Off to work as usual in a moment. Just wanted to share this link. It is a Japanese page run by a guy with his own Geiger counter in Hino. There is a recent reading chart and a reference from last year. So far some spikes and waves, but nothing to panic over.http://park18.wakwak.com/~weather/geiger_index.html
I don't want to be a pacifier, the situation is dire in certain areas here, but neither do I want to be spreading panic. My subconscious led me to a 10% investment in solar power I think that was an accurate representation of my lack of faith in the government run system actually continuing to function. Glad of the power during power cuts now. I am down to 50% faith and will act accordingly.
I suspect those with grid tied solar panels on their roofs are seriously regretting not learning how to disconnect and use the power at home. Why it was not government policy to make these homes a store house for energy in the case of an emergency is beyond me, but they did not and all the power generated is now being dumped in to a dead grid during power cuts for the provinces to keep Tokyo fed with power, |I bet there are some panels lying idle where the devastation is at its worst.
If you are in contact with people in the disaster area, here are a few things I think I would be doing if I were there.
Gathering anything dry as insulation for sleeping in school gyms, drying wet stuff for later use. Also hanging that around the walls of the refuge and on the floor to keep warm, usually these buildings have no insulation. Don't be dumb, consider the fire hazard, but keep warm.
If you are without power, look for some insulatory gloves and a spanner or pliers and go out hunting for intact car batteries. Ask the local forces on the ground for help to do this, if they don't give permission find somewhere to do it anyway, but suggest that they make areas from which property can be removed for use and keep a log of what is moved if necessary. You might want to check for cars with inverters too. Small inverters are more common these days, they will power normal AC 110v equipment. Phone chargers are very common. Dry out all electrical equipment before attempting to use it. If you have no phone charger etc, look for wrecked bicycles with dynamos for lights and get pedaling. You can put pins through the wires of the positive and negative leads on the dynamo and then through their buddies on the battery you want to charge or figure out some way of holding the wire ends on to the battery terminals, clothes pegs etc. Lithium ion batteries all have protection circuits in. If you are worried for the owner, leave a written message with contact details.
If you have no drinking water make a wood burning brazier by whacking holes in a steel can or bath tub, boil snow or collect rainwater in the cleanest thing you can find, steam out the stuff you are going to drink from first. If you are not blessed with precipitation, look for steel or aluminium sheet and errect that where steam from sea water or urine at the worst being boiled will condense on it and collect drips for drinking. As long as it is cold enough plastic pipe will work too.
There are a lot of resources around and the forces on the ground with authority should be liberating these for the use of civilians when the government is not performing. This is not looting it is survival.
Tsujimoto Kiyomi, one of our treasured government ministers complained that American forces should have asked before performing an air drop of food and emergency supplies in the midst of the devastation. The term baka onna (idiot woman) is not normally used in polite circles, but she deserves it. She should have been asking for air drops not complaining about not being asked for permission to drop. Apparently air drops are against the law here. Seriously. She will be complaining about the people eating food in the school gym next. They are refugees misses this is not a back to normal next week situation.
Here is that link again for direct information on radiation in the Tokyo area.http://park18.wakwak.com/~weather/geiger_index.html
By the way, I think France should be ashamed of their attitude of flying out their citizens while others are flying in assistance, perhaps this didn't happen, but it was reported on the news. Afghanistan sent 4 million yen in aid to the worlds third biggest economy, how human is that? I am back from a day working on building what I hope will be something beautiful, I am doing what I can. Please do what you can to help where you are even if it is not at all related to what is happening here.
I believe it is time for an end to the battle for power over which taxable infrastructure will be next and a new start where we all have a piece of the whole to take care of so that when it all goes pear shaped we can help each other out with what we have left.
I hope that Japan will see that this is a huge opportunity for this country to lead the world into a better considered way of being, at present it is a slagging match of blame between those in power who are just as much in the dark as we are a week after the earthquake struck. Much of which they have probably spent without sleep. Their job is to keep calm and consider what is to come next, not panic about who gives permission to whom.
News agencies are also in my black book, they could be doing a lot to help out by broadcasting solutions to the problems that exist on the ground, not just gawping at them. What do you do if you find a body, how can you best prevent or intervene in hypothermia, let's review our CPR technique, all valid topics. Instead the most frequent question for the refugee"What do you not have that you need most". Some kind of ironic humor there for the chaps in the warm studio.
Ah well, more ranting tomorrow I guess.
PS, to Mr Hogg on the BBC, people in Tokyo are wearing face masks to keep out the cedar pollen, not the radiation. They are eating seaweed for the iodine to keep the radiation out of their thyroids, but apparently they should stop that as it can be bad for you to eat too much, and as shown in the link, radiation is not yet at harmful levels. Please broadcast something useful.