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Friday, November 5, 2021

Kindred Quakes: Alaska and Japan

By Shannyn Moore

Living in a seismic zone is tricky. The seconds that roll by during an earthquake are the longest I’ve ever experienced. I’ve been in an MRI machine, a fishing boat, and on the radio airwaves during quakes. No matter where, I ask myself:
“Is this the ‘Big One’?”
“Should I be standing in a door jam now?”
“Thank God for building codes.”

We share a nervous nature with the occasional quakes. Tonight all those questions Alaskans have asked since 1964 have been answered in Japan. It was a Big One. It was devastating. Our hearts and thoughts are with them.

At 5:36 p.m., March 28, 1964, Alaska, with the epicenter 78 miles east of Anchorage and only 15 miles deep, a massive 9.2 earthquake hit. The shift of the ocean floor created tsunamis up to 70 feet high.  Nine of the 131 people who died were as a result of the earthquake. The tsunamis took 106, four who were killed on Oregon beaches and 12 in Crescent City, California. Damages were up and down the Pacific Coast and Hawaii. Boats were damaged as far south as Los Angeles.

According to Wiki: “As the entire planet vibrated as a result of the quake, minor effects were felt worldwide. Several fishing boats were sunk in Louisiana, and water sloshed in wells in Africa.”

British Columbia was hit hard. Tens of millions of dollars were lost and the town of Port Alberni had 55 homes destroyed and damage to 375.

In Alaska, some towns were moved. Some never rebuilt. Some show scars, even now. Alaska experienced over 10,000 aftershocks. Even if we weren’t here, or born yet, the fear of “is this the Big One” is never far away, even if it’s just the dog scratching at the other end of the sofa.

Alaska’s heart is with Japan. Not just in the terror, but in the healing.



238 Responses to “Kindred Quakes: Alaska and Japan”
  1. JUST A THOUGHT says:



  2. kiksadi50 says:

    I was in the 2000 earthquake in Washington state.I’d never been in an earthquake.Didn’t know that was what was happening until my co-worker(our office was a dbl. wide trailer,screamed “earthquake” & people panicked,started screaming,running, pushing ea.other down & stepping over ea. other to get outside.Having been trained as a deckhand,I didn’t move, waiting for the skipper to direct us.Finally, I went into airflight attendant mode,& kept repeating,”calm down,walk, don’t run,don’t push & I was the last one out.I couldn’t get home because the highway had cracked in two creating a huge crevice.All I wanted to do was talk to my husband (a real skipper).he eventually found a back rd. to my work place & took me home.I didn’t cry for a cpl. of days.Then I couldn’t stop.really shook my faith in the response of people in a catastrophe.I feel so deeply for the people of Japan.I can hardly look at the photos.I live in Sitka & rec’d the sunami warning,but I live @ the top of a very,very tall hill.I figured if it could get me up here I couldn’t outrun it anyway,so I went back to sleep.the next day I thought I’d had a dream until I looked @ the news.I bet a lot of Japan wishes it were a bad dream,they will awaken from.

  3. CityKid says:

    I have no idea how accurate this forecast is, but it certainly is something to look into:

    • CityKid says:

      I think this graph is a fake, rad levels are much too high – but it does raise the question of where we stand if things go completely haywire with Japan’s nuclear facilities – last I heard at least six were in trouble and all may be using plutonium or plutonium-enriched fuel.


      All of our current environmental problems are unanticipated harmful
      consequences of our existing technology. There is no basis for
      believing that technology will miraculously stop causing new and
      unanticipated problems while it is solving the problems that it
      previously produced.

      Prof. Jared Diamond, UCLA
      Harper’s Magazine, 2003 June

  4. CityKid says:

    Has anybody looked into what public health officials in Alaska and along the U.S. coast are doing to monitor radiation levels? The Japanese do not have a good record when it comes to reporting leaked radiation. Given the prevailing winds worldwide I think it’s something we should be looking into – NOW.

  5. Here is a video at Crescent City harbor, made by crazy people. I know that spot they are standing because that is the exact spot we were standing last year to film a 2′ tsunami. No way would I be standing there for a predicted 8 footer.

  6. Here is a video of the tsunami going up the mouth of one of our rivers.

  7. Krubozumo Nyankoye says:

    Having read through this entire thread, KS, I understand your passion, but perhaps you should take a step back and try to view things a little more objectively. You deserve a certain amount of praise for your enthusiasm and persistence, but how much more effective would that be if you took time to make sure it was focused sharply on key issues? Don’t get me wrong, I don’t disagree with you, I am just trying to coach you a bit about how to use that tremendous energy you have for even greater effect.

    Now a personal anecdote to this saga.

    My niece had a very good friend 22 years ago who was a Japanese exchange student. Just last week they had a reunion, my niece’s friend brought along her 17 year old daughter. Yesterday they departed to return to Japan. Their flight was diverted from Tokyo and the landed in Sapporo. My niece’s friend, herein after known as Toyomi, and her 17 year old daughter are now isolated there.
    Her husband, son, and mother all live in the town of Shiogama, about 60 miles due west of the epicenter of the major quake. Her husband’s business is (was) salting cod fish. So it was located on the shoreline. The distance from the epicenter would have allowed no more than about 9 minutes warning before the waves arrived.

    I can have empathy for people I have never known. So called conseratives, republicans are thniking only how can I make money off he suffering of these chattel.

    • AKPetMom says:

      It really comes down to our interpersonal relationships, doesn’t it? With our paltry 80 years of life on this planet perhaps we should focus on the importance of that which is within our scope of enjoying. The political world will move on without us even chiming in with our votes.

      You make a great point. I’m trying to get back to that level or enjoying life with a circle of friends around the world that I love and am concerned about.

      I know this wasn’t your point; to have a person disengage to previous levels of being disengaged and ignorant of the system and thereby happy. Your comment did remind me how much happier I was when I was disengaged. I do have to thank you for that.

      • Krubozumo Nyankoye says:

        Well AkPetMon frankly I am not sure I really understand what you are saying. But I think
        it is reasonable to assume that it might be due simply to the difficulty of writing out what
        one thinks. I suffer from it as much as anyone. Perhaps in some respects more so.

        Go ahead and disengage, I personally see nothing at all wrong with that. There will probably come a time when you reengage, and the difference in your point of view may well make a difference in other’s points of view. I like to think of it as freedom of thought.

  8. Gimme-a-break, Sarah says:

    I’m in Santa Cruz…..What a day. I am so sick at heart for all the suffering and damage from this quake and tsunami. Our harbor was damaged but so little compared to what’s going on in Japan. I kept having flashbacks today to our 1989 quake, and how I spent 3 hours searching for my 15 yr old daughter.

    But tonight I was very relieved to find that my husband’s cousin in Japan is okay.

    My prayers go up for all who are suffering…..

  9. A Fan in CA says:

    Just looked at my local weather. NOAA says “A tsunami advisory remains in effect for all coastal and island areas of southwestern California. Tidal gages are still reporting surge activity at all points along Southern California. At 700 PM PST… officials at Ventura Harbor reported the strongest surge of
    the day with the current estimated at 15 knots. These tsunami surges can produce dangerous rip currents and rapid changes in sea levels.” This is 11 hours after the first wave!

  10. leenie17 says:

    There was a report on the local news tonight that one of the private schools here in Rochester has its own earthquake monitoring equipment (seismograph, I assume). Today it actually measured vibrations here in the rock below us, 6500 miles away from the Japanese quake. I simply cannot imagine what it was like to experience that in Japan.

    My heart breaks for those who have lost their homes, their friends, their family or their own lives.

  11. ks sunflower says:

    They are real pieces of work, aren’t they, lennie17? I’ve so with you on this!

  12. leenie17 says:

    I find it very interesting that the Mt Redoubt volcano blew shortly after Bobby Jindal mocked the funding of volcano warning systems, and this catastrophic earthquake/tsunami happened the very same day that the Republicans propose slashing funding for tsunami warning systems, NOAA and the U.S. Geological Survey as well as funds to respond to international disasters.

    There’s a very important message in these two events:
    1. Don’t cut budgets for programs that will save lives by researching natural disasters and warning of their impending arrival.
    2. Help the people around the world who are suffering because of a natural event beyond their control.

    They’re STILL not listening.

    How anyone can look at video of the devastation in Japan and not grieve and be inspired to help is beyond me.

    • beaglemom says:

      Well, i ‘m going to write to our idiot representative (known during the Bush II era as “rubber stamp Dave Camp) and tell him yet again what I think of him and his Republican colleagues. I’m always to proud of my country when listening to experts from agencies like NOAA and the USGS during times of natural disasters. What is wrong with these clowns?

  13. ks sunflower says:

    Oh, BTW, for all of us who have depended upon the internet for info and comfort today, you might be interested to know that a GOP committee has decided to kill the FCC rules on net neutrality which means providers such as Time Warner or Comcast can decide what we get to see or not see, depending on how much we pay or how much we use in terms of broadband (like videos, TV, movies, etc.). I bet the middle class will be priced out as will public libraries (if they survive the next two years).

    • ks sunflower says:

      I, for one, would hate to imagine life without the horizon-expanding, soul-soothing sites I find on the net and all the great people I’ve come to know like you here on themudflats.

    • A Fan in CA says:

      Getting rid of Net Neutrality is a big objective of ALEC. AT&T and Verizon are major contributors to them. It will also give them a way to control the flow of information if they decide what sites we can and cannot visit.

      • Krubozumo Nyankoye says:

        There is a solution to this, that is actually quite simple. Wireless networks.

        Big corporations cannot control the broadcast bandwidth. Go wireless.

        • A Fan in CA says:

          KN, sorry but wireless bandwidth also must be routed and that is were they will control access to the sites the users will be allowed to visit. In order to have two way communications any network must have an addressing scheme unlike one way broadcast nets like TV used to be before the new digital disenfranchised so many like me.

  14. weaver57 says:

    Amen, Firecracker!

  15. ks sunflower says:

    I don’t know if any of us can take much more of this today, but I have to say, the video on

    is so compelling that I just have to mention it again None of our media is showing enough of the damage because it covers such a wide area that I am fearful that many in Congress will not take this as seriously as it deserves.

    The images I continue to watch are almost unreal. It really brings home what we are all saying here – nature is not to be taken for granted and we are humbled by its power.

    • AKPetMom says:

      One thing that should make you feel good is that Japan has resources to rebound from this catastrophe, unlike Haiti, which is third world and still struggling to recover from the earthquake that happened over a year ago. First world disasters are much different than third world disasters and Japan will be fine. There will be loss of life and devastation to many small communities hit by the tsunami but Japan internally, as a strong first world rich nation, has the financial and political infrastructure to assist it’s populace to the highest degree possible. America will and can do our part but we have enough on our plate as it is, as a country, to do much to assist another first world power in disaster relief.

  16. Firecracker says:

    Just got word that my “second” mom’s family in Japan are all fine. I have been worried for her all day. Can breathe easier now. Still so sad to hear about all the other loss of life and devastation. Prayers out for everyone in Japan tonight.

    • ks sunflower says:

      So glad you got confirmation. Not knowing is the worst part of any situation like this. I bet your blood pressure went down several points once you found out they were okay. What a nice way to end the day, all things considered. So happy for you, Firecracker. Also touched that you feel badly for others.

      I just heard some GOP pundits dismissing the loss of life and in particular carping about how if American had build that nuclear reaction that is in trouble, there would be nothing to worry about. Big time BS there. We don’t build them as safely as the Japanese according to many in the industry. Why is that the GOP/TP people cannot relate to the humanity of this event, pure and simple?

      • ks sunflower says:

        gees, too tired to type — should have written – ” . . . how if Americans had built that nuclear reactor that is in trouble . . . .” Guess I need to go grab another nap. I’ve been up and monitoring this for far too long (since it happened with the exception of a short nap earlier this afternoon.) My apologies for making reading my comments even more difficult.

        • michigander says:

          ks sunflower – I gave the link from your post @ 41 ( to a dear friend’s husband here in the states. Her parents live in Osaka so are safe but she has many friends in other areas and it is her homeland. Thank you so much.

          Firecracker and all here, thankful for those who are safe and will keep on praying.

          • ks sunflower says:

            Thanks for letting me know that helped. Our daughter sent that to me, and I am still watching it, transfixed by the images. I will let her know it has helped.

          • ks sunflower says:

            An aside on this: I have that site running all the time now. I cannot understand Japanese though my daughter is fluent in Chinese and Japanese. So, know what happens — when a particularly engrossing scene comes on, I try to turn up the volume so I can hear what’s happening – now, that is just sad, isn’t it? Like turning it up will make all the difference. 🙂

          • A person grasps for hope wherever it can be found. Maybe its not the physical motion that gives hope,rather the thought process that leads to the physical. Hang in there ks sunflower.

          • Pinwheel says:

            Mike from Iowa,

            Please don’t get uppity with the Japanese about nuclear power. This is the only culture, population who has ever suffered atomic destruction. From my perspective the Japanese are the only people on the face of the earth who are qualified to determine for themselves their need or ask for help.

      • Firecracker says:

        That is terrible! I feel like the GOP/TP only cares about those that are just like them, look like them, speak like them, worship like them, etc. I heard that the reactor was an older one so are they sure that there wouldn’t have been US help in building it? Not that facts ever matter to anyone in that party. Besides the Japsnese are pretty good at building things! I love my Japanese built car an electronics ; )

        • ks sunflower says:

          You raise a great point. I hadn’t considered it, but I bet you are right about the US involvement – makes sense because it was just before Japan really took off as tech power.

    • Alaska Pi says:

      ((So glad to hear those you love are safe ! ))
      Spent most of the day worrying about family here in way of the tsunami warnings.
      Finally let myself go look at all the coverage and news from Japan and am undone.
      Have lived through a big subduction quake, tens if not hundreds of smaller ones, seen the aftermath of tsunami but am just undone with the aerial video of Miyagi Prefecture coast being overrun by the sea.
      So many tears and so many prayers…

      • ks sunflower says:

        Don’t forget they have actually had four separate earthquakes unrelated to the original one – these additional ones are not aftershocks. I cannot begin to imagine how we’d cope if this had happened here. I think we’d be beyond shock. So glad they train from childhood to remain calm and learn how to cope. Of course, they will have emotional trauma in addition to all else, but at least they, as a society, are better prepared to deal with this than we are. We do so little for our people – we don’t even like to discuss dying and death issues (remember the furor around the health care reform issue of informed consent and pre-arranging details with the doctor and family). I wish we would be more mature. Of course, perhaps the physical circumstances have forced the Japanese to come to terms with these issues whereas we can just postpone them because of our diverse geography.

        • Alaska Pi says:

          Have been through the large quakes after the initial- for me I was still on red-alert from original quake and dealt with them ok.
          Was all the smaller quakes and aftershocks days and weeks later which were harder for me. Dog bumps the couch and you dive under the table type stuff.
          Don’t know , seems to me that some areas here do ok living with the realities of natural disasters of their particular spot.
          Village my grammy’s family lived in forever had to be abandoned after 64 tsunami here. People did ok though very sad about leaving somewhere they had been truly forever…
          On the other hand an uncle by marraige told me he scanned streets and all whenever he put his fishing boat in, looking for his sister who was lost in the 64 tsunami…

  17. We have just been downgraded to a tsunami advisory.

    • Alaska Pi says:

      Ok – breathing normally again now that I know you are all ok.
      Off to donate to relief orgs for Japan…

      • boodog says:

        Me too! What a day. I’ve actually gotten more US news of the tsunami here than I’ve seen on TV. I’m so glad everyone is ok.

  18. A Fan in CA says:

    Avila Beach/Port San Luis was forecast to get up to a 7 foot surge starting about 8am. So far we have gotten 6.3 feet, Low tide was this morning and now high tide is 4:11 but just 2.47, about normal for here. No damage and everyone is being keep off the beaches and piers.

    This report also has a sped up video of one of the surges coming in to the beach.

    The quake is 5,000 from here but you can see the power in the water as it does a normal tide cycle of hours in 5 minutes with a lot more power in the surge.

    • ks sunflower says:

      That was fascinating to read and watch. Thanks. You’re right. We forget about how powerful nature is until times such as this. We either take Nature for granted or abuse it and think there will be no payback.

  19. ks sunflower says:

    Everyone already probably knows the following, but I just woke up from a quick nap and discovered this info waiting for me in an email.

    Here’s the Guardian article on the reactor:

    The US is apparently rushing coolant to Japan to help.

    There was a separate (not aftershock) earthquake of 6.6 in Nagano and a 6 in Akita and one just now in Niikata. Separate quakes. Nobody can sleep there, friends say, and it’s just an hour before dawn.

      • ks sunflower says:

        When we lived in Washington state back in the 70s I remember their female Governor Dixie something being so proud of all the nuclear plants there. She was on the federal board regulating and promoting nuclear energy. Even then, people were worried about having these plants in a state susceptible to volcano and seismic activity.

        I loved WA, but was also relieved to have to go back to tornado alley. We can always clean up after a tornado, but not so much after a meltdown. Mind you, we are susceptible to the New Madras fault, so that weighs heavily on us, particularly when the GOP in Missouri (where the major fault lines are, I believe) are trying to sway voters to back building multiple nuclear plants.

        Can you imagine what would happen if a nuclear plant near the Mississippi River ever had a problem?

        • Wallflower says:

          My mom and dad lived in Washington in the 80s and Governor Dixie was proud of her power plants, but they did have some trouble. The acronym for the system ended up being something like WHOOPS, and many Washingtonians found that to be quite apt.

        • Dixie Lee Ray – she was before my time here, though.

          • ks sunflower says:

            Ah, thanks for the full name – Dixie Lee Ray. I can picture her in my mind’s eye. My husband was assigned to a nuclear sub and in dry dock in Bremerton at the time we were there. We knew she was not being totally honest or had taken way too much Koolaid when she kept insisting that the fault lines and possible volcanic activity wouldn’t make a diff — said the plants were foolproof. Uh-huh, yeah.

          • leenie17 says:

            ks sunflower –
            “My husband was assigned to a nuclear sub and in dry dock in Bremerton at the time we were there.”

            What a small world these mudflats are! My former brother-in-law and my former fiancee were both on a sub in Bremerton in the 80s. I spent a number of vacations and holidays traveling from NY to WA to visit, and even got to eat dinner on the sub one night. Who knows…I might have even met your husband!

        • Krubozumo Nyankoye says:

          KS – please excuse me for correcting you. You refer to the New Madras, it is actually the New Madrid, and it is not a fault per se, but a fault zone that has once generated a major earthquake. It is in extreme SE Missouri far from any major urban centers and equally far from the likely location of any nuclear power generation system. While it is true that nuclear power has its dangers, it cannot be compared to the dangers of other sources of power. Just think for a minute. Nuclear power generation has never caused a single death of an individual in its entire history *in the USA*. Yet in the last year 29 miners died in a coal mine in W. Va. and 11 drillers died on an oil platform in the gulf of Mexico.

          We tend to think that any major nuclear power accident would result in some kind of science fiction horror show. The fact of the matter is we bombed Japan twice with nuclear weapons, far worse than anything a reactor accident could produce, and yet they have
          managed to rebound from that horrific blow. And apparently they are not irrationally afraid of the use of that source of energy.

          Yes it has dangers, so does taking a shower.

          • Pinwheel says:

            I am humbled by your comment/observation.

            The New Madrid Fault rearranged the mid-Mississippi drainage. The mighy Mississippi ran backwards for three days. Inland, east, southeast the river filled an area now known as Reelfoot Lake, in NW Tennessee.

            The reason I like this particular story of natural history is my parents explored this country when they were young. My parents also traveled, north, deep into Canada.

            Then, here I am !!!

          • ks sunflower says:

            I really appreciate the correction. I was so caught up in surfing various sites, trying to stay awake and keeping the adrenaline surges under control that I completely lost it on this.

            You are not only correct, you are wonderful in providing these details so we can all more fully appreciate the magnitude/potential of New Madrid.

            The only point I would take issue with is the comparison between nuclear power and coal mining deaths. Nuclear power is at least closely regulated (perhaps not as tightly in the past as we would like it now), but coal mining still has a Wild West aspect to it as regards oversight. Coal mine owners regularly ignore or purposely go against safety regulations and recommendations, preferring instead to reap as much profit as quickly as they can regardless of the health or loss of life costs. To many mine owners, unions are evil obstacles to making those profits and the miners just fungible tools in creating their little empires. Let’s see, am I against coal mining as it exists now? You betcha.

            Plus, I am not sure the Japanese families touched by our bombing have rebounded as much as survived and simply moved on as best they could. Oftentimes, successive generations lose that sense of horror simply due to the need to carry on. If nuclear exposure is so safe, why do X-ray technicians have to wear lead aprons and stand behind lead panels or sailors on nuclear submarines have to wear radiation badges to ensure they do not exceed maximum exposures. I remember accidentally washing my husband’s badge (not seeing it clipped to his shirt) and having him disciplined and docked pay because it ruined the medic’s ability to determine exposure limits. Granted, methods have improved since then, but the impression is deeply cast.

            All that aside, I am grateful for the reminder and correction on New Madrid. Thanks for keeping me on the straight and narrow. That’s what makes these discussion so valuable.

  20. We are fine here in Humboldt Bay, but docks destroyed south and north of us, Ft Bragg and Crescent City.

    • Alaska Pi says:

      saw ft Bragg info…dang
      manila ok too?

      • Manila is fine. Got an amazing surge up the mouth of the Mad River. Mad River boat ramp was submerged. Up-down-up-down at the marina on woodley island. Apparently vastly entertaining but not even any loose boats. Crescent City took the biggest beating, as usual. The missing guy was apparently one of several people who went around road closures to a closed beach to watch the tsunami. I think on one of the Coastal roads between Klamath and Crescent City. Haven’t heard details yet except that two of them swam ashore near Klamath River.

        • Alaska Pi says:

          Good on things being ok.
          Sorry though there is always someone who gets hurt because they go where they ought not…

        • boodog says:

          So glad to hear you’re safe and sound, WWSC. I lived in Ferndale in the late 70’s and remember when we had a fairly large earthquake, pretty scary in a town built mostly of old Victorian buildings. But it’s the rivers and inlets that really are the danger areas in a tsunami. Just picturing a surge up the Mad River, wow.

    • tigerwine says:

      Oh my goodness! It took a minute to realize the Ft. Bragg you are talking about is in CA not NC!
      Had me worried even more for awhile! Stay safe Sardine lady!

    • bubbles says:

      ((((Woman WSC and family))))happy to hear all well with you and yours. sending love and good wishes to all.

    • We actually live about 500 feet away from (and about 10 feet above) the line marking the tsunami inundation zone on our evacuation plan. If we get our big subduction quake (9.2 predicted), I may be able to see water from my front porch. Assuming I still have a front porch.

    • ks sunflower says:

      Wow – what a day you’ve had! Glad you and yours are okay.

  21. carol says:

    Riki Ott wrote a book on the health effect of the Exxon Valdez cleanup, “Sound Truth & Corporate Myth$: The Legacy of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill”.

  22. sali says:

    OT, I know, but this needs to be read and widely distributed. If I knew how to do it, I would.
    Awful, awful report regarding people who worked on the Gulf of Mexico cleanup dying from BP’s toxic chemicals. Not found on US blogs, this is from, contributor Dahr Jamail>

    • ks sunflower says:

      You are so right. This is important!

      I am outraged that MSM isn’t covering this big time!

    • ks sunflower says:

      sali – have you posted this on Immoral Minority? You should.

      Perhaps Jeanne will look at this and want a guest blogger to address it. We know Rachel Maddow read this blog (or her staff does) so maybe we can get it more attention. I read that part about the young man who worked for BP for only two weeks then died due to the exposure to chemicals with his two-week paycheck still in his wallet, uncashed. Tore my heart out.

      Then to read about the symptoms that others are suffering – oh, my, how can any one read this stuff and not be furious, permanently furious at BP and all the other fat-cat oil companies who don’t give a rat’s patootie about anyone.

      I hope this gets picked up for another day when the earthquake(s) and tsunami news is quieter.

    • KJ in NC says:

      Sali, Thank you so much for posting this. My son works in the Gulf, but is recovering right now from a knee replacement in California. I forwarded the article to him. How awful, although I am not surprised. There is no happy ending with this disaster.

      • weaver57 says:

        OK and isn’t it interesting that our so called media have not reported on this, but that it is coming from Al Jazeera. Something is very wrong here.

    • ks sunflower says:

      Thanks for the update. Can you imagine how awful this could have been without advance warning?
      I cannot believe that the GOP/TP wants to slash funds for the early warning program.

      • Alaska Pi says:

        Tsunami City, USA
        Why is Crescent City, Calif., so susceptible to tsunamis?

        Cresent City has worked hard to be prepared since what happened to them in “64.
        It is a hard working economically (LONG term ) depressed community which has the good sense to stay involved in it’s own future.

        The posturing stupenagle buffoons in DC need lessons in humility before the forces of nature and hope in the face of adversity.

        • ks sunflower says:

          Thanks for the link. It sure helps one understand what’s going on in Crescent City.

        • Wallflower says:

          Certainly the fracture is an issue; I’ve always thought just the fact that the town is at sea level (yes, I know that all harbors are at sea level–:) ) and the shape and direction of the harbor made it suseptible. Del Norte is an economically depressed area already. This blow will be hard.

  23. ks sunflower says:

    The Oregonian reports that 6-foot waves have hit Curry County, Ore., along the southern coast, despite low-tide conditions:

  24. aussiegal77 says:

    Some comforting thoughts – Japan is well prepared:,8599,2058390,00.html

    “Perched on the Ring of Fire, an arc of seismic activity that encircles the Pacific Basin, Japan is one of the most earthquake-prone countries in the world — but it’s also one of the best equipped to handle them. Having survived the quake of 1923, the utter the devastation of World War II and, later, in 1995, the earthquake in Kobe, the country has done more than most when it comes to disaster preparedness.”

    Interesting comparisons between Katrina/Haiti and Japan on Sullivan’s blog:

  25. ks sunflower says:

    As if Japan had not suffered enough with the earthquakes and tsunami, now comes the news:

    “Located in northern Japan, the Fukushima Prefecture has a population of 2 million and lies in an area heavily impacted by the earthquake. A dam broke nearby, washing away homes, Reuters reported”

  26. ks sunflower says:

    The Obama administration has asked that flags in DC be flown at half-mast to show support and sympathy for Japanese-American families who are suffering from loss of or worrying about friends and family in Japan. I am so grateful for that gesture.

  27. ks sunflower says:

    KRON4 ( now reporting Crescent City may soon see waves as high as eight feet.

    • Alaska Pi says:

      FEMA said Crescent City suffered the worst damage from the tsunami. A wave at 8:44 a.m. was measured at 8.1-feet, destroying piers, docks and several boats.

      They already have…

      • PollyinAK says:

        My mother in Seaside, CA (next to Monterey) said she got a robocall advising to stay away from the beaches this morning.

        • Alaska Pi says:

          Hoping your mother is fine and all you care for in Kyushu as well.
          I have family and friends in N Ca I’m waiting to hear from again in and around the hazard zones there.
          And feeling so very, very sad for Japan

      • Pinwheel says:

        Alaska Pi, I know this is late, but I heard there was also damage in Ft. Btagg, down the coast a bit. but inside the bar. I’ve walked the docks in Cresent City, we know boats from Alaska.

        Don’t f*** with Mother Nature!!

  28. ks sunflower says:

    Report from BBC:

    “The situation at the nuclear reactor at Fukushima seems to be worsening. Japanese authorities are now to release radioactive vapour to ease pressure, AP news agency reports. Engineers are trying to fix the cooling system to the main reactor, damaged in the quake.

    “Japan’s trade minister, Banri Kaieda, says authorities are nearing a decision to release radioactive steam from the Fukushima nuclear reactor in a bid to ease a build-up of pressure, AFP reports. Thousands of local residents have been evacuated.”

    • Riverwoman says:

      Evacuation area was expanded today, and radiation levels are 1000 times normal, before steam release. I am sure they are working feverishly.

  29. ks sunflower says:

    Five trains now not reporting back to headquarters in Japan. Presumed taken by tsunami. OMG!

  30. aussiegal77 says:

    A horrible day. Small consolation – my cousin is ok, although slightly stranded since trains are not operating. Husband’s cousin’s wife is from Japan and her family and friends are all accounted for, it seems. Thank the Lord. But so many many more are mourning loved ones today. I’m stunned but my sadness is nothing compared to theirs.

    Love you guys, take care this weekend. HUGS to everyone.

    (P.S. I finally discovered Google Chrome – it loads up Mudflats so I can FINALLY stop by during the day again rather than waiting till night time at home. Internet Explorer sucks and never loads Mudflats!)

    • ks sunflower says:

      So happy to hear your cousin is okay and husband’s cousin’s wife’s family and friends are okay. I am watching Japanese live feed. Amazing people survived in worst hit areas.

      Also, too – glad to see you back here during the day! I agree with IE — that’s why I use Firefox. Haven’t tried Chrome.

      Again – glad to hear the good news! We haven’t been hearing much – though many above are also sharing what little successes they have heard about.

  31. ks sunflower says:

    People killed in Crescent City CA

  32. Dagian says:

    It’s getting worse in Congress, if you can believe it.

    Tea Party senator, Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), has argued that federal relief for tsunami victims is unconstitutional.

    Holy. Cow. Flops.

    • ks sunflower says:

      WTF???? Sorry for the language, but really if ever it was called for, this idiot deserves it!

      He is the one calling everything unconstitutional. He is such an indecent sorry excuse for a human being.

      • Riverwoman says:

        Nothing in the Constitution prohibits humanitarian aide.

        There is a differance between “not specifically mandated” and “unconstitutional”.

        These idiots need to learn the differance.

        • ks sunflower says:

          Exactly! Sad thing is Lee claims to be a lawyer – I didn’t go to a top-tier law school and had to wear a tens-unit due to a back injury while I was attending – but I certainly learned a heck of lot more about constitutional law and how to interpret it than he did. He is an idiot. Maybe he and Sarah should pair up. They are matching set.

    • Dagian says:

      NEW YORK (AP) – Housing officials are warning that budget cuts being pushed by some members of Congress could decimate New York City’s housing enforcement efforts, slicing the funds the city uses to pay inspectors, sue landlords and perform emergency repairs.

      Around the country, the cuts could also shutter community centers, stymie plans for new housing developments and reduce the money available for repairs to broken elevators and leaking roofs in public housing.

      Budget proposals by both the Senate and House of Representatives were voted down Wednesday. But as members of Congress attempt to wrangle a compromise, housing officials around the country are still anxiously awaiting word on whether the 62 percent cut to federal Community Development Block Grants proposed by the House will happen

      • ks sunflower says:

        My gawd, what is with them? I sound like a broken record, but I have lived over 60 and paid attention most of the time and I have never, ever heard such callous stupidity before.

        These people are shameless and shameful at the same time! This is disgusting news (necessary to know, but disgusting to hear). They simply do not care about any American unless they are rich. Man, my blood pressure is shooting up and my head may pop off at any moment! But I won’t let it – wouldn’t give them the pleasure of polishing off a progressive. I am intending to stay around and give them heck at the next election!

        Thanks for keeping us aware of this, Dagian.

    • boodog says:

      Unconstitutional? How un- humane of him.

    • merrycricket says:

      Denying aid to anyone that needs it is unconscionable!

      • gran567 says:

        They have no problem denying medical benefits to American citizens so I can believe that humanitarian aid would also be on their list.

  33. ks sunflower says:

    Crescent Harbor destroyed – 35 boats destroyed. Surges there are much worse than in Santa Cruz.

  34. ks sunflower says:

    Harbor police are telling everyone to clear out and get high up in Santa Cruz harbor. Witness says he is standing on dock and seeing people on jetty.

    Water is draining out fast, waiting for even greater surge.

    6.6 earthquake hitting Japan as I write, making buildings in Tokyo sway.

  35. ks sunflower says:

    Has anyone heard about the volcano in Indonesia that began erupting when quake first hit Japan?

  36. ks sunflower says:

    Via our daughter:

    Talks about the missing bullet train that was in Miyagi prefecture (N, where the tsunami was).

    Ah, an earthquake alert again, including Tohoku, where the nuclear power plant is on fire.

  37. ks sunflower says:

    More surges coming to CA.

  38. Dagian says:

    There is at least ONE happy ending for one unofficial mudflatter:

    Dear Dagian,

    Thanks for writing to ask about how I did in the earthquake. I am fine, and so is everyone I know. My partner was at the hospital where he works as a nurse, and he called in the evening to say that he was okay but couldn’t get home since the trains were not running. He stayed overnight at the hospital as he sometimes does when he works the late shift.

    I had no classes yesterday and was at home. I was lying on my bed reading when it started. However, it was the scariest quake I have ever experienced in 23 years in Japan and 15 years in California. To begin with, it was extremely strong and toppled lots of items from shelves, etc. The floor of our study is covered in books, papers, and other items that were stacked on high shelves. Strangely, though, even though the quake shook some porcelain off of a shelf, nothing was broken. (Probably, that’s an advantage of having the floors covered in carpets.) Secondly, it lasted for a really long time; they are usually just a few seconds or less than a minute. This one seemed to go on and on and on and to get stronger as time passed. I don’t know how long we shook, but it must have been for well over two to three minutes. Third, there were a lot of aftershocks for the rest of the day. I live in a fairly strongly constructed building, but I went outdoors three times due to the many aftershocks. This is the first quake I have experienced in which I was actually afraid that something might collapse on me.

    I was lucky to be at home since all the trains were down and anyone who was out in town had a hard time getting home last night. And it is cold! The phones stopped working, too. There was an email from the associate dean of my school that the building was evacuated in an orderly way, and everyone at TUJ appeared to be okay. I think many of the folks up north in Miyagi Prefecture were much less lucky from the pictures I’ve seen on NHK, though.

    Keep well, and thanks again for writing.


    • ks sunflower says:

      Gosh, so glad this person is safe. Thanks for the good news, Dagian.

      I am watching that Japanese station my daughter sent (listed above) – the videos are beyond amazing.

  39. Alaska Pi says:

    Officials in Crescent City are reporting damage after tsunami waves began hitting the harbor this morning.

    ”The harbor has been destroyed,” said Crescent City Councilman Rich Enea in a phone interview at 9:45 a.m. “Thirty-five boats have been crushed and the harbor has major damage. Major damage.”

  40. Member - Fireball XL5 Club says:

    I am amazed that more survivors of the ’64 quake haven’t posted. I was 8 years old, in what was then the small town of Sand Lake (future home to the 1st Dimond-Mears). 10-party phone lines and long lines of Star Route mailboxes on Jewel Lake Road. The Anchorage Senior Citizen’s book “The Day the Trees Touched the Ground” is a must read. I watched the forests touch the ground, then snap back and top the ground again. The whipping around of blue sparking electrical wires was mesmerizing, as was watching cars float out of sight above the windows, then disappear below, to come sailing back by again.

    You never recover from a 9.2 earthquake. Every time an earthquake hits, you immediately started evaluating it for potential to be another big one. A slow starting, long rumbler is the worst. My family still has emergency kits and we are always on alert. It never leaves you.

    My thoughts and prayers are with the Japanese people and hope the rest of the world’s shores are not badly damaged.

    • ks sunflower says:

      Wow – amazing personal account. Will look for that book on interlibrary loan. Glad you made it.

      Similar trauma stays with you once you’ve been touched by a tornado.

    • mag the mick says:

      For those of you who might be wondering about “Member’s” longer title, it seems that every kid in Anchorage was watching “Fireball XL5” (a corny but strangely riveting kid’s show about puppets in space) when the earthquake hit. Now they are all middle-aged, but if you ask any one of those former kids about their memories of the 1964 Quake, they’ll inevitably say “I was lying on the floor watching Fireball with my brothers and sisters…”

  41. ks sunflower says:

    Daughter has a Japanese site up and is listening.

    She said “Tohoku nuclear power plant seems to be on fire and there is apparently a radioactivity leak.”

    Here’s the site. She warns it is a bit slow, but has good video and info (if you can read or speak Japanese, i.e.)

  42. ks sunflower says:

    Santa Cruz harbor is having a lot of damage to boats.

    • I heard that a couple of big pieces of concrete are floating around on the waves, and at least one boat is loose and a possible cause of damage to other boats.

      • ks sunflower says:

        Reports now say Crescent Beach harbor is destroyed and Santa Cruz is being destroyed as I write. I am looking at the live feed as ever-increasing surges tear up the docks and ruin the boats. Boats are ripping from their moorings and crashing into each other.

    • Wallflower says:

      I had also heard late this morning that Crescent City harbor had a lot of damage but I haven’t been able to confirm that.

  43. Ndjinn says:

    The only thing I fear is earthquakes. It’s the uncertainty.

    Btw. Super quakes move in global swarms. If you live on the ring of fire, be prepared. There were 4 at 4 mag in Kalipana last night. Just be ready and safe. I have heard from some friends in Japan, some still quite, but connection is issue too.

    • ks sunflower says:

      I’m not too crazy about tornadoes. I’ve been in a house when the roof was ripped off.

      Am close to getting our kit ready for tornado season – flash drives with computer backups, stuff for the four-legged family member, flashlights, important documents, etc. If you have to dash for the basement, you need the kit ’cause it may be all that survives from the house. You just never know – tornado or those wind shears.

  44. ks sunflower says:

    For live local updates for Bay area, go to:

  45. ks sunflower says:

    Just got an email from our Berkeley babe:

    “I’m watching video on, the local station, that says the Santa Cruz harbor has been hit the worst, with 3-5 foot drops and surges in the harbor within minutes – they said they are mesmerized by watchign what normally takes 12 hours happen in 5 minutes. Boats are overturned and debris is damaging boats in the harbor – expected millions of dollars of damage. “

    • ks sunflower says:

      Also, too, she said that in the Bay, “wow in the harbor the water receded so much that the boats were sitting on the mud and silt with no water in sight.”

  46. ks sunflower says:

    OT – President Obama is making statements supporting unions and teachers! Hurrah!

    Says programs that help educate, innovate and implement growth will not be cut.

    I didn’t catch if he defended Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. However, he is saying the GOP should not use the budget process to affect social programs. If they have problems with them, they should introduce bills and allow discussion and debate but not try to destroy programs through the budget.

    Gosh, I really, really like this President even if I sometimes get impatient or frustrated.

  47. Paula says:

    I guess I’ll stop complaining about the foot of water in my garage.

    This is just so WOW. What can u say?

    • ks sunflower says:

      I know what you mean. Sure helps put things in perspective doesn’t it. Of course, while our attention is understandably and rightly on Japan right now, I bet the GOP Governors are making hay while our attention is diverted. Heard that Scott Walker signed the union busting bill this morning and that MI has already implemented its new power to dissolve city governments and start firing people.

  48. In 1964, I was safely tucked away in southwest Kansas. If we had any effect of that horrific earthquake, I’m not aware of it. I never thought I would live in an earthquake region, but here I am in Washington state, just a few miles from Puget Sound. Inland, to be sure, but last night when I watched the coverage of the quake in Japan and the tsunami, I started checking to see what the warnings were for our coast. I guess it hit about 8:30 this morning and wasn’t much by the time it reached us. But it still amazes me, the power and the wide range, that an earthquake can have. It’s very scary and an ever-constant reminder that we live in an area where that kind of devastation is a daily threat.

    Then Nisqually earthquake in 2001 was a 6.8 and lasted 45 seconds. It seemed like longer. The damage we had at our house, even though we were fairly close was not much, for that size quake. The doors had all shifted a bit, there are some cracks on the wall that weren’t there before, the kitchen floor wasn’t as level. A few things fell over. I made it upstairs to stand in the doorway and hold on to my mom’s antique clock – and the rabbit sat with her head under the kitchen table.

    The thing I found most scary afterwards was that I couldn’t get ahold of any of my family. Hubby was at work on the 7th floor of a building that swayed a lot, youngest was at Highline Community College. She and a girl from Japan were the only ones to duck under some very sturdy tables in their art class – the rest ran outside during the quake (dumb). My oldest daughter was two hours away in Ellensburg at Central Univ. They even felt it there, and she was able to get through on the phone. Downtown Seattle, with some of its old buildings, fared worse.

    So if we had all that with a 6.8, I can’t imagine what it was like in Japan with an 8.8 that they said lasted for several minutes. Wow. And then the tsunami that followed, and the after-shocks.

    Our earthquake in 2001 certainly got everyone’s attention, but we knew that it could have been much worse and that wasn’t “the big one”.

    • ks sunflower says:

      Was Galloping Gerty (sp?) affected. I know its far south over the gap at Tacoma?

      We used to live in Purdy, WA and then Bremerton in the 70’s. My folks were very sick in 2001 and the earthquake in Seattle didn’t register with me as my focus was elsewhere.

      Now that you brought it up, it brought back memories of that entire area. I miss it a lot.

      • No, they checked all the bridges though. That was the start of the big push to do something about the Aurora Bridge in downtown Seattle. Some big chunks of concrete fell off, and more have since, and still they are stalling about getting something done.

        When you look at the damage we had and compare it to Japan, you start to get a sense of what those numbers mean. Ours was really nothing compared to what happened in Japan or in Alaska in 1964. Of course, newer buildings have better codes than they did back then, and that does make some difference.

        It is always amazing how our personal lives can block out events that take over everyone else’s lives. My friend and her family pretty much missed all the news around 9/11 that year because her son was in a horrific car accident right before and was still in a coma.

        • ks sunflower says:

          I’ve been feeling ill today when I remember that both Ron and Rand Paul are against such things as building codes and regulations that interfere with businesses – even construction firms. They think government has no business telling these firms what to do or how to do it. I guess they want to go back to the bad old days or let us become a fourth-tier country where people die because of shoddy construction. What you want to bet our little Ms. Sarah feels the same way?

  49. Dagian says:

    This is WILDLY off-topic, but I regard it as good news of a political nature:

    Posted at 6:30 AM ET, 03/11/2011
    Palin: The GOP’s Pelosi?
    By Aaron Blake and Chris Cillizza
    Sarah Palin’s unfavorable rating has spiked to a new high, adding further fuel to the argument that her presidential campaign may be doomed before it begins.

    A new Bloomberg poll shows the former Alaska governor is now viewed unfavorably by 60 percent of American adults. That’s higher than any other poll has shown, but it’s not even the entire picture.

    Of that 60 percent, nearly two-thirds – 38 percent of all adults – say they view the former GOP vice presidential nominee “very unfavorably.” No other politicians tested even comes close, including President Obama (22 percent). What’s more, Palin’s unfavorable rating is more than twice as high as her favorable rating, which rests at just 28 percent. Another 12 percent aren’t sure how they feel about her.

    The poll follows a long and continuous trend in which, as the presidential race nears, people gradually find that they like Palin less and less.

    In fact, the numbers are starting to look a lot like someone else’s: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

    Except that they are worse.

    On the eve of her party’s historic 2010 losses, the former House speaker’s unfavorable rating rose into the mid-50s in most polling, while her favorable rating was right around 30. Bloomberg, using the same pollster as now, showed her favorable rating at 33 percent and her unfavorable rating at 55 percent.

    Palin, after having better numbers around the time of the 2010 election, now has even worse numbers than Pelosi.

    A recent NBC-Wall Street Journal poll showed Palin’s favorability dropping to 27 percent, a CBS News-New York Times poll showed it dropping to 19 percent and now we have the Bloomberg poll.

    There is no official campaign for Palin or any other major potential presidential candidate, but she is getting judged by voters as if there is. And so far she’s moving in the wrong direction.

    For a long time, it was accepted that, while she might not be broadly popular, she would at least have enough juice with the base to perform well in the primaries. Recent polling in Iowa and New Hampshire, though, shows her dropping in those two states — including her ratings in Iowa, which would be a very important state for her. And Thursday’s Bloomberg poll suggests we might be getting to the point where Palin is a bona fide liability – ala Pelosi – for the GOP.

    So far, Palin has been a limited feature in Democratic attacks, but rest assured that Democrats are recording everything potential GOP candidates say about Palin from here on-out.

    • ks sunflower says:

      Most of Pelosi’s bad numbers came from GOP-hyped lies.

      In my opinion, Pelosi shouldn’t be mentioned on the same page as Palin. Pelosi was a remarkable Speaker of the House . As a woman, I am proud of her achievements.

      Palin has poop to show for herself and deserves every bad poll she gets and then some or so I believe.

    • Countdown underway for Quitty to show up on telly blasting Obie for not having the foresight to warn Japan of impending disaster like she would have done if she was interested in being Potus. 5-4-3-2-1-insert Howard Dean shriek here.

      • ks sunflower says:

        I cannot believe those GOP ba$tards are wanting to defund or slash the budgets of NOA and other disaster warning programs. Where are their brains? Where are their hearts? Does everything have to have a dollar sign and go into their bank accounts to matter?

        • nswfm says:

          The Kochtopus brothers made $9 Billion more last year. And their lapdogs in the Congress and Statehouses are going to help them get more and more and more. Who needs a heart or a brain? The certainly don’t have the courage, either. Just pure unadulterated greed…

      • Dagian says:

        OhpleaseohpleaseohpleaseohPLEASE let her show up and blast anyone about this in light of the following:

        GOP Budget Cuts Would Lead To Furloughs At Tsunami Warning Centers, Undermining Their ‘Ability To React’

        Congressional Republicans’ 2011 budget would slash funding for government agencies directly responsible for issuing tsunami warnings and severely reduce the government’s capacity to track and respond to these disasters, the president of the union that represents employees of the National Weather Service told ThinkProgress today in the wake of the tragic tsunami in the Pacific. The House Republican budget, which was rejected by the Senate this week, would have cut funding to NOAA — the agency directly responsible for tsunami monitoring and warning — restricting the government’s ability to respond.

        Dan Sobien, the president of National Weather Service Employees Organization, said in a statement to ThinkProgress that while his agency, a subsidiary of NOAA, has made contingency plans, the GOP cuts would “put considerable stress” on the country’s tsunami monitoring and response systems:

        NOAA has put together part of a contingency plan to handle such a massive cut and while it spares tsunami buoys, all other coastal buoys are non funded and there will be furloughs at both Tsunami Warning Centers (TWC). These furloughs will take away the TWC’s ability to upgrade tsunami models and will put considerable stress on watchstanders ability to react. This plan unfortunately only account for about half the cuts that need to be made, about 60 of the 126 million that needs to be cut. While today’s disaster is of particular concern to everyone, we are just now entering tornado season and soon will be hurricane season and our organization firmly believes any effort to defund and dismantle our nations early warning system for all disasters is very unwise.

        These furloughs could result in “a very heightened risk for loss of life,” a National Weather Service forecaster told CNBC. Indeed, the GOP’s cuts would have a significant impact on the nation’s disaster preparedness:

        – $1.2 billion cut in funding for NOAA, the government agency with “primary responsibility for providing tsunami warnings to the nation, and a leadership role in tsunami observations and research.”

        – $1.5 billion cut in grants for first-responders to disasters of “mass destruction.”

        – 12 percent cut to Emergency Management Planning Grants, which provide critical funds to help communities conduct “effective catastrophic all-hazards planning.”

        – Closure of local National Weather Service offices and a furlough of NOAA employees for more than 27 days at a time. The closures would essentially silence the government’s warning system during disasters.

        – Cuts in NOAA’s satellite maintenance budget, putting satellites out of commission more quickly and crippling the government’s ability to track tsunami wave patterns, hurricanes and even routine weather patterns.

        – Additional cuts to FEMA and the Coast Guard.

        According to a Ocean Conservancy fact sheet obtained by ThinkProgress, at least a third of US GDP is concentrated in weather sensitive industries and the GOP’s cuts could leave large sectors of the economy vulnerable to natural disasters. The cuts would also deny daily weather information to more than 30 million Americans, and reduce the military’s access to weather information before combat missions.

        For now, funding remains in place and agencies have been able to respond properly to today’s crisis. Negotiations over the agencies’ budget are now taking place in the Senate, where at least one Tea Party senator, Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), has argued that federal relief for tsunami victims is unconstitutional.

        • ks sunflower says:

          I am so fed up with the GOP/TP. I wish we could recall the lot of them. They are such selfish Ba$-tards. (feel free to substitute a “u” for the “a” which would suit my opinion of them.

          I simply cannot, I repeat cannot understand how these folks can run on “Christian” values and then slash and burn things that actually help save lives. What kind of creatures are they?

          BTW – before my rant gets the better of my manners and my appreciation of your comment, Thank you for sharing this info.

          • merrycricket says:

            I’ve been feeling just as angry and fed up as you. Trust me, I invented a whole new string of cuss words for the lot of them. Can’t wait for elections to roll around. We WILL have our say! Wish it was warm enough to be in the garden though, my spirit could use a break.

    • Millie says:

      There is absolutely nothing about Mrs. Pelosi that compares w/Palin. Pelosi is smart, hard working, lovely woman at the age of 70, well spoken, a good wife, mother and grandmother, and on and on and on.

      Palin wouldn’t even know how to mop the former Speaker’s floor!

  50. Zyxomma says:

    Love, positive thoughts, and blessings to all who have suffered (or will suffer) losses from this quake. We’re with you in spirit, and will do whatever we can to help from afar.

  51. PollyinAK says:

    If you are concerned about someone in Japan, you can use this website to help locate them.

  52. Judi says:

    My sister in law and her family lived through the big one in 1984! They were not harmed thankfully…but her dad did tell all the kids…hurry get out now…this is the big one. How scary

    Now my prayers to all in Japan and areas in the west who are affected.

    and Thank God…they closed the nuke plants down!!!

    Prayers and much positive energy to all!

  53. Dagian says:

    JAPAN: 1:04 a.m. (JST) / 11:04 a.m. (ET), Friday

    Nuclear power plants safely shut

    The four Japanese nuclear power plants closest to the earthquake have been safely shut down, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) told Reuters.

    The government had earlier decided to declare a nuclear-power emergency situation, which happens if there is confirmation of radioactivity leaks from a nuclear power plant or a reactor cooling system breaks down. A cooling system reported malfunctioning at one plant is now working.

    The IAEA, the Vienna-based U.N. nuclear watchdog group, said it was looking for more information on which countries and nuclear facilities might be at risk from the tsunami.

    • PollyinAK says:

      This is good news. (thank-you for posting). My family live in Kyushu.

      • ks sunflower says:

        PollyinAK, see my comment at #41 with a link to Japanese real time coverage on one of the plants. Don’t know if this one is near your family. Hope not.

    • ks sunflower says:

      Thanks for that update. Just got back a few moments ago and had been worried about that one plant in particular.

      I bet our nuclear plants don’t have as rigorous a building code system as does Japan – but every nuclear plant should consider that. We have one near Emporia, KS which is a university town smaller than Lawrence, but the that plant (Wolf Creek) has had continual problems. We knew kids who worked on building the darn thing, and they would come back to the small town where we lived laughing at things that were going wrong or appalled that shortcuts were being taken. People complained but were told not to worry. So when I hear about problems at nuclear plants, I pay attention.

  54. Wallflower says:

    My friends and family in Hawaii are safe, thank goodness. Here, about one hour north of the San Francisco Bay, we are expecting waves of about four feet at the coast. Fortunately for us, our coastline is a bit rugged and the earth climbs steeply right out of the water, so I think there is only one county campground, in a low area, that will need evacuating.

    My aunt and uncle ran a boardinghouse in Alaska in 1964. Half of their house tore loose and fell into the ground, about twelve feet, as my uncle always told it. He gave us a picture of the two of them standing by the chasm holding a sign that said, “We knew it would be tough in Alaska, but we never thought we’d go in the hole this bad.”

    • ks sunflower says:

      OMG, I love that sign story! That really speaks to the resilience of the human spirit. If you can laugh at or during bad situations, you can probably make it through and come out stronger.

      Glad your aunt and uncle were not harmed.

    • ks sunflower says:

      Also meant to add – glad to hear your friends and family are safe. My manners and my sympathy aren’t gone, I am just so distracted. Sorry.

      • Wallflower says:

        ks Sunflower–You have been doing so much to keep us all informed. I took your thoughts about my family as read. Thanks for the effort you are putting in. Right now this website it better than the news sites!

    • Palin’s Party usually has a trick or two up their sleeves. I’m almost willing to bet that those folks will just change the name from disaster to pudding and you can bet they won’t spend any foreign aid on pudding. They certainly love to redefine terms to fit their agenda.

  55. Obie is getting ripped from stem to stern on yahoo for offering American aid to Japan while so many here can’t get help. I would hate to be Potus under ideal conditions,let alone when fully half the populace doesn’t like the president.

    • ks sunflower says:

      Isn’t that horrible? What is with the GOP/TP/Libertarians? Aren’t most running on family values and Christian values — and yet they want to cut aid.

      Here’s a tidbit I just found on HuffPo:

      Sam Stein reports: “Tucked into the House Republican continuing resolution are provisions cutting the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, including the National Weather Service, as well as humanitarian and foreign aid.”

      Swell, so everyone will suffer. There’s more to the madness:

      “These are very closely related,” National Weather Service Employees Organization President Dan Sobien told the Huffington Post, with respect to the budget cuts and the tsunami. “The National Weather Service has the responsibility of warning about tsunami’s also. It is true that there is no plan to not fund the tsunami buoys. Everyone knows you just can’t do that. Still if those [House] cuts go through there will be furloughs at both of the tsunami warning centers that protect the whole country and, in fact, the whole world.”

      • Krubozumo Nyankoye says:

        You hit on a big one here KS. The funding these thugs want to cut from NOAA equates in terms of the tsunami network to about 10 hours and 25 minutes of war. Pro-life? You bettcha. For nearly ten years we have poured blood and treasure into trying to destroy a culture that has endured for more than a millenium. The thugs have no problem spending $4,000 per second to kill brown people in strange places.

        Let’s look at how that money could be spent here in the US. Multiply it out, 60 seconds per minute, 60 minutes per hour, 24 hours per day, 30 days in a month. That is 2,592,000 seconds. If one unemployed person was paid the cost of the war per second… per month!

        For the cost of war we could put 2.6 million people to work at a very nice salary of almost $50,000 per year.

        • ks sunflower says:


          How I wish your comment could be broadcast far and wide. It might, just might, open some minds and hearts.

    • AKPetMom says:

      Would these be the “I’m-for-Small-Government-War-Mongering-Social-Security-Medicare-and-Possibly Welfare-Receiving” contingent of our population that is complaining about our President again? (it’s only Socialism when it’s not helping them, ya know)

      Then again it could be the “Our-President-is-a-Black-Man-and-We’re-Racist-so-We’ll-Complain-About-Everything-He-Does” group.

      They are difficult to tell apart sometimes 😉

    • slipstream says:

      USAR is Urban Search and Rescue — specialists in entering buildings collapsed by earthquakes and explosives, locating survivors, rescue, and field medical treatment. USAR teams have the microphones to probe into buildings, the structural engineers to decide how to pull off debris, etc.

      After the earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand, on February 22, Japan sent an USAR team to Christchurch. Many countries did. We should now turn around and send our teams to Japan.

      As that guy in the Bible said, “it is better to give than to receive.”

  56. Alaska Pi says:

    Remembering sitting with 2 young Japanese women studying in US when Kobe quake struck their hometowns in Japan
    while they waited to hear how their families fared.
    Remembering waiting with parents to hear how all of my own family fared in ’64 quake and tsunami
    Sitting now thinking of all in Japan who have lost friends and relatives…

  57. bubbles says:

    just woke up after a wild night of storm here in the city. i woke the computer and came right on over here to the ‘Flats. i hope everyone has reached high ground whose homes have been threatened. i am of course saddened by the loss of life in the affected areas of our world. this going to be a long day. batten down the hatches. and thanks Sunflower. no such thing as too much info during a crisis.

  58. They are predicting 8′ waves for Crescent City. Our warning is in effect for the next 10-12 hours. The first waves are typically not the largest.

  59. ks sunflower says:

    Los Angeles area downgraded to advisory, not warning.

  60. ks sunflower says:

    Just heard from MSNBC that San Francisco may be getting hit with five to six foot waves — a series. That might build pressure in the bay. Daughter is trying to wake up enough to head to Berkeley campus which is higher than where she lives. Hope they are wrong about the waves in SF.

    • ks sunflower says:

      UPDATE on Bay Area: apparently the tsunami is coming in at low tide so impact will be minimized!

      Daughter still phone friends living near the beaches and took her own sweet self to campus on higher ground.

  61. Please read this link if you live in earthquake country. The old doorway rule is outdated. Please educate yourself about what to do before, during, and after and earthquake. Thank you. We now return to our regularly scheduled programming.

    • jimzmum says:

      That was very informative. Thanks!

    • jojobo1 says:

      Thank you womanwithsardinecan ya learn something new everu day here. I never knew their was sound before an earth quake.Anyone know if it always happens?? Never been in or even near one but from very far away.

  62. ks sunflower says:

    That HI website is fantastic – live coverage and reports from experts. Am reposting link here:

    • tigerwine says:

      (((((Sunflower))))) for the links and up-to-date news!

      • ks sunflower says:

        Thank you, Tigerwine.

        I worried about posting so often, but remember reading a comment yesterday that someone said they didn’t have access to rapid news So put myself in their place and thought it might help someone.

        I have to leave now to do run errands. Just heard that the Bay area is is under just an advisory warning but northern CA under warning. Called grad school daughter and told her to try and stay alert. Has no TV or internet because just moved into new apartment in old building and is very sleepy. Sigh. Am fairly confident Bay area not seriously threatened. At least hope no harm will occur.

  63. ks sunflower says:

    Automated 911 phone calls to Oregon coastal residents warning them of tsunami and telling them to evacuate being reported.

    From what I understand only some parts of AK and west coast will have risk of measurable damaging waves but it depends upon configuration of coast and bays and depths of those areas.

    Only writing these updates because some may not have access to cable or rapid internet. Not trying to be alarmist.

  64. Diane says:

    Just called my son, nothing happened were he is. Thank God.
    But, those poor people in Japan. I hope that the US can and will do something for them.

    • ks sunflower says:

      President Obama has already ordered naval ships to Japan to offer relief aid.

    • ks sunflower says:

      So glad your son is okay. I am waiting to call and wake up our daughter in the Bay area (CA). Read on one website that sirens may be going off soon – didn’t know they had those. Don’t know how reliable the Bay info is yet. Not overly concerned but just alert.

      HI may have hours of heightened wave action due to ping-pong effect of waves hitting and bouncing off islands.

      Good news: Guam tsunami warning lifted. Danger past there.

  65. Diane says:

    We’ve only had 2 that i have felt here in the Adirondacks.
    One was a 4.3. Did not know what it was at first, since the noise preceded the shaking. The noise was deafening and then the shaking started. Did not last for long but it was scary. Our poor cat was outside and did not come out from under the shed for 3 days.

    Anyway, calling my son, he lives in Hawaii.

    • Krubozumo Nyankoye says:

      Diane, that would be the arrival of the P wave from the main shock, the wave generated when the rocks actually break. It is a pressure wave and propagates somewhat faster than the shear waves that make the ground move. The difference in time between sensing the P wave and feeling the first motion of the shear waves can give you a sense of the distance of the epicenter. The propagation rate difference is about 10 mps so if you feel the S waves 30 seconds after the P wave the epicenter is about 300 miles away.

      • ks sunflower says:

        That is amazing. Thank you for explaining this method of calculation. I’d been unaware of this, though now that you’ve presented it, it does stand to reason it would be possible to determine distance. This is why this blog keeps drawing me back. So much to learn and so much wonder!

      • bubbles says:

        that make sense. thanks KN.

  66. ks sunflower says:

    Area around nuclear power plant 170 miles north of Tokyo being evacuated because even backup coolant system has failed and core still hot. No reports of radiation leaks yet. Hoping they find a way to cool core soon.

    That report about ships being damaged in Guam odd because now reports coming in that Guam had no damage. I think there is a lot of confusion in many places. Understandable but worrisome nonetheless.

  67. Dagian says:

    It’s horrible to watch from afar–I can’t begin to imagine dealing with it in person.

    My thoughts go out to all those affected, and forever lost to us.

  68. ks sunflower says:

    Site for info on HI:

  69. ks sunflower says:

    Death rates going up dramatically in Japan. May take time for more info because so many washed out to sea by tsunami.

  70. ks sunflower says:

    A ship with 100 people swept away near Japan.

    Nuclear plant in Japan not shutting down as planned – core still hot even after failsafe coolant system failed. Evacuation of area. 170 miles from Tokyo.

    Naval ships damaged in Guam.

    One warship in bay north of San Diego ordered to sea to ride it out because its bay is shallow. San Diego considered relatively safe for Navy.

    Thank goodness Goggle is offering Find People site to help families and friends stay updated with each other

  71. LaniN says:

    We were just feeling relief in Hawaii when suddenly the ocean receded from the southern coast of Oahu. Something is going on now…. hope for the best.

  72. jimzmum says:

    Our good Alaskan friends, whom I visited in Anchorage a year ago, moved to Japan six months ago. They are on a small island, way up on a hill, but watched the waves come in. How horrible.

    • ks sunflower says:

      I think it would be almost as devastating to see the destruction happen firsthand as to be in the midst of it. I felt so badly for the helicopter pilots in Japan as they flew over farms and houses being hit with the tsunami and saw people clamoring for help from windows. The helicopter was not equipped to help and had to move on. I think those images would haunt you forever. We forget that survivors have incredible guilt and emotional damage as well. Hope that will not be the case with your friends, jimzmum. Prayers to you and them.

  73. ks sunflower says:

    Here is a site showing a giant whirlpool formed in the aftermath plus other videos of the disaster.

  74. thatcrowwoman says:

    Stay safe.
    Prayers for all.

  75. ks sunflower says:

    I noted the “Thank God for building codes” and had to grimace as I recalled the Libertarian/TP/GOP conservatives who want to do away with “government intrusion” into our lives, who rail against things such as building codes or safety standards.

    I can only hope that this disaster will finally wake them up – but considering how many significant disasters have happened just in the last 20 years, I worry that nothing will touch their hearts and certainly not change their minds.

    I join with everyone in thanking the powers that be – divine or human – that help us create safety factors such as building codes, first responders, et cetera. I am grateful every day, here in Kansas, that government stepped in to train storm spotters, install tornado sirens, train children how to react in case of fire or tornadoes. I am of the mindset that we should never panic, but we should always be prepared.

    Be safe. The tsunami is just now hitting the first Hawaiian island. I hold them in my thoughts.

    • OtterQueen says:

      The Republicans want to cut funding for NOAA – you know, the people who watch and warn us about tsunamis and hurricanes. “Keep federal government from intruding in my life! Well, until there is a disaster and I need a big check cut for my district…”

    • Kilia says:

      These kind of things will not bother them until it happens to them. Then they will finally do something about it.

    • nswfm says:

      Didn’t see this before, but made a comment about building codes above.

  76. We need to send a goodwill ambassodor,like Brian, to help calm nerves and provide hope for the good people of Japan. I wouldn’t count on American financial aid. If dems propose-rethugs will object or demand cuts in DEms favorite programs to offset the cost. Just can’t keep politics out of this.

  77. LA Brian says:

    It’s nearly impossible to describe how insignificant one feels during an earthquake.

    Their infrequency, however, is still much preferred to tornado season.

  78. LaniN says:

    West Coast folks, please keep an eye on the tsunami warnings and move to high ground.

  79. Exit 35A says:

    We had our 11 year old daughter camped out in our room for months after the Northridge quake. During each after shocks you wonder how bad and how much longer is the shaking going to continue.

    • Krubozumo Nyankoye says:

      Generally speaking aftershocks are significantly less violent than the main rupture. That does not make them any less disquieting, and damaged structures can be collapsed by further shaking so they are certainly non-trivial.

  80. The California earthquake of ’89 taught me to understand PTSD, though mine was shortlived.
    For months and months, the smallest vibration, a passing truck, or any other vibration-causing event made my feet tingle – and I felt every one.

    • nswfm says:

      Yeah, I felt that after the Northridge quake, too.

      Commentary on building codes:

      • ks sunflower says:

        I totally forgot to thank you for this link, nswfm. I apologize. I just got up from a quick nap and signed on and there was your entry, all on its onsome. Goodness, that was quite a good piece of commentary! I am so glad I discovered it. This is what comes of being on the net after staying up all night watching coverage of the earthquake and tsunami. You have to go back and review to make sure you caught all the good things, and your link was one of the good things I missed. Thanks.

        • ks sunflower says:

          er – ” on its ownsome” (yeah, I know its a quirky vernacular thing, but . . . . I should have at least spelled it as you say it. Sorry.

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