First New Zealand, Now Japan

Huge Quake and Tsunami Hit Japan
By MARTIN FACKLER and KEVIN DREW @ the New York Times

TOKYO — An 8.9-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Japan on Friday, the strongest ever recorded in the country and one of the largest anywhere in the last century. The quake churned up a devastating tsunami that swept over cities and farmland in the northern part of the country and set off warnings as far away as the West Coast of the United States and South America.

There’s a lot of raw footage of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami on You Tube, and it’s absolutely riveting. (Note: As you might expect, the language is not always safe for work.) You know what I find particularly amazing? The fact that so many of those homes/stores/office buildings remained structurally sound during the initial quake. The Japanese sure know how to build ’em.

ETA: Holy crap, take a look at this page. Basically, Japan has been getting aftershock upon aftershock ever since The Big One. We should definitely keep the Japanese in our prayers.

ETA 2: While I knew that a certain LJ acquaintance was an ESL teacher in Japan, I was not aware until just now that she lives on the coast near the epicenter. Now I’m really worried. No one on LJ has heard from her; indeed, I understand her family has reported her missing. Gulp!

2 thoughts on “First New Zealand, Now Japan

  1. At least 80 aftershocks of magnitude 5 or greater in the region…one of which was a magnitude 7.1 quake less than an hour after the “big one”…the tsunami turned out to be not that bad except in Japan and Russia. No lives lost or significant property damage in Hawaii, one Darwin Award winner in California who thought it'd be a swell idea to go down to the shore in California to take pictures of the 8-foot waves and was swept out to sea.

    But Japan is definitely dealing with some history-making damage to their stalling economy. They have the same problem as America (they have an international debt almost as large as their GDP) so they can't really call in too many favors to help remedy the cost…but they've got enough publicly traded stock capital to mount a decent recovery with a bit of help from Uncle Sam.

    This impacts my baseball life as well…Ichiro can't make contact with his family (too many downed phone lines and power outages and the cell traffic is too thick) and some of them live in the North of Japan. Also, their chief financial officer and one of their lead marketers (and their Pacific Rim scouting department) have families in Japan.

    Presently, the death toll is around 1500 known with several hundred more unaccounted for…but there are tens of thousands unaccounted for on the unofficial list, so we don't know how high the number might get. Bad day for sure…


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