They've cooled the Fukushima #1 reactor and turned it off. They say there's no danger to the public, but they're still evacuating up to 10 km away. However, they have decided not to expand the evacuation radius, which is a good sign. With all the northern reactors being shut down, they're anticipating blackouts and power shortages in Tokyo tonight.
In Iwate, there are 125 confirmed dead in the city of Ofunato, with 142 missing. The population of Ofunato is about 40,000. They don't seem to be updating the total figures very regularly based on the local figures. The number of dead is presently estimated at 1000 overall.
I'm told there's no water or power in Hitachi City, and all the batteries have been bought up. A friend in southern Ibaraki just got his power back after 23 hours, and spent the night listening to NHK on a battery-powered radio.
The most dramatic stories out of Tokyo involve stuff falling from shelves, being replaced, and then falling out again with the next aftershock. One friend walked home for several hours last night, then got up and went out for a hike today, the orignal plan being altered only by a two-hour delay.
On NHK, I saw an aerial image of a school with the following written in white on the grounds: "SOS. 1000 BLANKETS." There's an elementary/junior high school in Onagawa in Miyagi with: "SOS. Water disconnected." The NHK planes are buzzing back and forth.
For a while the aftershocks were exactly 30 minutes apart, but they've picked up again a bit, coming from Iwate, Fukushima/Ibaraki, and Niigata/Nagano. The news is telling people to just stay away from the coasts.
I'm going to try to make it home now. We'll see what's broken. And then we'll sleep and ignore it until tomorrow.
Screencapture from NHK TV:
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Lauren Donald (Saturday, 12 March 2011 08:08)
Thanks for your updates Mike. Dont have a tv so going by word of mouth atm. Hope your place is ok:) Be safe