Workers are close to restoring power to cooling systems at a quake-hit Japanese nuclear power plant, officials say.
Engineers connected a cable through which they hope to supply electricity to part of the Fukushima Daiichi plant.
The earthquake and tsunami it triggered crippled the plant’s cooling systems, and some radiation has leaked.
Radioactive contamination has been found in some food products from the Fukushima prefecture, Japanese officials say.
The iodine was found in products – reported to be milk and spinach – tested between 16 and 18 March and could be harmful to human health if ingested, the officials said.
International nuclear experts at the IAEA say that, although radioactive iodine has a short half-life of about eight days, there is a short-term risk to human health if it is ingested, and it can cause damage to the thyroid.
The IAEA had earlier reported on its website that food products from Fukushima prefecture had been banned from sale by the Japanese authorities, but later said a ban was only being considered.
Traces of radioactive iodine have also been found in tapwater in Tokyo and five other prefectures, officials said on Saturday.
The traces are within government safety limits, but usual tests show no iodine, the AP news agency reported.
The earthquake and tsunami which struck on 11 March are known to have killed more than 7,600 people, while more than 11,000 remain missing…..
The tsunami, seen crashing into homes in Natori, Miyagi prefecture
(Kyodo News, via Associated Press)
From the New York Times…..
Walls of water whisked away houses and cars in northern Japan, where terrified residents fled the coast. Trains were shut down across central and northern Japan, including Tokyo, and air travel was severely disrupted. A ship carrying more than 100 people was swept away by the tsunami, Kyodo News reported. And the government evacuated thousands of residents near a nuclear plant about 170 miles northeast of Tokyo after a a backup generator failed, compromising the cooling system, the Associated Press reported.
Prime Minister Naoto Kan said the disaster caused major damage across wide areas. Several hours after the quake, Kyodo News reported 59 deaths, but with rescue efforts just getting under way, the extent of injuries and damage is not yet known.
The United States Geological Survey said the earthquake had a magnitude of 8.9, and occurred at about 230 miles northeast of Tokyo and at a revised depth of about 17 miles. The Japanese Meteorological Agency said the quake had a magnitude of 8.8, which would make it among the biggest in a century.
The quake occurred at 2:46 p.m. Tokyo time and hit off Honshu, Japan’s most populous island. The quake was so powerful that buildings in central Tokyo, designed to withstand major earthquakes, swayed.
“This tremor was unlike any I’ve experienced previously, and I’ve lived here for eight years. It was a sustained rolling that made it impossible to stand, almost like vertigo,” said Matt Alt, an American writer and translator living in Tokyo.
President Obama said the United States was ready to help with any assistance. “Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to the people of Japan,” he said in a statement. He said he had instructed federal agencies to be prepared to assist Hawaii and any other areas in the United States affected by the tsunami.
By Friday night, tsunami waves of about 30 centimeters, or about 2.5 feet, were reported in Halmahera in Indonesia’s North Maluku Province, and was expected to reach Hawaii in the coming hours……
From the BBC…..
Many parts of Christchurch were left in ruins after the quake
Rescuers are toiling overnight in New Zealand to reach scores of trapped people after a 6.3-magnitude earthquake which has claimed at least 65 lives.
Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker says more than 100 people are feared buried in collapsed buildings in the city.
The disaster struck at a shallow depth of 5km (3.1 miles) on Tuesday lunchtime when Christchurch was at its busiest.
It is the South Island city’s second tremor in six months, and the country’s worst natural disaster in 80 years.
The mayor has declared a state of emergency and ordered the city centre’s evacuation.
We paid a very heavy price here”
John KeyPrime Minister
On a cold and wet night, emergency teams have been toiling under floodlights to reach survivors, as relatives keep vigil outside.
Rescue teams with sniffer dogs have been fanning out across Christchurch.
A series of aftershocks, some as big as magnitude 5, have rattled the stricken city of nearly 400,000 people.
Many power and telephone lines are knocked out, while burst water mains have deluged whole districts.
Up to 30 people were feared trapped inside the flattened Pyne Gould Guinness building, where screams have been heard from the ruins…..
The world has stepped up to the plate to help this poor country…..Kudo’s to ex-presidents Bush and Clinton for their fundraising efforts…….
The first thing that should be done is better building codes!
The international community pledged $5.3 billion Wednesday for earthquake-shattered Haiti over the next two years, launching an ambitious effort not just to rebuild the hemisphere’s poorest nation but also to transform it into a modern state.
The amount exceeded by more than $1 billion the goal set ahead of a conference co-sponsored by the United Nations and the U.S. government. In all, countries, development banks and nongovernmental groups pledged nearly $10 billion for Haiti in years to come.
“This is the down payment Haiti needs for wholesale national renewal,” said U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. He emphasized, however, that donors must deliver on the promises of cash, something they have sometimes been slow to do.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton noted that nearly 50 countries made pledges, twice as many as contributed to rebuilding the area hit by the 2004 tsunami in South Asia. She announced $1.15 billion in U.S. funds for the nation-building effort in Haiti.
The reconstruction plan calls for building ports and hundreds of miles of new roads, resurrecting Haiti’s withered agricultural sector, relocating people from the crowded capital and establishing an efficient bureaucracy in a country that never had one.
[ Malin Ackerman attends the Ferrari 458 Italia Brings Funds for Haiti Relief event at Fleur de Lys in Los Angeles, California. ]
Damn…both have legs!
The numbers will rise……..
Rescuers searched for survivors Sunday a day after one of the biggest earthquakes in recorded history rocked Chile, killing more than 700 people while leaving untold numbers missing and 2 million displaced, wounded or otherwise affected.
The death toll jumped Sunday to 708, Chilean President Michelle Bachelet said, nearly doubling as rescue crews reached remote and badly damaged towns.
The 8.8 quake, which hit before dawn Saturday, toppled buildings, buckled freeways and set off sirens thousands of miles away as governments scrambled to protect coastal residents from the ensuing tsunami. Authorities lifted tsunami warnings Sunday after smaller-than-feared waves washed shores from Southern California to Hawaii and Japan.
Looting broke out Sunday in some of the most heavily damaged areas of Chile, where residents were without water or electricity. Crowds overran supermarkets in the port city of Concepcion, which sustained widespread damage, and were making off with food, water and diapers but also television sets. Several banks also were hit. Police in armored vehicles sprayed looters with water cannons and made several arrests, mostly of young men.
“The people are desperate and say the only way is to come get stuff for themselves,” Concepcion resident Patricio Martinez told reporters. “We have money to buy it, but the big stores are closed, so what are we supposed to do?”
Bachelet, following an emergency meeting with her cabinet Sunday, announced she would send army troops into the Concepcion area, about 70 miles south of the quake’s offshore epicenter, to restore order and assist in recovering bodies and searching for survivors. She previously declared swaths of the country “catastrophe zones” and Sunday issued an emergency decree for the area that will be in force for 30 days.
State television reported that 350 people were killed in the coastal town of Constitucion, near the epicenter.
CNN has reported that a Tsunami has occurred in New Zealand…and water is receding in Hawaii at this time….
That was one hour in the past from 4:45 EST Saturday afternoon…..
As of 4:57 EST ….water height has risen by 3 feet in Hawaii……..
As of 5:07 EST there has been two rises in water height……
As of around 6:00 PM EST…..there was a all clear……
For more info on live time viewing……..
Here’s the CNN link……
This is from the LA Times……
Hawaiian authorities were rushing to evacuate up to 100,000 residents and tourists from low-lying coastal areas Saturday morning as an estimated 3-to-8-foot tsunami raced toward the islands at the speed of a jet plane.
Radio stations were broadcasting civil defense alerts, and sirens sounded in the early-morning hours, well ahead of the expected arrival of the waves, estimated at about 11 a.m. Hawaii time, triggered by a massive earthquake in Chile.
“We are taking this very seriously. We have activated, and we think this is a real emergency,” said Jane Lovell, spokeswoman for the civil defense agency on the island of Maui.
Two hours before the expected arrival of the tsunami, Gov. Linda Lingle signed an emergency disaster proclamation, and said she was preparing to take a National Guard helicopter to survey any damage.
“My overall impression is that the state is well-prepared,” she said.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a Pacific-wide warning. An advisory, the lowest level of notice, is in effect for most of the West Coast of the U.S., including Alaska. Hawaii was expected to be among the hardest hit.
Half an hour before the tsunami was forecast to hit, Waikiki Beach was an eerie, nearly deserted scene. Cars lined the roads on higher ground, with onlookers, many of them in an apparently festive mood, gathering in good viewing spots
The U.S. Navy Pacific Fleet sent four warships and three other support and research vessels steaming out to sea as a precaution against damage near shore at Pearl Harbor.
A fifth warship, the Port Royal, was in port for maintenance and unable to sail, so it was being towed into deeper waters, said fleet spokesman Capt. Jeff Breslau.
“Even though we don’t anticipate high surge waves here, we don’t know for sure, so we’re just going to take precautionary measures,” Breslau said.
“Now it’s just a matter of watching and waiting,” Breslau said.
The Quake was a 400 Mile break……
From the NY Times……..
The magnitude 8.8 earthquake that struck off the coast of Chile early Saturday morning occurred along the same fault responsible for the biggest quake ever measured, a 1960 tremor that killed nearly 2,000 people in Chile and hundreds more across the Pacific.
Both earthquakes took place along a fault zone where the Nazca tectonic plate, the section of the earth’s crust that lies under much of the Eastern Pacific Ocean south of the Equator, is sliding beneath another section, the South American plate. The two are converging at a rate of about three and a half inches a year.
Earthquake experts said the strains built up by that movement, plus the stresses added along the fault zone by the 1960 quake, led to the rupture on Saturday along what is estimated to be about 400 miles of the zone. The quake generated a tsunami, with small waves forecast to hit the West Coast of the United States, and larger ones for Hawaii and elsewhere in the Pacific.
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