Updated Figures on Crisis in Japan
1 am MT: The Kyodo News Agency reports more than 2,000 people have died or are unaccounted for. In Minamisanriku, a town in Miyagi with 10,000 people, more than 5,000 people are unaccounted for. The police chief thinks the toll in Miyagi could exceed 10,000. Hundreds of bodies have been found under rubble. In one town hit by the Tsunami, the town hall and a nursing home were swept out to sea. Neither the mayor nor the elderly patients have been heard from.
20,000 buildings have been damaged or destroyed and more than 300,000 in six perfectures have been evacuated. The power outages may last weeks. The LA Times has some descriptive photos of the destruction here. For this family, it's like watching a scene from that new show Waking Dead. What an awful shock. One day life is fine, the next day it's gone. These picture pretty well capture the extent of the property damage in that area.
An additional reactor was added to the list early Sunday, for a total of six — three at the Dai-ichi complex and three at another nearby complex. A second explosion is now expected at the building housing the third reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi plant.. Local evacuations have been ordered at each location. Japan has a total of 55 reactors spread across 17 complexes nationwide.[More...]
Advice for those near the reactors:
Public broadcaster NHK flashed instructions to evacuees to close doors and windows, switch off air-conditioning fans and place wet towels over the nose and mouth, as well as to cover up as much as possible.
The effects of radiation:
Severe exposure to radiation causes damage to organ tissue and raises the likelihood of developing cancer, tumours and causing genetic damage. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting and hair loss and severe exposure causes death in 50 percent of cases.
Here's the explanation for the failure of the third reactor yesterday.
As for what caused the earthquake and Tsunamim the New York Times has a report saying it was "Shifting Plates."
On a positive note, soldiers rescued 5,800 people in the Miyagi town of Kesennuma. Japan is trying hard and 95 other countries have offered their assistance.
If you've found any reputable relief agencies to accept your donations, please put them in comments. And thnnk good thoughts for Japan and the Japanese. This is going to require long-term rebuilding.
For those whose homes and workplaces were destroyed, how about if other countries give visas to those affected who have relatives in the donor country. It might relieve additional burden from Japan, and at least keep families unified.
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