Mar 14, 2011

Worry looms....

School continues over here. Everyone seems to be back to normal. There aren't any real damage here. Thank goodness! Apart from the tremors from Friday, I had not felt any real tremors since. Other than a few which I am probably been hypersensitive to.

Tsunami alerts are also cancelled, so my area has no real impending danger. But now, what I am afraid of most is the nuclear plant explosion and the potential radiation pollution. Chernobyl disaster, just mentioning the name, terrifies me. (I just read the wiki article btw.) But according to the latest official English update on the nuclear plants, the authorities acknowledged the partial meltdown of Fukushima Daiichi Unit 1 and 3 reactors, but they said there should be no core explosion. They had been using seawater to cool them. The other plants are either shut down or precautions were taken. No impending danger. Phew.

The Japanese are resilient. As shown on TV, tweets, etc, they do not fall into chaos even in such a devastating situation. You can read more about these heartwarming stories via this facebook note. I was reading them this morning, and was so close to crying, and smudging my makeup.

Like what a friend said, "When nature is at its worst, human nature is at it's best." But this is not to be taken for granted. Through this event, personally, I have seen some wonderful sides of people as well as some ugly sides too. It's really a choice on how we react in disasters like these.

Blackouts are scheduled to conserve energy, starting from today. The schedule is only out for today, and it will affect 8 prefectures and 1 city. My area is not affected for today's blackout rollout. Not sure, if my area will be enlisted for scheduled blackout in future. As I heard from twittersphere, to transfer electricity from the West (which I am at) to the East (where the reactors and disaster areas are at), they will need to convert the frequencies, but they currently do not have the capacity to do that. So, we are not sure when the West will be affected by the blackouts, too. Nevertheless, we will continue to do our part in conserving energy.

Blackouts, not necessary mean just no lights, no electrical appliances, it might affect water supply, gas supply and definitely train systems. We have been relying on electricity so much, that I simply can't imagine how crippled I will be without electricity.

For now, all TV channels, for 24/7 have been reporting on the japan earthquake news live without stop. There were no commercials too. So, everyday, I would watch some news (continuous watching is depressing), switch to facebook, twitter etc. Sometimes I do get worried, as I am not exactly that proficient in Japanese to understand all the news that are reported on TV, and hence will have to rely on twitter and online news report to verify. Thank goodness, everyone has been very supportive, and the twittersphere had been pretty accurate and of course, very timely. In fact, the blackout schedule was shared on twittersphere, just a few minutes before they were announced on TV.

I recommend English readers to follow these 2 twitterers, @DanielKahl and @survivingnjapan for timely updates on the Japan Earthquake.

What is truly scary about the Japan earthquake is not the quake itself. But the after-effects, the tsunami, the nuclear explosion, aftershocks (probability of 70% with magnitude of 7.0) and insufficient energy... food panic? Water pollution? I really don't know...

But for now, I will watch news, monitor tweets every day. I have prepared my emergency food pack, though not sure if it's sufficient. Bottled waters and cup noodles are going fast in my local supermarket. I will probably be blogging my backdated entries from my Nagano trip, just to keep my mind off the earthquake. Ay...

Stay safe, everyone! 頑張れ、日本!


Updates as of 11.30am. There has been a hydrogen explosion at Fukushima 1 unit 3 nuclear reactor.

Gosh... 心情十分沉重