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In the face of the most horrendous disaster Japan has faced since the end of WWII, I have seen people from around the world band together to support Japan in kindness and solidarity, and it restores my faith in humanity. I'd like to express my deepest sympathy to those who have lost their dearest loved ones to this disaster, send prayers to those who are still searching for loved ones, that their loved ones are safe, and extend my personal gratitude to those who have reached out to me in the last 3 days. Although my family is here in the States, I have a number of relatives, and many friends, in Tokyo. The city of Sendai where the tsunami had destroyed and taken lives, is home to people I know. Although we are still watchful of the situation regarding the failing nuclear reactors, an imminent threat just a few miles north of Tokyo, I am praying that further destruction will be thwarted, and that, with the support of compassionate people around the world, Japan will rebuild once more. My thoughts are with all who are affected by this unimaginable catastrophe. I also need to make this point, that the reason I have harped on and on about how dangerous nuclear energy would be for the U.S. is because I hope we never have to find out what the people in Japan are going through right now.
Second Blast Rocks Japanese Nuclear Powerplant
Explosion at Fukushima plant occurred mid-morning Monday - by Martyn Williams | Tokyo March 13, 2011 VOA News
TNR: "The explosion at the Number One Fukushima Plant—which helps supply Tokyo with power—has led to a slew of conflicting stories and accounts. While the earthquake itself has brought out much of the best of Japan—the solidarity, the self-control, the millions of people doing what they need to do without being told and without bellyaching; not to mention the tens of thousands of buildings that survived intact thanks to meticulous work by construction companies and maintenance engineers—the ongoing drama at the plants suggests some of the worst: unaccountable, self-satisfied bureaucracies dismissing their critics and discounting the possibilities of “black swans.” Anti-nuclear activists had warned for decades of precisely what happened—an earthquake of off-the-chart magnitude leading to critical failure of the cooling systems—but were brushed off as amateurs who lacked the credentials and standing for their fears to be taken seriously. One is reminded of nothing so much as the pre-Lehman bankruptcy attitudes of the Wall Street quants who led the economy into disaster by failing to build into their models the possibility of simultaneous meltdowns of global credit markets." Tokyo Dispatch: Skyscrapers, Earthquake Science, and the Odds of Another Disaster by R. Taggart Murphy - The New Republic, March 13, 2011
FUKUSHIMA, Japan, March 12 (Reuters) - "An explosion blew the roof off an unstable reactor north of Tokyo on Saturday, Japanese media said, raising fears of a disastrous meltdown at a nuclear plant damaged in the massive earthquake that hit Japan. The 8.9-magnitude earthquake -- the strongest ever recorded in Japan -- sent a 10-metre tsunami ripping through towns and cities across the northeast coast. Japanese media estimate that at least 1,300 people were killed. Jiji news agency said there had been an explosion at the stricken 40-year-old Daichi 1 reactor and TV footage showed vapour rising from the plant, which lies 240 km (150 miles) north of Tokyo. The blast came as plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) worked desperately to reduce pressures in the core of the reactor that -- if not contained - could lead to a release of radiation into the atmosphere." Read on: WRAPUP 11-Explosion at Japan's quake-hit nuclear plant - media - by Chris Meyers and Kim Kyung-hoon, Reuters Mar 12, 2011