The recent earthquake that hit Japan has been officially updated to magnitude 9.0. It was the 4th biggest earthquake in the world. The ensuing tsunami engulfed entire towns and washed away houses and whole lives.
There are currently about 3,700 confirmed dead. The death toll is expected to climb to 10,000 though.
The Fukushima plant is having problems cooling down. Since there are a lot smarter people that can comment on this situation than me, take a look at these sites for more information:
MIT Nuclear Science and Engineering Site at https://mitnse.com
This site has a lot of detailed explanations of the going-ons of a nuclear power plant as it pertains to the events unfolding at the Fukushima plant.
International Atomic Energy Agency at https://IAEA.org
This lists the raw facts of the event as they happen. Here you can read about what is happening without any bias or insight.
New York Times has great coverage and some slick interactives at https://nytimes.com
New York Times has a great series of visuals that help you understand what is happening a lot better.
The Tohoku and Tokyo area have been hit by regular aftershocks since the 9.0 on Friday. These are averaging about 2 to 3 an hour. Some of these quakes have measured over 6.0 on the rector scale.
They are more scary than anything else, but there is a fear that these quakes could trigger a much bigger earthquake just south of Tokyo. For more info on all the earthquakes, there strengths, and locations, check out the Japan Meteorological Agency website for more details as they happen.
My Personal Story
It’s been a heartbreaking couple of days. Everyone here in Osaka is depressed about the events unfolding in north Japan. However, it has become a bit of a 800 pound gorilla in the room. It seems everyone knows it’s there, but nobody wants to talk about it too much. It’s definitely a time of high emotions.
How You Can Help
1) You can donate to the Red Cross.
3) Or NihongoUp.com is donating 50% of all sales to the rescue effort for the next two weeks.
4) Or Textfugu.com is donating 110% to relief efforts over the next 5ish days. Check out the details.
P.S. Gakuranman.com has a great live blog in English about the earthquake, too.