It's late Sunday afternoon here, and southern Japan's kind of surreal at the moment. A beautiful, early Spring day that belies the hideous events going on to the north of the country. Even as life seems to be almost normal down here, there's still a pall of horror over the southern communities. There's the convoys of military vehicles heading north... the charity work underway to get necessary clothes, food, daily-needs goods north - mostly organised by volunteer groups utilizing mobile phone chat services to get their message out. There's the very deep national grief that's growing by the hour as reports come in of the dead, the destroyed, and the devastation that northern Japan has faced... and the fear that worse might be yet to come via the nuclear plants in Fukushima.
And there are even stories of criminal elements trying to cash in on the national efforts, masquerading as charity workers asking for donations.
46, a guy who sometimes writes here (mad Orlando fan), lives in Fukushima. He's ok, and has evacuated south to a city in a safer area.
The media here in Japan's generally calm, and lacking the sensational elements that CNN and Fox have had, along with their counterparts all over the world (for me, particularly Australia). The government have been pretty good with getting information out, if you know where to look. Noriyuki Shikata has been excellent - distributing news via twitter. He is the Deputy Cabinet Secretary for Public Relations, Director of Global Communications at Prime Minister's Office of Japan. As mentioned before, Al Jazeera and BBC are pretty good too.
Rescue specialists from all over the world are starting to arrive to help with the recovery process.
There will be blackouts all over Japan, as electricity rationing is beginning. In many prefectures on Honshu, water has been turned off, and food/necessities supplies are in short supply as panic buying has struck. Access to the troubled areas is difficult due to the debris caused by the tsunami.
When listening to media reports just remember: the simple fact is, that no-one fully knows or understands what's going on in Fukushima at the nuclear reactors. The best source of information on that is the Japanese govt., and at this point in time I'm not going to go with the sensationalism you'll see in various "news blogs" and "twitter experts" that the Japanese government lying or covering things up.
In leiu of having any real information, waiting and seeing with a dose of caution is probably the most appropriate stance.
More when I can I guess...
Hi Don, thanks for sharing your stories and photos. I hope you're okay. You're blog states that you are but you know what I mean.
This is a definite tragedy to those who were affected. When I recently heard the new death toll climb to ten thousand my mouth hit the floor. Over here in Orange County, CA today especially, many big name stadiums and arenas helped out by having fundraisers for the earthquake victims. I hope they raise a lot of money. Man, what an awful series of events to such a beautiful culture and country. I wish you all the best Don. Thanks again for sharing.
@lakersgarcia Thanks man... It's a surreal place at the moment, but I gotta say that the Japanese as a nation have been amazing. They're really getting behind efforts, and my school's sending a heap of stuff north. Basic amenities that are in short supply, blankets (it's still snowing north), baby food... stuff like that.
Not a single case of looting, or violence.
Shinmoe dake volcano erupts. Now, this one is on my island, but it's unlikely to impact anyone seriously.