March 11, 2011 archive
Mar 11 2011
Mar 11 2011
This is just coming in now that a major earthquake has struck the Northeast of Japan at 2:46 p.m. local time (0146 EST) with a tsunami. A tsunami warning has been issued for other parts of the region. Hawaii is under a tsunami watch.
Up Date: Al jazeera and other news agencies are reporting that there are 19 confirmed deaths.
The entire Pacific basin is under either a tsunami warning with some waves are expected to bee higher than some Pacific islands.
Nuclear power plants in Japan are shut down and there are no reports of leaks. Most transportation has been shut down.
Bullet train network is shut down and airports are closed.
There is a warning issued for another quake expected to hit Honshu.
Process for cooling reactor ‘not going as planned’ in wake of quake, administrator says
Japan’s top government spokesman and local administrators say emergencies have been issued at two nuclear power plants over cooling-system fears in the wake of Friday’s giant earthquake.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano says the nuclear power plant in Fukushima developed a mechanical failure in the system needed to cool the reactor after it was shut down after the earthquake. He said there was no radiation leak.
A fire broke out in the turbine building of Onagawa nuclear plant in Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, on Friday after an 8.9-magnitude earthquake triggered a huge tsunami.
It was not immediately clear if there was a risk of a radioactive leak as a result of the fire at the plant operated by Tohoku Electric Power. Miyagi prefecture was one of the areas worst hit by the tsunami.
Tokyo’s Narita Airport, Japan’s main international gateway, canceled all flights for the rest of the day after the country was hit by the world’s strongest earthquake in six years.
About 13,800 passengers were stranded because of the shutdown, Ryoko Yabe, a spokeswoman for the airport said by phone. There was no visible damage to runways, she said. Tokyo’s Haneda airport, Asia’s second-busiest by passengers, resumed flights, the transport ministry said.
(Reuters) – Hawaii ordered evacuations from coastal areas due to the threat of a tidal wave set off by Friday’s earthquake in Japan as a tsunami warning was extended to the whole of the Pacific basin, except mainland United States and Canada.
Authorities also ordered evacuation from low-lying areas on the U.S. island territory of Guam in the western Pacific, where residents there were urged to move at least 50 feet above sea level and 100 feet inland.
Nouriel Roubini, the economist who predicted the global financial crisis, said the earthquake in Japan comes at the “worst time” as the country struggles to lower its budget deficit.
“This is certainly the worst thing that can happen in Japan at the worst time,” Roubini told Maryam Nemazee on Bloomberg Television’s “Countdown” in London today. “There will be fiscal stimulus to reconstruct but Japan already has a budget deficit of close to 10 percent of” gross domestic product and an aging population.
The Bank of Japan (8301) pledged to ensure financial stability after the magnitude 8.9 earthquake struck off the coast of Sendai, sparking a tsunami. Japanese stocks declined in Tokyo today. The central bank, which keeps its benchmark rate at zero, had last month said the world’s third-largest economy is set to recover from a fourth-quarter contraction.
The picture in the below news article gives clear idea of just how devastating this disaster is
A powerful tsunami spawned by the largest earthquake in Japan’s history slammed the eastern coast Friday, sweeping away boats, cars, homes and people as widespread fires burned out of control.
Up to 19 people killed as tsunami causes major damage after 8.9-magnitude quake strikes off the coast.
A 10-metre tsunami hit Sendai airport in the north-east. Television footage showed people standing on the roof of the terminal building.
The tsunami roared over embankments in Sendai city, washing cars, houses and farm equipment inland before reversing directions and carrying them out to sea. Flames shot from some of the houses, probably because of burst gas pipes.
Thirty international search and rescue teams stand ready to go to Japan to provide assistance following the quake, the United Nations said.
Military airplanes were flying over the worst-affected areas to assess the need for rescue efforts.
Many people were reported injured after a roof caved in during a school graduation ceremony at a hall in east Tokyo, the fire department in the capital said, after the quake hit.
Al Jazeera’s Marga Ortigas, reporting from Manila in the Philippines, said the military there had been ordered to help evacuate areas at risk on the east coast.
Several earthquakes have hit the region in recent days, including a 7.2-magnitude quake on Wednesday.
“Japan has been on high alert since the earthquake on Wednesday,” Al Jazeera’s Harry Fawcett, following developments from the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur, said.
“Japan is very well equipped to deal both with the initial tremors caused by an earthquake: buildings are systematically built with allowances for sway so that they are less likely to fall down. Also coastal cities have long had tsunami protection measures in place.”
Friday’s quake struck at a depth of 24 kilometres, about 125 kilometres off the eastern coast, the country’s meteorological agency said.
The quake was the biggest in 140 years. It surpasses the Great Kanto quake of 1923, which had a magnitude of
7.9 and killed more than 140,000 people in the Tokyo area.
TOKYO (AP) – Japan was struck by a magnitude 8.9 earthquake off its northeastern coast Friday, unleashing a 13-foot (4-meter) tsunami that washed away cars and tore away buildings along the coast near the epicenter. There were reports of injuries in Tokyo.
In various locations along Japan’s coast, TV footage showed massive damage from the tsunami, with dozens of cars, boats and even buildings being carried along by waters. A large ship swept away by the tsunami rammed directly into a breakwater in Kesennuma city in Miyagi prefecture, according to footage on public broadcaster NHK.
Officials were trying to assess damage, injuries and deaths from the quake but had no immediate details.
The quake that struck at 2:46 p.m. was followed by a series of powerful aftershocks, including a 7.4-magnitude one about 30 minutes later. The U.S. Geological Survey upgraded the strength of the first quake to a magnitude 8.9, while Japan’s meteorological agency measured it at 7.9.
Live feed from Al Jazeera
More pictures below the fold
Cross posted at The Stars Hollow Gazzette
Mar 11 2011
Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette
Some of this is just really depressing. Where is this country headed?
According to the most recent information, the Forbes 400 now have a greater net worth than the bottom 50% of U.S. households combined.
In 2009, the total net worth of the Forbes 400 was $1.27 trillion.
The best information now available shows that in 2009 the bottom 60% (yes, now it’s 60%, not 50%) of U.S. households owned only 2.3% of total U.S. wealth.
Total U.S. household net worth — rich, middle class and poor combined — at the time the Forbes list came out was $53.15 trillion. So the bottom 60% of households possessed just $1.22 trillion of that $53.15 trillion, less than the Forbes 400.
Thus the Forbes 400 unquestionably have more wealth than the bottom 50%.
By contrast, in 2007 the bottom 50% of U.S. households owned slightly more wealth than the Forbes 400; the economic meltdown has hurt the bottom more than the top. (And in fact, in 2010 the net worth of the Forbes 400 jumped to $1.37 trillion.)
Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) are teaming up with Republicans on the House Armed Services Committee to write legislation that would take decisions about trying detainees out of the attorney general’s hands and hand that power to the secretary of defense.
In the wake of the White House’s new executive order allowing Guantanamo detainees to be held indefinitely, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-CA) unveiled legislation that would, among other things, affirm the military’s right to detain, hold and interrogate detainees at its discretion without Department of Justice or Attorney General Eric Holder involvement.
What digby said about the above:
Are these guys under the misapprehension that the Secretary of Defense doesn’t serve at the pleasure of the president, exactly as the Attorney General does? What’s the point of this?
Reverse mortgages, which pay older homeowners a regular sum against the equity in their house, are supposed to shield borrowers from economic upheaval. But the popular loans have become tangled up in the real estate collapse.
AARP, the seniors’ organization, filed suit Tuesday against the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which regulates reverse mortgages. The suit asserts that policy changes by HUD are pushing older homeowners into foreclosure.
The case was filed in Federal District Court for the District of Columbia by the AARP Foundation, the organization’s charitable arm, and the law firm of Mehri & Skalet on behalf of the surviving spouses of three homeowners who had bought reverse mortgages. All three are facing eviction, the suit says.
“HUD has illegally and without notice changed the rules in the middle of the game at the expense of vulnerable older people,” said Jean Constantine-Davis, a senior lawyer at the AARP Foundation.
This is happening with a Democrat in the White House?
Mar 11 2011
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