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    • CommentTimeMar 11th 2011 edited
    Standard emergency news that I have to write out so I have something that forces me to quit pacing around the house and freaking out:

    8.9 earthquake struck NE Japan, midafternoon Friday

    live footage by NHK Television, video starts automatically (English language feed). Watching the tsunami take out large ships and semi trucks and sweep it all over farmland is nothing short of startling.

    Hawaii and parts of Northern California, Oregon and Washington are under tsunami warning, as is Guam.

    Um. Yeah. Forcing myself to breathe.

    Also kinda wish there were a specifically news-related category for threads. But that's hardly a big deal.
    • CommentAuthorchris g
    • CommentTimeMar 11th 2011
    also watching here:

    this is a nightmare. not gonna sleep
    • CommentTimeMar 11th 2011
    Japanese agency overseeing geological events like this has declared this the strongest earthquake to hit in its history (140+ years of keeping track).
    • CommentAuthorFlabyo
    • CommentTimeMar 11th 2011
    Yup, an 8.9 is absolutely massive, and the epicenter looks to have been close enough to the mainland that there wouldn't have been much tsunami warning time available.

    Hoping that everyone we all know in that part of the world is ok...
    • CommentAuthorshaio
    • CommentTimeMar 11th 2011
    Let's hope the casualties are minimal and there are little after-shocks and tsunamis.
    Any word from Magic Sword and StSparky? (and other whitechapel denizens over there)
    • CommentAuthorFlabyo
    • CommentTimeMar 11th 2011
    Mobile signal is apparently log jammed, so it's going to take a while for people to check in I suspect. Friend of mine said they felt it down in Osaka and just assumed it was a small local tremor till they turned on the news.
    • CommentTimeMar 11th 2011 edited
  1.  (9638.8)
    I felt nothing here in Miyazaki. Though I was at work in a fairly newly constructed mall.

    I first found out about it when I got home, turned on the interwebs, and my FaceBook wall was covered with "BILL! ARE YOU DEAD!?"
    • CommentAuthorbadbear
    • CommentTimeMar 11th 2011 edited
    • CommentTimeMar 11th 2011 edited
    It was quite a bit scary here in Tokyo. Our office is on the 11th floor, high enough to really feel everything shaking. At first it felt like any other small quake (there was one a few days ago actually) but then it got worse and I realized it was not normal when japanese people at work started freaking out, going under tables or running for the exit. I was outside at the end of the first wave and seeing all these huge buildings in Shinjuku moving like that definitely is something...

    I'm lucky because I leave in Ebisu and that's not too far away from work but many people who live far from the center are stuck in Tokyo because there are no trains, I have a friend who's stuck at Kojima Prod right now for example...

    Still, what we got here is nothing compared to what people suffered up north. And the casualties would have been even more dramatic in any other country than Japan.

    By the way, there are still some very small aftershocks even right now.
    Edit : small aftershocks, not very small. Things are shaking in my apartment right now...
    • CommentAuthorkperkins
    • CommentTimeMar 11th 2011
    Sending good wishes to all our friends in Japan, Hawaii, and on the west coast.
    That's one big quake.
    • CommentTimeMar 11th 2011
    I am impressed by how well the Japanese have built their buildings. A lot of countries would just have gone for the short term solutions...
  2.  (9638.13)
    Someone said to me "The news story you won't see is 'Tens of Thousands Saved By Good Engineering,' but they were."

    My mother just narrowly dodged this; she got back from Tokyo Wednesday night. Scary, horrible thing. I hope Japan can prevent more suffering from taking place. It sounds like Hawai'i has things under control at the moment, at least.
    • CommentAuthoricelandbob
    • CommentTimeMar 11th 2011
    Wow the pacific Rim looks rather unstable at the moment. first NZ, now Japan.

    After the Kobe earthquake, Japan have really upped their game when it comes to preparations and prevention with building and infrastructure, with specially made shelters, proper emergency plans and procedures and simple things, like rubber blocks under bridges, to building large buildings further apart. They also reinforced certain routes in the cities so that they would stay intact and allow easier evacuations from the quake hit areas.
    • CommentAuthorStefanJ
    • CommentTimeMar 11th 2011
    On the Oregon coast, the tsunami took the form of pulses of high waves, rather than a single destructive surge.

    Local station is switching between shots of the ocean at Seaside and video from Japan. The latter is horrifying. That one surge going over farmland . . . it's like some kind of all-consuming mile-wide amoeba of mud and junk.
    • CommentAuthorFlabyo
    • CommentTimeMar 11th 2011
    The NYTimes has photos. I can't imagine what it's like to be up in a chopper taking these knowing there's bugger all you can do for the people down below.
  3.  (9638.17)
    Any word from Magic Sword and StSparky? (and other whitechapel denizens over there)

    Don't know about Alex, but Sparky, his friends and family are fine according to his twitterstream.

    Speaking of Twitter, PinkTentacle is a good account to follow to keep up with things.

    And, as usual, Al Jazeera live.

    According to some accounts, a CNN anchor was making Godzilla jokes with footage of the disaster playing.
    • CommentTimeMar 11th 2011
    @icelandbob - i'm much more worried about an (large) earthquake in California than the tsunamis. When there is a series of big quakes around the world over several months there is usually one here too.

    the infrastructure has been that way to neutralize the strength of earthquakes for decades. They *regularly* have earthquakes big enough to feel. The Kobe disaster of 1995 came from both a more destructive quake (closer to land, more violent movement) and a government that was incompetent at administering the disaster.

    I want to feel good that only 400 people are estimated dead - largely from the tsunami. But I suppose I shouldn't cheer just yet, the first 24hours of a disaster has the most misleading news, in my experience.
    • CommentTimeMar 11th 2011 edited
    This is from today's quake, apparently.

    I know they're designed to do this but...holy shit.

    Tokyo skyscrapers swaying during the earthquake
    Japan’s Strict Building Codes Saved Lives
  4.  (9638.20)
    That's some amazing engineering!