Travis Shingledecker ’13
On March 11, at 2:46 p.m. in Tokyo time, the largest earthquake ever recorded in Japan of an 8.9-magnitude devastated the nation, which was followed by walls of water because of the consequential tsunami. In one of the most recent reports, the police have stated that the earthquake and tsunami caused a death toll of more than approximately 11,000 people and the number of missing people has astonishingly reached 16,000. In addition there are signs of previous civilization in the rubble of the cities and it seems imperceptible.
During a television conference on Sunday, the Prime Minister of Japan, Naoto Kan, stated, “In the 65 years after the end of World War II, this is the toughest and the most difficult crisis for Japan.” To highlight the desperation of the survivors of this natural disaster, a Japanese newspaper reported that there had been about 600 survivors on the roof of a public grade school in Sendai City after the tragic event. As of last Saturday, only 150 of these individuals had been evacuated by firefighters. There is little to no electricity and water for the victims in the shelters.
On top of the grim results of this earthquake on a prepared country, there are developing concerns revolving around the radiation leaks emanating from two nuclear plants located near the region of the disaster. To cool down the meltdowns of the affected nuclear reactors, Japanese officials have been flooding them with sea-water. However, considering the fact that with the high pressure inside the reactors along with the effects to utilize the cooling water, plant operators have unintentionally released radioactive vapor into the atmosphere. Since this occurrence, many evacuations have taken place.