Tragedy in Japan Continues

by Victoria M. Johnson

Earthquake, tsunamis, fires, aftershocks, and now a looming nuclear power plant disaster. Japan has been hammered in the last 24 hours. As the death toll rises and reports of over 700 hundred missing and thousands injured continues, we can only imagine what the survivors are experiencing.

National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) map on 11 March 2011 shows the predicted travel times of the tsunami.

The USGS reports that since the 8.9 earthquake hit Japan, at least 124 quakes magnitude 5 or higher have rattled the area. But it could be worse in the disaster-struck country. According to the New York Times, “from seawalls that line stretches of Japan’s coastline, to skyscrapers that sway to absorb earthquakes, to building codes that are among the world’s most rigorous, no country may be better prepared to withstand earthquakes than Japan.”

However, the quake has forced the closure of five nuclear power plants in Japan. Kyodo News reported at 2:00pm that radiation 1,000 times higher than normal is being detected at the Fukushima nuclear plant. MSNBC.com interviewed, Edwin Lyman, a senior scientist with the Union of Concerned Scientists. “It’s just as bad as it sounds,” he said. But Steve Kerekes, spokesman for the U.S.-based Nuclear Energy Institute, said that while the situation was serious, a meltdown remains unlikely.

March 11 2011 10:05 pm | Earthquakes and Tsunami

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