Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Day 20, March 30: "Japan’s largest-ever crisis"

It has been a few days since I've posted an update, so this post will be a summary of current information.
  • The nuclear reactors continue to be the top news in Japan. As workers move in to assess the situation they've realized that the damage at the plants is quite a bit worse than originally thought. It seems that there is little danger of an explosion, but the plants continue to lead radioactive substances, mainly into the sea near the plant. The sea dilutes the leakage so there is no danger to people at the present time. Some estimate that it may take years to fully stabilize the damaged reactors. 
  • “The earthquake, tsunami and the ensuing nuclear accident may be Japan’s largest-ever crisis,” the Japanese prime minister, Naoto Kan, told Parliament on Tuesday, in his most sober message to date on the nuclear crisis. The government has received some criticism for its handling of the nuclear situation, and has now asked for more help from experts from France and the U.S. 
  • Everyone within 19 miles of the reactors has been evacuated. Some evacuees of the earthquake and tsunami have begun to move from local shelters to other parts of Japan while they wait for temporary housing to be built.
  • The American military has mobilized 18,000 personnel to help alongside more than 100,000 Japan self-defense personnel in the relief and recovery effort.
  • It's encouraging to also read of stories of heroism, luck, quick thinking amid tsunami's furious onslaught.
  • Warmer weather has helped keep the power on as the electric company has cancelled rolling blackouts the in recent days. However, when summer comes they expect to have significant power shortages. 
  • Gasoline is now available again, but I was surprised to still see some empty shelves at local supermarkets.
  • Many companies have suffered damage and loss and are not likely to resume operations soon. Other companies are affected by the uncertain electric power situation. Hundreds of thousands are unemployed and may never get their jobs back.

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