debris of the family home in Ishinomaki City, about 1 km inland and 45 km (30 miles) north-east of the city of Sendai, and was sitting on what remained of the house when he was spotted by local police. They called rescuers to free his grandmother, Sumi Abe, NHK reported. Both were suffering from hypothermia and
were hospitalized.
read more: Miracle pair found in Ishinomaki (The Guardian)

2. A four-month-old baby who was swept from her parent's arms when the tsunami hit their home in Ishinomaki was found buried under debris, alive and unharmed, three days later on March 14 by Japanese soldiers.
read more: Four-month-old baby, 70-year-old woman found alive (Time)

3. 60-year-old Hiromitsu Shinkawa survived by clinging on to his floating roof when the tsunami swept away his wife and his home in Minamisoma. He was rescued at sea, 16 km (10 miles) off the coast, two days after the disaster.
read more: Japanese man saved after floating for two days (Time)

4. When British teacher Robert Bailey heard a "weird cracking noise" followed by violent shaking, he quickly herded all 42 of his students outside so they would not be hit by falling debris. When the tsunami warning sounded, he rushed the children to safety on a nearby hill before their school in Ofunato was destroyed by the tsunami. He did it in 8 minutes. The school's 137 other students were still missing on March 18.
British teacher saves 42 teens from tsunami (Sky News)

more moving stories
Tiny miracles of the Japanese earthquake (Daily Mirror)


1. The Days are now a little shorter
The day got a tiny bit shorter because of the March 11 9.0 earthquake off the coast of Japan. Nasa geophysicist Richard Gross calculated that the Earth’s rotation sped up by 1.6 microseconds (a microsecond is a millionth of a second). The 9.1 magnitude earthquake in Sumatra in 2004 caused a 6.8-microsecond shortening of the day.

The change occurred because of a shift in the Earth’s mass caused by the quake. This probably caused a 10cm/3.94 inch shift in the Earth’s axis, the Italian Institute of Geology and Vulcanology said. Antonio Piersanti, the institute's head researcher, said the movement may be the second biggest ever after the one that followed a 1960 quake in Chile.

Earthquakes can involve shifting lines of hundreds of kilometers of rock by several meters, changing the distribution of mass on the planet, this affects the Earth’s rotation.
[ Bloomberg ]

2. Quake shifted Japan 2.4m
The powerful earthquake that unleashed the deadly tsunami also appears to have moved Honshu, the main Japanese island, by 8 feet/2.4m, experts said.Geophysicist Kenneth Hudnut, a geophysicist with the United States Geological Survey (USGS), said he knew of 8 feet a shift in a GPS station, and there was a map from the Geospatial Information Authority which  suggested a shift pattern within that range, CNN news reported.

3.  First aid, safety apps top iTunes downloads
Japan’s population has flocked to download reference software and set up blogs after the earthquake. Medical reference, navigation and transportation software topped downloads for free iPhone applications at Apple’s iTunes Store in Japan after the quake,  London-based UsTwo Studio's PositionApp, which tracks sales of iPhone software, said on March 16.

* ''Medical Encyclopedia for Home Use'' allows users to look up ailments by symptom or body part and gives first aid instructions. It topped the list for the previous four days,
* ''Yurekuru Call for iPhone'', an earthquake notification service, climbed to second from 94th before the quake
* ''Flashlight-4'', which uses the iPhone screen as a light source, jumped to third from 65th.

Radiation fears are especially poignant in Japan because of the fallout from the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 by the US to end the war, said Hiroshi Ishikawa, who posts radiation levels every 30 seconds online to supplement Japanese  government reports on the fallout from Fukushima.  Ishikawa, a former researcher at Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corp, uses data from a Geiger counter he bought six years ago for US$200. His website has attracted more than 300,000 visitors, up from 1,000 before the quake, he said on March 27.

Education Week 1 Year [44 issues/year]
Education Week 1 Year [44 issues/year]

related posts
* FACTS: Japan earthquake, tsunami, nuclear crisis March 2011
* Damage caused by Japan earthquake, tsunami, nuclear crisis 2011
* Economic impact of Japan earthquake, tsunami, nuclear crisis 2011
* Japan earthquake, tsunami: How to help
* fast facts on earthquakes
* fast facts on tsunamis
* key facts on nuclear disasters
Sources for the full post on key facts about the Japan earthquake, tsunami, nuclear crisis March 2011: Washington Post, CNN, Bloomberg, Ottawa Citizen, National Geographic, Reuters, BBC, buzzle, Wikipedia, USGS, Scolastic
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Related links

Google Person Finder 2011 Japan Earthquake (you can use this to locate or provide info about a victim)
Volunteer interpreters (Japan Association of Translators) 
Donate with PayPal: Japan earthquake and tsunami relief
Yahoo! link to where you can donate: Japan earthquake and tsunami: How to help
Japan earthquake tsunami: How to help ~ liberal sprinkles (links to resources, places to donate, raffles and giveaways)

How to protect yourself in an earthquake and emergency numbers for Japan (in 24 languages)
72 hour emergency preparedness kit DIY (Tipnut)

Earthquake in Japan (The Atlantic)
Epic waves, earthquake shock Japan (National Geographic)

BBC Japan earthquake portal 
Timeline on Japan's unfolding nuclear crisis (Reuters)
Updates on the earthquake and tsunami in Japan (The Lede, NY Times)  lots of videos, also of tsunami hitting US
video: Japan tsunami engulfs everything in its path (Daily Telegraph)
Magnitude 8.9 Near the East Coast of Japan, USGS podcast 
10-year-old girl Tilly Smith saves 100 tourists from 2004 tsunami at Thai beach (Daily Telegraph)
Japan markets and economy after Kobe earthquake (Reuters)
Advanced economies at advantage in disaster (Reuters via The Montreal Gazette)

facts, info, videos on tsunamis (National Geographic)
USGS earthquake FAQ
earthquake and tsunami facts (MCEER, SUNY Buffalo)seismicity in Japan (wikipedia)
for kids
Fema for kids: tsunamis
(USGS) Earthquake for kids
Geology - Plate tectonics (Yahoo! kids)
Talking to your child about the earthquake in Japan ( Kid's doctor)


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