Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

March 10, 2012

One year ago after the quake and tsunami: No sky, no land…

Filed under: Catastrophes — by Philip J. Palin on March 10, 2012

Snow covers remains of Minamisanriku town, Miyagi Prefecture  (March 17, 2011) Associated Press

Rescue workers walk through heavy snowfall in Sendai, northeastern Japan (March 17, 2011) Reuters

Yoshikatsu Hiratsuka grieves in front of wreckage where the body of his mother is buried in Onagawa  (March 17, 2011)  Associated Press


No sky,

No land – just

Snow falling

KAJIWARA Hashin (1864-?)

We cannot run fast

enough, to catch cascading

catastrophe’s roar

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3 Comments »

Comment by William R. Cumming

March 11, 2012 @ 2:36 am

Fact vis a vis Fiction still being sorted out at Fukishima. Example{ Threat to Tokoyo and need for mass evacuation.

And in the good old USA the first fixes ordered by NRC for domestic power reactors–due date is 2016! These changes supposedly reflect first lessons learned from Fukishima.

And this weeks ECONOMIST newspaper has a 14 page section devoted to nuclear power, Fukishima and that source of energy’s future. Worth some study.

Comment by Philip J. Palin

March 11, 2012 @ 6:20 am

Bill, Clearly the Fukushima nuclear emergency is important. I am concerned, however, that our (including the Japanese) tendency to focus on the nuclear emergency has distracted attention from equally important causes, consequences and lessons-learned outside the exclusion zone.

As the post suggests, for me the snowfall on March 16th and 17th of last year was especially evocative.

Five days after the initial calamity bitter cold and heavy snow further complicated response. Yet in many hardest hit locations, the snow saved lives. Potable water was scarce and the snow provided an extra three days for lifelines to be reestablished.

The vulnerability of water systems and suppression of post-event supply chains are just a couple of issues that are being discounted by a preoccupation with the radiological threat. It is not a matter of one threat or the other, a complex event requires a big picture perspective during and after in order to help us decide what to do before the next one.

Comment by William R. Cumming

March 11, 2012 @ 1:30 pm

YUP! Japan cold in winter and hot in summer. It is the culture and society of Japan generally that I think will ultimately measure the impacts on Japan from Fukishima. I think Phil you and I agree, even as I start construction of my Japanese Garden here. Well 600 expert gardners and 600 years it may amount to something.

Perhaps not surprisingly I think the radiological component of the story is yet to be told accurately. But my focus here is on the dynamics and fear that the event will drive Japan even faster into a GREATER EAST ASIA CO-PROSPERITY SPHERE managed by China.

I often wonder how the Chinese would exploit my county of Northumberland VA that has 12,000 total population on any good day. Perhaps the wheat, soya beans, and corn grown on my land ends up in East Asia now. The closest operational nuclear reactors are at North Anna in Louisa County, VA, and SURREY outside Williamsburg VA with it recreated colonial capital and Bush Gardens. I am not in the 10 mile EPZ of either or the 50 mile Ingestion Pathway either.

What few understand is that each day of the week over 100,000 medical personnel in the USA deal with radiation treatments and equipment. I myself am the beneficiary of 45 beam radiation treatments. So what continues to interest me is how little the average American understands the pervasiveness of issues that started with among others that unusally NOBEL winner in both physics and chemistry MADAME CURIE and also Ernest Rutherford. Hey the AXEMAN’s Gift is good book to read.

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