Category Archives: Japan Tsunami

6.9-Magnitude Earthquake Strikes off the Coast of Japan: USGS

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Japan. Photo courtesy of © Maximilien Lebaudy

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A 6.9-magnitude earthquake has been reported in Fukushima, Japan, according to the United States Geological Survey.

Tremors from the earthquake could be felt as far away as Tokyo, about 150 miles south of the epicenter. Hazardous tsunamis are possible for parts of Japan’s east coast within 300 kilometers (about 186 miles) of the earthquake’s epicenter, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said. There is no tsunami threat to Hawaii…

Read Full Article, ABC News (11-21-2016)

Japan: Tsunami warning in effect, CNN (11-21-2016)
A tsunami warning is in effect for Japan’s Fukushima and Miyagi Prefectures after a 6.9-magnitude earthquake struck off Honshu at 5:59 a.m. Tuesday (3:59 p.m. Monday ET). Japanese authorities urged residents of those northeast coastal areas to leave immediately for higher ground and to not return until warnings had been lifted.

World Tsunami Awareness Day makes its debut on 5 November, Japan

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Seaside, Japan. Photo courtesy of: © Maximilien Lebaudy

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Japan’s initiative to raise the awareness of the risks posed by tsunamis will this weekend mark a milestone when World Tsunami Awareness Day makes its debut on 5 November – an occasion that goes beyond paying tribute to the victims of tsunamis.

Tsunamis are rare, but extremely deadly. Records show that, between 1996 and 2015, 250,900 people died in 21 countries affected by 30 tsunamis. The most devastating among them was the Indian Ocean Tsunami on 26 December 2004 in which more than 220,000 people perished, including 9,000 foreign tourists. Japan’s tsunami on 11 March 2011 left more than 18,000 dead or missing.

“Rather than selecting a memorial day or a tragic day, such as 11 March or 26 December, 5 November was selected as a ‘forward-looking’ day when many lives were saved due to proactive actions,” Yuki Matsuoka, Head of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) in Japan, told the UN News Centre.
There is a century and decades-long history to it. On 5 November in 1854, a massive tsunami triggered by a magnitude-8.4 earthquake struck the Kii Peninsula in Japan. It is recorded that many lives were saved in that event when Goryo Hamaguchi, a leader in a small village, set fire to piled sheaves of newly harvested rice in his own paddy, to evacuate and guide fellow villagers to high ground in the darkness.

In Japan, this story is known as “The Fire of Inamura (rice sheaves).”

Last December, the UN General Assembly designated 5 November as World Tsunami Awareness Day, with 142 countries co-sponsoring a resolution drafted by Japan, which worked with other disaster-prone countries as well as partners such as UNISDR.

“Tsunami, originally a Japanese word, is now commonly used in English. This represents the fact that the Japanese people have the long history of grappling with tsunami hazards,” Ms. Matsuoka said. “Japan built the people’s resilience not only by hard measures, but also by soft measures,” she added…

Read Full Article, UN news Center (11-03-2016)

The Cherry Blossoms will Soon Be Blooming: Japan’s Recovery Efforts in the Wake of the 2011 Tsunami, by © Mark Edward Harris (05-11-2011)

Impact of the Fukushima accident on marine life, five years later

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Decommission of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, February, 2015. Captions and Photo source: ©© IAEA Imagebank

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Five years ago, the largest single release of human-made radioactive discharge to the marine environment resulted from an accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan. Approximately 80 percent of the fallout happened over the Pacific Ocean.

A new study explores the environmental consequences in the marine environment of the accident. It outlines the status of current research about the impact of the fallout on plant and animal life and what remains to be done as the radioactivity continues to spread…

Read Full Article, Science Daily (10-18-2016)

Fukushima and the oceans: What do we know, five years on?, Science Daily (07-05-2016)
A major international review of the state of the oceans five years after the Fukushima disaster shows that radiation levels are decreasing rapidly except in the harbor area close to the nuclear plant itself where ongoing releases remain a concern…

Fukushima Site Still Leaking After Five Years, Research Shows, WHOI (03-09-2016)
Five years after the Fukushima nuclear accident, study shows levels of radioactive forms of cesium in the ocean off Japan are thousands of times lower than during the peak releases in 2011, however, analysis of cesium and strontium indicate releases from the plant are not yet “under control,” a statement that has been used by the Japanese government to describe the situation when levels are below regulatory limits…

Higher Levels of Fukushima Cesium Detected Offshore, WHOI (12-05-2015)
Scientists monitoring the spread of radiation in the ocean from the Fukushima nuclear accident report finding an increased number of sites off the US West Coast showing signs of contamination from Fukushima. This includes the highest detected level to date from a sample collected about 1,600 miles west of San Francisco…

Company makes new iron sand mining attempt

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Patea beach, South Taranaki, New Zealand. Photo source: ©© Trey Guin

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A plan to mine iron sands off the South Taranaki coast is back on the table…

Read Full Article; Radio NZ (08-24-2016)

Read Full Article, Reuters

“Iron Sand Mining Decision Expected, New Zealand”, Stuff Environment New Zealand

Ocean ironsands mining decision due tomorrow, The New Zealand Herald
Backed by Australian, American and New Zealand investors, TTR intends to raise as much as US$550 million in debt and equity to fund the project, which would vacuum up iron-rich seafloor sands, extracting the desired titano-magnetite for export to Asian steel mills…

Taranaki’s Black Sand Could Prove Golden, One News
A proposal to mine the seabed for 20 years is set to be considered by the Environmental Protection Authority tomorrow.

Sand Mining Opposition Grows, Taranaki Daily News
A wave of opposition to seabed mining off the south Taranaki coast is growing as divers, fishermen and local iwi rally against the proposal…

Iron Sands Mining Hearing: The Concerns, The New Zealand Herald

Seawalls, coastal forests show mixed effectiveness at reducing deaths and damage from tsunami

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Post tsunami devastation, Japan 2011. Photograph courtesy © by Mark Edward Harris

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Following the tsunami in 1933, coastal towns in Japan began to construct “tsunami seawalls” to protect lives and property from this repeated hazard. After the death and destruction of 2011, the effectiveness of tsunami seawalls has been called into question.

Many critics claim that seawalls are detrimental because they offer a false sense of security, and prevent residents from being able to see the approaching danger first-hand. Moreover, they also say that the presence of seawalls tends to encourage residents to build homes in vulnerable areas rather than in safer places further inland or uphill…

Read Full Article, Science Daily (08-19-2016)

Japan’s sea wall: Storm brews over plans to construct giant $6.8 billion USD barrier against tsunamis; Independent UK (03-05-2016)
In a country with about 20 per cent of the world’s strong earthquakes, and pummelled by a tsunami roughly every seven years, the survivors know that some day calamity will almost certainly strike again. Japan’s government wasted little time announcing a tried-and-tested solution: pouring concrete.
When the 2011 tsunami hit Japan, nearly 90 per cent of the sea walls along the north-east coast crumbled, a blow to a country considered among the best protected from the fury of natural disasters…
A joint report by the ministries of agriculture and land says 14,000km (8,700 miles) of Japan’s 35,000km coastline requires tsunami protection. “It’s madness…”

Japan Mulls Massive, 250-Mile Sea Wall To Fend Of Tsunamis; Phys.Org (03-22-2015)
Four years after a towering tsunami ravaged much of Japan’s northeastern coast, efforts to fend off future disasters are focusing on a nearly 400-kilometer chain of cement sea walls, at places nearly five stories high. Opponents of the $6.8 billion plan argue that the massive concrete barriers will damage marine ecology and actually do little to protect residents who are mostly supposed to relocate to higher ground…

Seawalls in Japan Offered Little Protection Against Tsunami’s Crushing Waves, The New York Times

Japan’s tsunami waves did top historic heights (04-25-2011)
Tsunami waves topped 60 feet or more as they broke onshore following Japan’s earthquake, according to some of the first surveys measuring the impact along the afflicted nation’s entire coast. Some waves grew to more than 100 feet high, breaking historic records, as they squeezed between fingers of land surrounding port towns…

Tsunami Warnings, Written In Stone, The New York Times
The stone tablet has stood on this forested hillside since before they were born, but the villagers have faithfully obeyed the stark warning carved on its weathered face: “Do not build your homes below this point!”

A Decade After Asian Tsunami, New Forests Protect the Coast, Yale E 360 (12-14-2014)

Root of the Matter: Mangrove as Lives Saver When Natural Disaster Strikes, NASA’s Earth Science News Team (10-28-2010)

Are We Wiser About Tsunamis? Science Daily (09-23-2015)
The world may not be well prepared for the next significant tsunami, report researchers…

Fukushima and the oceans: What do we know, five years on?

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Seaside, Japan. Photo source: ©© Mrhayata

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A major international review of the state of the oceans five years after the Fukushima disaster shows that radiation levels are decreasing rapidly except in the harbor area close to the nuclear plant itself where ongoing releases remain a concern…

Read Full Article, Science Daily

Fukushima Site Still Leaking After Five Years, Research Shows, WHOI (03-09-2016)
Five years after the Fukushima nuclear accident, study shows levels of radioactive forms of cesium in the ocean off Japan are thousands of times lower than during the peak releases in 2011, however, analysis of cesium and strontium indicate releases from the plant are not yet “under control,” a statement that has been used by the Japanese government to describe the situation when levels are below regulatory limits…

Fukushima Site Still Leaking After Five Years, Research Shows

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Water tanks holding contaminated water in front of the reactor buildings at Fukushima Daiichi. February 11th, 2015. Captions And Photo source: ©© IAEA Imagebank

Excerpts;

Five years after the Fukushima nuclear accident, study shows levels of radioactive forms of cesium in the ocean off Japan are thousands of times lower than during the peak releases in 2011, however, analysis of cesium and strontium indicate releases from the plant are not yet “under control,” a statement that has been used by the Japanese government to describe the situation when levels are below regulatory limits…

Read Full Article, WHOI

Higher Levels of Fukushima Cesium Detected Offshore, WHOI (12-05-2015)
Scientists monitoring the spread of radiation in the ocean from the Fukushima nuclear accident report finding an increased number of sites off the US West Coast showing signs of contamination from Fukushima. This includes the highest detected level to date from a sample collected about 1,600 miles west of San Francisco…

Five years on, Fukushima evacuees voice lingering anger, fear and distrust, The Japan Times

Higher Levels of Fukushima Cesium Detected Offshore

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Decommission of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, February, 2015. Captions and Photo source: ©© IAEA Imagebank

Excerpts;

Scientists monitoring the spread of radiation in the ocean from the Fukushima nuclear accident report finding an increased number of sites off the US West Coast showing signs of contamination from Fukushima.

This includes the highest detected level to date from a sample collected about 1,600 miles west of San Francisco.

The level of radioactive cesium isotopes in the sample, 11 Becquerel’s per cubic meter of seawater (about 264 gallons), is 50 percent higher than other samples collected along the West Coast so far, but is still more than 500 times lower than US government safety limits for drinking water, and well below limits of concern for direct exposure while swimming, boating, or other recreational activities…

Read Full Article, WHOI

Examining the Fate of Fukushima Contaminants, WHOI (08-20-2015)

Trace Amounts of Fukushima Radioactivity Detected Along Shoreline of British Columbia, WHOI (04-07-2015)

Fukushima Radioactivity Detected Off West Coast, WHOI (11-11-2014)
Monitoring efforts along the Pacific Coast of the U.S. and Canada have detected the presence of small amounts of radioactivity from the 2011 Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant accident 100 miles (150 km) due west of Eureka, California…

Fukushima Accident Still Ongoing After Three Years: Q&A, IPS News (06-20-2014)

Fukushima Dumps First Batch of Once-Radioactive Water in Sea (09-14-2015)

Fukushima Operator Finds New Source of Radiation Leak into Sea (02-25-2015)

You Can’t Go Home Again: Rebuilding Lives After Fukushima

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Seaside, Japan. Photo source: ©© Mrhayata

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Following the 2011 Fukushima meltdown, two photojournalists and documentarians made multiple trips to the no-go zone, photographing former residents of the region nearly five years later.

The displaced waver between a desire to return and a fear of what remains, both in terms of the invisible energy that still emits clicks on officials’ Geiger counters, and the physical degradation of their homes and livelihoods…

Read Full Article and View Images Gallery, CNN

Examining the Fate of Fukushima Contaminants, WHOI (08-20-2015)

Fukushima Operator Finds New Source of Radiation Leak into Sea, Reuters (02-25-2015)

Fukushima Accident Still Ongoing After Three Years: Q&A, IPS News (06-20-2014)