3/11 – Five Years After the Earthquake and Tsunami

Is it already March 11, 2016? It’s hard to believe that the big earthquake and tsunami in the Tohoku region was five years ago. I’m posting this at exactly 2:46 pm, which was the time of the earthquake. I Have some pretty strong memories of that day.

I’d like to direct your attention to a few posts I made in the past about the earthquake.

First of all, please read what I wrote two days after the earthquake on my Japan blog. That’s my very fresh memory of the experience. And then, the first anniversary of the earthquake.

In 2014, I wrote a comprehensive list of posts I made related to the earthquake. I recommend you read that for some very good coverage.

And then last year, I wrote a post with videos of the earthquake. I highly recommend you check that out.

Now that it’s five years later, and we’re moving to Canada, earthquakes are one thing I won’t be experiencing. In Edmonton, the ground is stable. If we ever move to the west coast, then we can experience earthquakes again. However, there’s a chance of a megathrust earthquake there, similar to what hit Japan five years ago.

Things in Japan have mostly returned to normal. However, the area around Fukushima is still suffering the effects. Not much has been resolved, either. The people in charge of TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Company) have been indicted on charges related to their incompetence and lies. They will go to prison, as Japan has an extremely high conviction rate. What will happen in the future is anyone’s guess.

A disturbing trend I’ve seen at times is people condemning Japanese people for what happened. You have to understand that the Japanese are the biggest victims in this. Blame TEPCO and the Japanese government for the coverup and incredibly slow response, as well as the poor maintenance of the power plants. Whatever you do, don’t blame Japanese people and insult them about this. They had as little to do with it as you did.

Comments and questions are appreciated.

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22 thoughts on “3/11 – Five Years After the Earthquake and Tsunami”

  1. One family from there with a little girl my son’s age moved here either just weeks before or weeks after the earthquake. Needless to say the little girl was devastated. (I would say she was shaken, but that just isn’t right). It was quite a catastrophic event. Debris washed up up on shore in Vancouver!

    1. Yeah, all along the coast of North America. What makes me angry is that some people were demanding that Japan pay for the cleanup. There are still people posting links to “articles” that claim people are getting cancer on the west coast because of the radiation. That’s all BS, since the amount of radiation that reached the coast was lower than regular background radiation. Besides, the radioactive materials decayed far too much by that time.

        1. Yeah, they had no control over it. I just read a headline someone I know posted on Facebook saying that a piece of radioactive metal appeared on the west coast. He thinks he can never go there now because of a single piece of metal, and that it’ll contaminate everything.

          First of all, this is a story that appeared in the Vancouver Sun. The Sun. I don’t trust any newspaper called The Sun.

          1. One piece of metal will probably contaminate the whole country. Japan killed North America. I guess we should be on the look out for giant, mutant lizards now. 🙂

  2. Both of my daughters were in Hawai’i and waited for the tsunami to arrive there. Fortunately, they were both at a high enough elevation that they didn’t have to evacuate. It’s difficult to wrap my head around the devastation suffered by Japan and it is horrible that anyone would blame the Japanese people for their misfortune.

    1. I’d heard about the tsunami reaching Hawaii. Not a lot of damage, but there was a little.

      I find it irritating when people say that Japan deserved it after the war. Well, most people alive today in Japan were born after the war. They had nothing to do with it. Sounds so petty.

      1. Most of the tsunami damage in Hawai’i was on the Big Island. My younger daughter was on that island but at a higher elevation, so she was spared.

        I am truly sorry that anyone would blame the Japanese people for the earthquake and tsunami because of WWII. They are probably the same people who blame weather disasters in the US on same sex marriage, not having Christian prayer in public schools, abortion, or whatever it is that they oppose. It boggles the mind.

          1. It’s not running well recently. It used to be that most of the elected officials were well-educated and well-meaning, but now things are a mess, I’m hoping that the rise of overt hatefulness in the Republican campaign will energize the reasonable, decent members of the electorate – who are the majority – to get out and vote for a qualified president and Congress, as well as qualified state and local officials.

            1. When I look at the way the Canadian federal election went, and how Trudeau selected members of the cabinet, I have to say that’s how to select a government. Everyone is an expert in their ministry. The education minister is a teacher. The science minister is a scientist. The minister of defense was in the military and served in Afghanistan. You get the idea. It seems the Republicans like to choose the most anti-science person possible to be in charge of science.

            2. Your example is a bit apple and oranges, Choosing cabinet members with expertise is admirable and often US Cabinet members come from the disciplines whose departments they represent, such as Dr. Ernest Moniz, an MIT physicist who is current Secretary of Energy. The US Senate committees operate mostly be seniority and it is unusual for scientists to become senators. Most senators are lawyers or businesspeople. Most of them are also old, which wouldn’t be a problem if they kept up with new findings, but most haven’t.

              The bigger problem with the US Congressional Republicans is that they have been obstructing President Obama for his entire presidency and have not been fulfilling their constitutional responsibilities. They have fallen victim to their own non-fact-based rhetoric. With the Trump campaign, it has gone from being pathetic to being terrifying.

            3. It’s incredibly frustrating to see the Republicans obstructing Obama. Do they not understand that they’re supposed to be working together to govern the US?

    1. Although I wasn’t terribly affected by it, it’s still an experience that few people ever get to go through. It’s given me a different outlook on life.

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