I’ve been looking at the pictures on TV all day and still can’t believe we lived through it. There was a power cut and no heating, and I couldn’t call anyone after my baby was born because the phones were down. And we didn’t even know what was going on in the nuclear plant.Japanese earthquake survivor Kaori Naiji • Discussing the deadly incident, which took place one year ago today. Naiji’s daughter, Wakana, was born during the earthquake, which unleashed a major tsunami on the country. Thousands spent the day mourning the lost and protesting the scene at Fukushima, which left the country on eggshells for months afterwards. What do you remember most about the period? Do you expect to see anything like it again in your lifetime?
» A tsunami warning is in effect: The earthquake struck shortly after midnight local time, some 262 miles off the coast of Banda Aceh, Sumatra. There are, so far, no reports of casualties or damages, but Indonesian officials have confirmed the tsunami alert. The caution is entirely sensible; it was in late 2004 that a large earthquake triggered a catastrophic tsunami which struck Indonesia, killing nearly a quarter-million people.
» That number isn’t changing: While they’ve discovered more damage than they originally anticipated — such as damage to fuel reactors — and are still dealing with meltdowns. Despite these discouraging discoveries, officials are sticking to this timetable, saying that the reactors are continuing to cool despite the more extensive damage. ”The point [Japanese Prime Minister Naoto] Kan is making is that the reactor cores are being cooled down despite the apparent meltdown,” said Goshi Hosono, the prime minister’s special adviser on the issue.
»And don’t forget about Japan’s other problems: Prime Minister Naoto Kan was pretty unpopular prior to the earthquake and tsunami that decimated the country, and his abilities at crisis management haven’t escaped public criticism. Reuters reports that many Japanese are unhappy with the Prime Minister’s focus on the nuclear crisis, feeling that not enough attention is being paid to other pressing humanitarian tolls caused by the earthquake; the number of dead or missing currently sits at 28,000 people, though obviously that estimate is changing all the time. source