Tag: Earthquakes

Fallout has reached Southern California! UPDATE!

UPDATE:  “Japan raised the nuclear alert level from a four to a five, on par with Three Mile Island. This decision has shocked many nuclear experts who thought it should be higher.”  Please see my Comment below:  “Thanks, RiaD!”

(cross-posted at firefly-dreaming.com)

From the AP:  Diplomat says minuscule fallout reaches Calif.

– 1 hr 50 mins ago

LOS ANGELES – Government experts in the United States are keeping a close eye on any radioactive particles that could travel from Japan, and they may already be seeing trace amounts.

A diplomat who has access to radiation tracking by the U.N.’s Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization told The Associated Press in Vienna that initial readings show tiny amounts of radiation have reached California. But it’s not dangerous in any way – “about a billion times beneath levels that would be health threatening,” the diplomat said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the organization does not make its findings public.

U.S. government experts also insist there’s no threat to public health from the plume, but they are still closely monitoring the situation with detection monitors deployed along the West Coast. . . . (emphasis mine)

Obama also sought to reassure the nation:

Obama’s statement came as he tried to reassure a worried nation that “harmful levels” of radiation from the Japanese nuclear disaster are not expected to reach the U.S., even as other officials conceded it could take weeks to bring the crippled nuclear complex under control. . . .

I went to NukeFree.Org, which has on-going updates of the whole situation.  I noted the following — and while I cannot vouch for the accuracy of the content and I confess utter ignorance in the premises, I do know there are always attempts to downplay bad situations.    

15 Minutes




Watch CBS News Videos Online

copyright © 2010 Betsy L. Angert.  BeThink.org

Today, Americans are engrossed in earthquake coverage.  The tremor in Haiti bought unimaginable death and destruction just south of our borders.  Events related to the recovery and rescues emerge as banner headlines.  Haitians Seek Solace Amid the Ruins. For a week now, the struggle to survive, revive the injured, and retrieve the bodies strewn on the streets of Port-au-Prince was also the central theme of most every broadcast.  In the midst of the misery, many Americans, felt desperate for a reprieve from the devastation that emotionally drained them. Millions took time to escape in a welcome distraction.  Sassy, former Governor and Vice Presidential candidate, Sarah Palin Made Her Debut appearance on Fox.  Tomorrow another reality will replace these stories, just as each superseded the hoopla over Harry Reid’s reference to race.  Metaphorically, the tales provide persons, policies, and, or practices fifteen minutes of fame.  In actuality, these  fade from our mind quickly.  

With US MIA, Quake Victims Obtain Aid From “Terrorists”

With government aid sporadic or non-existent, survivors of the October 29 6.4-magnitude earthquake that rocked the impoverished Pakistani province of Baluchistan are receiving assistance from local Islamist groups, some of which the US has condemned as “terrorist organizations.” Within hours of the quake, people from Jamaat-ud-Dawa–condemned by the US as the political wing of the Kashmiri liberation and alleged “Al Qaeda associated” outfit Laskhar-e-Taiba–were distributing blankets, food, milk, and biscuits, promising to return soon with tents, and pledging to construct 1000 temporary homes.

Through 2007, the Bush administration had awarded Pakistan more than $10 billion in overt War-on-Terra military aid, and an estimated additional $5 billion in covert funds. To assist the tens of thousands of Pakistanis injured and displaced by the October 29 quake, in danger of freezing to death or perishing of sickness in the frigid winter air, the Bush administration has ponied up . . . $1 million. Or approximately four to six times the suspected amount Sarah Palin recently spent on clothes, accessories, jewelry, luggage, and spray-on tans for herself, her husband, and her five-child brood.  

China: The Recovery Begins

It has been 10 long days since the devastating 8.0 Sichuan earthquake and although there have been several recent rescues of people that have been trapped for 9 days, the mission has moved into the recovery stage.

According to China Daily Online, there are 5 million homeless in the region and 32,666 still missing. There are 25,681 still in hospital.

Many children have been orphaned but all have been adopted.

Victims of China Quake: Children And Young Families

On Monday, Fu Guanyu dropped off her young son, Wang Zhilu, at his grandparents’ house so she could go to work. Minutes later, the earthquake hit.

She rushed back home and saw their apartment building in ruins. She says soldiers came right away to help, but they had no equipment.

Two days later, the heavy machinery is on the way. As an excavator clears a path, Fu and her husband Wei Wang search the debris, calling for their son.

After a long while, the workers stop. They have found bodies.

link: http://www.npr.org/templates/s…

The NPR story concludes, tragically, with the rescue worker informing the parents that three bodies were found: the grandfather, holding his two year old grandson in his arms with his wife clutching his back.

In Asia: The Best, The Worst, and the Most Criminal Of Humanity

Some of the worst of humanity, serial bomb blasts in the Indian city of Jaipur, killing 80, injuring 200:

Asia Times Online attempts to analyze the event, including the possibility that this is state-sponsored terrorism used as a type of cheap negotiation tactic.

Quake Kills 12,000 In China; Military Hoards Foreign Aid in Burma

The magnitude of this disaster is overwhelming. I cannot even begin to imagine the suffering that is taking place as I type this.

NPR Correspondent Andrea Hsu reporting from Beichuan County, China: http://www.npr.org/blogs/chengdu/

This video was shot as the quake was happening:

M 7.9 Quake Devastates Eastern Sichuan, China, Updated

At 2:28 pm local time a major M 7.9 earthquake struck China near the city of Chengdu in Sichuan province.   9000 people are feared dead according to Chinese news reports , but USGS  analysis shows that 200,000 people were exposed to violent to extreme shaking that could cause heavy damage in well built structures and very heavy damage in vulnerable structures.

Rescuers are searching  for victims.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
By FishOutofWater

Moreover, close to a million people lived where strong shaking could cause heavy damage in vulnerable structures. This USGS analysis suggests that early news reports many be underestimating the extent of this disaster.

The city of Chengdu, in the Sichuan basin with about 5 million inhabitants, 55 miles east of the rupture, was spared from heavy damage because the earthquake rupture propagated from the southeast to the northwest sparing the cities in the basin. However, towns near the fault rupture well to the northeast of the epicenter were hit hard even though they were as far from the epicenter as Chengdu. In an earthquake like this the distance from the epicenter may be a misleading indicator of potential damage.

NPR reporters were visiting Chengdu when the quake hit


A Horrific Scene at a Middle School in Dujiangyan

We are just leaving the horrific scene at the Juyuan Middle School outside the city of Dujiangyan. Hundreds of parents are still standing in the rain as the army works to find children trapped in the rubble. One parent told us she could hear her son calling. A scene of utter desperation. Back a couple hundred feet was an area where rescuers — peoples armed police — were bringing bodies that had been retrieved. Families were rushing over to see whether the child was theirs. Under tents are families burning incense and candles and paper money next to the shrouded bodies of their loved ones. A terrible, terrible scene.

— Andrea Hsu

For those that may have family or friends in or near Chengdu, from a comment on an NPR blog:

Chengdu:

Please check with Consulate General of American in Chengdu.

Phone: (28) 8558-3992

Fax: (28) 8554-6229

Emergency: 1370-800-1422

Email: ConsularChengdu@state.gov

Emergencies

The ACS Unit provides emergency assistance to American citizens in distress: when an American is destitute, arrested, separated from minor children, or sick. In an emergency, the Consulate Duty Officer can be reached at any time by calling 1370-800-1422.

Dial 01186 before you dial those numbers if you dial from USA.

Updated (3x) Over 200,000 Dead In Burma: Vloggers Respond

First, breaking news this morning. There has been a 7.8 earthquake in China that has left four schoolchildren and one adult dead:

Chinese President Hu Jintao has called for “all-out” efforts to rescue victims of an earthquake measuring 7.8 that has hit south-western China.

The quake struck 92km (57 miles) north-west of Sichuan’s provincial capital, Chengdu, at 1428 (0628 GMT).

The children were killed, and more than 100 others injured, when primary school buildings collapsed in the Chongqing area, a large municipality near Sichuan province, Xinhua added.

Another person is reported to have died when a water tower collapsed in the city of Mianyang, in Santai County.

link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asi…

The Bangkok Post gives further details of the magnitude of the quake:

Government and local officials said the quake struck at 2:28pm local time (1:28pm in Thailand) in Wenchuan county, Sichuan province. It was felt in cities hundreds of kilometres away, including Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong, in addition to Bangkok.

“Major tremors” were felt by residents of cities closer to the epicentre, including Sichuan’s capital, Chengdu, and nearby Chongqing, the official news agency Xinhua said.

link: http://www.bangkokpost.com/top…

(Meanwhile in Myanmar below.- ek)

Midwest Earthquake Strikes in Illinois

A magnitude 5.4 earthquake shook Illinois and surrounding states at 4:37 AM CDT on Friday.  The epicenter was near West Salem in southeastern Illinois, near the border with Indiana.  There were no immediate reports of injuries.

From the ABC affiliate (WLS) in Chicago:

Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford said no injuries had been reported in Chicago and said most calls were simply people wondering what happened. Langford said calls came in from across the city. He said no structural damage has been reported. Langford himself said he slept through it.

Damage was reported in Louisville, Ky. The quake could also be felt strongly in Evansville, Ind., 66 miles from the epicenter, and as far away as Cincinnati.

(snip)

The quake shook skyscrapers in Chicago’s Loop and in downtown Indianapolis, about 160 miles northeast of the epicenter.

West Salem lies on the New Madrid Fault Line, which runs from Arkansas through Indiana.  In 1968 a quake also measured at 5.4 on the Richter scale had an epicenter near West Salem.  The fault line is capable of quakes with magnitudes of 7.0 or higher.  In 1812 an earthquake with an epicenter near New Madrid, MO was estimated as a 7.9.  

I have family in Peoria, IL (about 200 miles away) that say it shook the house enough to wake everyone.  I’m in Des Moines, IA where it was also felt some 450 miles away:

Bonnie Lucas, a morning co-host at WHO-AM in Des Moines, said she was sitting in her office when she felt her chair move. She grabbed her desk, and then heard the ceiling panels start to creak. The shaking lasted about 5 seconds, she said.

 

Godzilla?

Maybe it’s because I’m at the northern Oregon coast, right now, but this article caught my eye:

Scientists listening to underwater microphones have detected an unusual swarm of earthquakes off central Oregon, something that often happens before a volcanic eruption – except there are no volcanoes in the area.

Scientists don’t know exactly what the earthquakes mean, but they could be the result of molten rock rumbling away from the recognized earthquake faults off Oregon, said Robert Dziak, a geophysicist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Oregon State University.

There have been more than 600 quakes over the past 10 days in a basin 150 miles southwest of Newport. The biggest was magnitude 5.4, and two others were more than magnitude 5.0, OSU reported.

On the hydrophones, the quakes sound like low thunder and are unlike anything scientists have heard in 17 years of listening, Dziak said. Some of the quakes have also been detected by earthquake instruments on land.

The usual pattern for earthquakes is that there will be a major jolt, followed by smaller ones. The usual pattern is not happening, here.

Scientists hope to send out an OSU research ship to take water samples, looking for evidence that sediment has been stirred up and chemicals that would indicate magma is moving up through the Juan de Fuca Plate, Dziak said.

Or maybe for a giant fire-breathing lizard?

Three Years Ago Today

Cross-posted from THE ENVIRONMENTALIST

Three years ago today, in what scientists refer to as the Great Sumatra-Andaman earthquake, the resultant tsunami caused more than 225,000 deaths in eleven countries along the shores of the Indian Ocean.

The 2004 tsunami has since been estimated as the ninth worst natural disaster in modern history, which deserves (at least) 225,000 moments of silence and reflection.  

For the people of Java, Indonesia, however, which has again been hit by rising waters, the monsoon rains that have impacted their region on the tsunami’s third anniversary don’t leave time for reflection as they run from landslides that are forcing thousands from their homes:

At least 80 people have been killed or are reported missing after floods triggered landslides in the central Java region of Indonesia.  Local officials say they fear the death toll could rise. Thousands have been forced to seek shelter after their homes were buried or washed away.  Landslides and floods are regular in Indonesia and many blame deforestation.

More below the jump…