Friday, March 11, 2016

FUK-U-SHIMA: Monumental Earth Changes - The 10 Scariest Videos From The Japanese Mega-Quake / Tsunami / Nuclear Meltdown Disaster That Shook The World!

March 11, 2016 - JAPAN - When a massive earthquake hit Japan five years ago today, on March 11, 2011, few realized the subsequent tsunami would cause the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl and leave 18,000 people dead or missing.

News crews, CCTV footage, and people on the ground caught dramatic footage of the day.

Here are the ten must-view videos that shocked us all as the day unfolded.

WATCH: 1 - Friday March 11, 2011 2:46pm.

An earthquake measuring 8.9 on the Richter scale occurs 370 kms miles northeast of Tokyo at a depth of 25 kms.

WATCH: 2 - Tremors felt around the country.

It is the fifth largest earthquake on record and the largest ever to hit Japan.

WATCH: 3 - Out at sea giant waves begin to form.

A tsunami alert is issued in over 50 countries in the Pacific region including the west US coast.

WATCH: 4 - Japanese coast guard encounter giant wave.

Footage shows the coast guard being tossed around by giant waves produced by the quake.

WATCH: 5 - 3:35pm Tsunami hits land.

Less than an hour after the quake, 9 meter (30 ft) waves destroy towns along the country's east coast.

WATCH: 6 - Sea walls fail.

The waves easily pour over sea walls, taking boats and debris with them.

WATCH: 7 - Those who can get to safety.

 Horrified on-lookers rush to higher ground to escape the water.

WATCH: 8 - Sendai airport captures moment tsunami hits runway.

Just before 4pm, the water reaches the runway at Sendai airport, easily destroying objects in its path.

WATCH: 9 - Tsunami travels inland.

The waves reached as far as 10 km inland.

WATCH: 10 - Disaster becomes nuclear.

The wave of water easily overwhelmed the seawall protecting the Fukushima nuclear plant, cutting off power to the main control room which operated the coolant systems of six separate boiling water reactors.

‘Is it safe to stay here, Mom?’ Fukushima evacuees on aftermath of tragedy then and now

© Carlos Barria / Reuters

Five years on since a powerful earthquake and tsunami triggered the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the worst in Japanese and possibly world history, activists and the people evacuated from the exclusion zone do not believe returning to the area is a good idea.

RT spoke to some of the people who were forced to flee their homes in 2011. Many of them accuse the government of playing down the dangers from the start.

“I saw a terrifying scene on TV. There was a big explosion at a nuclear power plant. The government people and the scientists and professors, they kept saying on TV that there would be no danger,” Fukushima evacuee Hiroko Tsuzuki told RT from Sapporo, Japan.

“I was, like, ‘Isn’t that weird?’ I found out that the radiation level on March 15 was almost 200 times higher than the usual level. I was so shocked,” she said.

“In that same period my daughter’s son had a nose bleed several times. My son cried and asked: ‘Is it okay to stay here, Mom?’ I was so ignorant about these things. I could not protect my children from exposure to radiation,” Tsuzuki said.

“Radioactive contamination poses hazards far beyond Fukushima. It spreads beyond the official exclusion zone. I think it is unsafe to return children there,” Ken Sakamoto, from the Evacuation and Support Kanagawa Network, an organization that helps the Fukushima evacuees to protect their rights, told RT.

Sakamoto says that as of today, the situation of many those displaced is yet to improve.

“Today it seems that the Japanese government does not take the refugee problem quite seriously. That’s why the plight of those displaced has worsened considerably of late,” Sakamoto told RT.

WATCH: Fukushima - Five Years On.

Christina Consolo, founder and host of Nuked Radio and freelance reporter for Climateviewer.c;postID=6882667612359652808om and, told RT that said she was deeply concerned with the consequences the disaster will have for the future generation, stressing that there should be no place for complacency, even though five years have passed.

Earlier this month, Greenpeace warned against the government’s decision to lift a number of evacuation orders around the Fukushima plant by March 2017, adding that “the impacts of the disaster will last for decades and centuries."

“The five-year anniversary of the Fukushima Accident… is a gaping wound in our planet that will continue to bleed radiation into our food chain for at least the next 100 years, affecting our health and genetic legacy for generations to come.”

In September 2015, Tokyo came in for criticism for allowing people to return to a town which lies just 20km south of the crippled plant. That's while the cleanup is estimated to take about 40 years and the area has registered cases of flora and fauna mutations.

Nancy Foust, research team member of and the Fukushima Project, is concerned how soon people are being allowed to return to that area.

“Many of these areas are not truly safe, they have not been properly cleaned up, infrastructure has not been put back in place,” Foust told RT.

“There is also the problem of proximity to the actual disaster site. They have a lot of complicated and very risky work that to do in the next couple of decades to remove the melted fuel,” Foust said, adding that the idea of re-locating people back from evacuations right now is “very premature and not a really good idea.”

“Restarting reactors in the manner they’ve done them is problematic. It has been very much a political move rather than a determined social need that they really need to restart them,” Foust said.

Activists had made the case that there were just not enough safety measures taken, both on the technical side of operating a reactor and for the local communities in the nearby areas, “So if a reactor does have a problem, they cannot effectively evacuate people,” Foust said.

Foust recalls the rate of children living near Fukushima diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Over 130 children were diagnosed with the cancer in the area in August last year – a 25 percent spike from the same month in 2014. The average rate of thyroid cancer in children is estimated at 1-2 children per one million.

The events of March 2011 triggered massive protests in Japan against the use of nuclear energy.

4 biggest lies about the Fukushima disaster

If hindsight is 20/20, we have a clear picture of the lies told throughout the Fukushima disaster.
Five years on, we now know which assurances from authorities turned out to be dangerously false.

#1 No radiation casualties

It took more than four years for the Japanese government to acknowledge that radiation had played a factor in bringing about casualties in the Fukushima prefecture.

Of the 8,000 deaths there caused by the 2011 disaster, none were attributed to radiation leaking out of the plant. Instead, chaos during the evacuations, hardship, and mental trauma were all to blame.

It wasn’t until October of 2015 that the authorities finally had to admit that radiation from the plant had contributed to a construction worker developing leukemia. The worker in his 30s had worked at the plant between October 2012 and December 2013, where he was measured as having been exposed to 19.8 millisieverts of radiation, four times the annual Japanese limit for a worker in the nuclear industry.

The true effect on workers and residents in the area won’t be known for some time. It took between six and eight years for survivors of the atomic bombs dropped on Japan by the United States to develop acute leukemia.

#2 Not as bad as Chernobyl

Fukushima is described as the “worst since Chernobyl,” but in reality, it may turn out to be a lot worse.

Both disasters were rated seven on the International Nuclear Event Scale, categorizing them as a “Major Accident.”

Perhaps they need to turn the scale 'up to eleven' in order to reflect the severity of the Japanese disaster.


The final consequences may be far more damaging due to groundwater contamination and the number of reactors involved.

In 1986, Chernobyl had four operating reactors, one of which melted down. The remaining reactors were eventually shut down. Fukushima, on the other hand, had six operating reactors, of which three entered meltdown, and a fourth was left in an unstable condition. Only two were successfully shut down.

Fukushima’s location, situated along the sea and a former riverbed, also meant that the potential for harm in the event of a meltdown was greater than that for Chernobyl, which had no problems involving groundwater. The cleanup operation could take up to a hundred years, according to Arnold Gundersen, a former nuclear industry executive.


#3 Not poisoning children

In December of last year, in an attempt to reassure the public that the risks from radiation were already minimal, Hokuto Hoshi, head of an examination panel on thyroid cases, said, “It is unlikely that radiation is responsible for the recently reported thyroid cancer cases, given that there are no reports of cancer among infants, who are particularly susceptible to radiation.” His comments came after 16 cases of thyroid cancer in the prefecture were confirmed in children under 18 during the previous 12 months.

Despite Hoshi’s assertions, many experts disagreed, including Toshihide Tsuda, a professor of environmental epidemiology at Okayama University.

A study by Tsuda found that thyroid cancer rates in the prefecture were from 20 to 50 times higher than the national level, according to The Japan Times.

The findings were based on a screening of 370,000 residents, which “is unlikely to be explained by a screening surge,” according to Tsuda, who cited radiation exposure as a factor.

#4 It’s not poisoning the land

Prior to the disaster, Fukushima was Japan’s fourth-largest farming area. It has now slipped to seventh place, but its agricultural industry has slowly been growing again thanks to the Japanese government pushing to have the stigma associated with it removed.

Fifteen percent of Japanese people are still wary of buying products produced in the region, down 1.5 percent from last year, according to a survey in the Japanese paper Mainichi.

The steady resurgence in Fukushima food production can be attributed to the result of radiation monitoring tests carried out by the government, which found radiation levels in the agricultural, forestry, and fisheries sectors were below “acceptable levels” 99.9 percent of the time.

Despite the results, scary abnormalities have appeared, including fish containing 258 times the level of radiation deemed safe for consumption.Authorities say the anomaly is due to the fish feeding in a radioactive hotspot.

“Deformed” daisies were also found near the site, which were created through a phenomenon called fasciation, although they also symbolize the warning sent in the iconic 1964 TV ad for US president Lyndon Baines Johnson.

The ultimate long-term effect of this disaster is still immeasurable, with even the government estimating that the cleanup will take at least another 50 years.

Nancy Foust from the Fukushima Project has warned that it would be premature to allow people to return to their homes in the area.

“They have a lot of complicated, very risky work that they need to do over the next couple of decades to remove the melted fuel,” Foust told RT.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wants to restart as many reactors as possible, believing that nuclear energy should remain a key power source for Japan.

Prior to their closure the countries 44 reactors were responsible for producing nearly a third of the countries energy output.

- RT News.


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