Empty shelves at the local supermarket


Everyone is preparing for the blackouts and possible warnings to stay at home, indoors, with the window frames stuffed and wet towels over our faces, in the event that these (very strong) winds start blowing the OTHER way, bringing radiation toward us. The news that the U.S. Navy’s Ronald Reagan group has backed off due to sensing radiation 60 miles away from the reactors is NOT on the Japanese news yet. The American Embassy has been diligent about updates and instructions so far, and while they have not recommended evacuation from any area besides the 20km radius around the degenerating power plants in Fukushima, apparently the French have recommended its citizens to head south and out of Tokyo.

The Japanese government and media generally err on the side of understating devastation. Emperor Hirohito, after Japan surrendered in WW2, in his first radio speech to his own people, described the event of surrender after nuclear devastation in two highly populated areas like this: “The war has developed not necessarily to Japan’s advantage” [translation not mine, btw].  Informative and comforting, no?

Considering the utter emptiness at the supermarket, I can kind of understand why the dangers are not being reported; this is locust/panic behavior already- at the idea of inconvenience. What would happen if people felt their lives were in serious  and real danger from radiation poisoning? Personally, I have just today realized that I am a little worried for myself. I didn’t feel that even in the midst of the earthquake (rather I was a bit preoccupied with the prospect of my cat getting buried under my building). But radiation poisoning… that could follow me everywhere for the rest of my life and the idea scares me. I wasn’t worried until I heard about the Navy backing off the Japanese coast.

Still having aftershocks. The weather is light jacket- a lot warmer than Friday. Skies are blue and the winds are strong, but going north for now. I’m about 230km from the nuclear reactors, to the south, close to a city called Chiba, fyi. We should be out of power in about two hours for a few hours (it is now 4pm in Japan, 1am in Utah). Probably no internet until its back on.


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