Crisis Continued

Earthquake


The Zombie Apocalypse would be more fun. At least that’s what computer games tell me!

So, we’re preparing for more earthquake craziness by getting together some canned food, bottled water, and putting it all into a bag with some clothes in case we have to dash out of the house in a hurry. That’s what we were doing over the weekend, but now we’re less worried about another earthquake and more worried about impending nuclear disaster.

It’s been a crazy up-and-down state of near panic for us. Information is difficult to come by and what we find out often seems to conflict other sources. For instance, when we first found of about the nuclear power plant it was through the Japanese media, and it SEEMED as if we didn’t have to worry about a meltdown for the time being, and only the poor people still within the 30 km evac radius had to be scared.

However even the English media sources don’t seem to be discussing the worst case scenario. Now what I mean by that is not “how the reactor will melt down”, but what this will mean for the populace. Looking into the Chernobyl disaster, 30 km is just not enough distance, and even where we are (about 200 km from the site) it seems as if we are still at risk of enough poisoning that it can cause thyroid cancer.

I called the Australian embassy in Tokyo last night, to find out what I could. They told me that according to their current information the radiation was adequately contained and there’s no official policy regarding getting Australians who are currently in Japan back home.

Feeling generally pretty weird about having to go into work today, business as usual, Ingrid and I got to the train station to discover that the trains weren’t running. Like, ALL of them, excepting the shinkansen. Hundreds of Japanese workers and students milling around with no place to go. We were advised to go home by our area managers and that is why I am typing away at home right now. There seems to be no information available as to why the trains aren’t running, which is worrying, but that may just be because we are foreigners and information is much harder for us to get, let alone understand. Or it may be because the power plant is about to melt down. Who can say!

I’m pretty pissed off about the lack of information being provided to citizens regarding an uncontained melt down scenario and the media in general, and I figure it’s because of wanting to reduce panic. There was a lukewarm 2 minute segment on one of the morning shows today about some advice regarding avoiding radiation poisoning. Seriously, is that it? If you’re saying anything about it at all it means it’s a distinct possibility. If it’s a distinct possibility then shouldn’t you be devoting more time to educating the citizens to ensure their health and safety, and not on endless repeated footage of the earthquake and touching human stories regarding survival and loss?

Ingrid and I are at the stage of seriously considering returning home. This is pretty complicated as it would mean breaking our contracts, and organising an intercontinental move on such short notice is going to be a massive pain in the arse. Still, would you prefer cancer? Tough choice!

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12 Comments »

  1. Shaun Said:

    Hope things over there quickly work themselves out. Hopefully the authorities are able to implement some kind of containment solution in the next day or so.

    However, Heli and I just moved into our new (bigger) apartment, so if you needed a place to stay in Oz for a while until you figured out what was what, let us know!

    • Ingrid Said:

      Thanks man that’s really awesome of you guys πŸ™‚

  2. Chris Said:

    Yes, fingers crossed for a positive outcome!

    Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do to avoid danger from radiation besides cross your fingers that it doesn’t affect you.

    I hope everything will be fine.

  3. Zacha Said:

    Harangue the Australian Embassy. At the moment they’re learning the skills for dealing with a crisis like this, but by the time they’re finished learning it will be over.

    If you’ve got ok Internet, another option is to ring your local Aussie member (Tanya Plibersek?) or the department of foreign affairs directly.

    In Latin America at least, I’ve been told that what Australians do is ring the NZ embassy if it’s a real crisis. But after Christchurch, maybe that’s not the thing to do this time.

  4. Zacha Said:

    Oh, and be safe & tell us whatever else we can do too..

    • Ingrid Said:

      Ok, we’ve decided to stay for the time being. If the situation gets worse then we will leave, as fast as we can.

  5. Mischa Said:

    That looks so much like Ing in your comic πŸ™‚ I love it! I finally get to see some more of your work and all it took was impending nuclear disaster!
    Good luck and same if you want to stay in The Rocks – we have a big spare room. xoxoxoxoxoxoxo

  6. Taboolio Said:

    So scary and tricky for you guys! How stressful! Poor you. I’m just so glad to read these updates and know that you’re still ok. Missing you loads. Can’t wait til one day you’ll be home again. *hugs*

  7. Owen Macindoe Said:

    I’m fretting about you guys and constantly checking news sites for updates on the situation with the reactor and aftershocks. I was expecting to Skype mum and dad today with and hoped they’d have some more news, but they haven’t shown up online. It’s good to hear that you’re okay.

    There’s a lot of talk in the American media about the reactor situation, but nothing really concrete. Boingboing linked this article, which isn’t as informative as the title might suggest http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=fukushima-core I don’t really know what to think, but it sounds like the containment system of the reactor is better designed than the Chernobyl one.

    Keep us up to date! Sophie and I are thinking of you!

  8. Dan Said:

    I’m glad you guys are ok, though it doesn’t sound easy!
    If you do decide it’s time to flee, let us know, we’d be happy to help any way we can.
    ❀

  9. Andrew Said:

    Sounds like it is getting worse. Can you give us an update? Hope you are both ok.

  10. Agata Said:

    Glad to hear you’re alright! I hope I’ll see you home soon, because things seem to be getting worse. Don’t worry about contracts or anything (I’m happy to help in any way I can!) I think if there’s no point worrying about breaking contracts or anything – a pending nuclear disaster is a good enough reason!!! Better than worrying about your health! Lots of love to you both!!! Xxoo


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