11:11:11 March 11, 2011

A minute of silence is observed for March 11, 2011 when the most tragic event in Japan since world war II. The Nuclear reactor that was damaged by the tsunami (Fukushima) that swept over the coast and destroyed tens of thousands of Japanese lives.

I recall being at one of my suppliers and looking at Poulet de Bresse at my suppliers warehouse not far from the seashore. All of a sudden the building shook, I knew it was a sign of a hard earthquake and it continued on and didn’t let up. Then the seismic energy shook more and the quake continued on and was relentless. All communication within Japan were shit down and reaching family was impossible. I only found out later that our house was hit pretty hard, yet it sustained the forces. My wife describes the light in our kitchen over our table swinging back and forth like a seesaw. Our 5mm stainless counter was compressed by the forces and has a nice distortion to remind us.

Coincidentally, I had been talking with an American friend working in Tokyo about his idea of installing a device to detect the p-waves at the local school. This would have been an alarm in advance of the earthquake striking to warn students. It would have given some advance notice to the students, as p-waves are seismic waves are the first waves from an earthquake to arrive at a seismograph.

The undersea was a mega-thrust earthquake of 9.0 magnitude at 14:46 Japan standard time. The shock was at a shallow depth of 32km with its epicenter 70km east of the Oshika Peninsula of Tōhoku. It lasted approximately six minutes but the tremors continued for months and the damage immense.

Unfortunately until this day many people are living in Fukushima are under substandard conditions and many lost everything or almost everything they owned. The Japanese government just hasn’t done enough. There are still 1,400 residents still living in temporary housing, the psychological wounds inflicted on the region’s children could take decades to heal.

The orphans from this disaster are more than you can imagine but thank you to many Japanese and non-Japanese such as, ex-sumo Konishiki and Wolfgang and Erica Angyal and many others who continue to try to help survivors with their lives. In the three worst hit prefectures of Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima, more than 230 children were orphaned; 1,580 lost either one or both parents.

These photos below give you a sense of the power and devastation of this earthquake, but the real damage was made to the environment, and the nuclear waste remains an issue globally is till being pumped into the sea. Just imagine the waste that was disposed into the Pacific, and those North Pacific currents which drag the toxicity to the shores of the United States 🙁

But nuclear waste isn’t new to the US government and the vast structure known as the Runit Dome (locals people call it “The Tomb.” Below an 18-inch concrete cap rests the United States cold war legacy to this remote corner of the Pacific Ocean: 111,000 cubic yards of radioactive debris left behind after 12 years of nuclear tests.

‘Marshall Islands brackish water pools around the edge of the dome, where sections of concrete have started to crack away. Underground, radioactive waste has already started to leach out of the crater: according to a 2013 report by the US Department of Energy, soil around the dome is already more contaminated than its contents.’

Runit Dome: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jul/03/runit-dome-pacific-radioactive-waste

Luckily our family and friends (Bobby/Andrea) were lucky to get out of the range of Fukushima’s danger within 24 hours. Our journey was something we will always remember and it reminds of those people who suffered. But somehow a distortion of truth makes us forget – until it’s too late, or until we do something about it. If you can help support Fukushima it is a worthy cause because there are still thousands of people living in temporary accommodation that remain dependent on donations, and hundreds of children that have been left in limbo.