Via Dolores M. Bernal's News Junkie Post,
The US Embassy in Tokyo has officially announced that it will start evacuating American citizens and their families off Japan starting on Thursday, local Japan time. The Department of State cited the "deteriorating" nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Nuclear Plant as the reason to take Americans to "safehaven."
The safehaven locations so far are in Korea and China — Seoul and Taipei respectively. Citizens wishing to go back to the US will have to make their own arrangement from these locations.
An updated item from the US Embassy site in Tokyo provides the following information:
The U.S. Embassy in Tokyo informs U.S. citizens in Japan who wish to depart that the Department of State is making arrangements to provide transportation to safehaven locations in Asia. This assistance will be provided on a reimbursable basis, as required by U.S. law. U.S. citizens who travel on US government-arranged transport will be expected to make their own onward travel plans from the safehaven location. Flights to evacuation points will begin departing Japan on Thursday, March 17. There will be a limited number of seats available on evacuation flights departing from Narita and Haneda airports on March 17. Priority will be given to persons with medical emergencies or severe medical conditions.
Persons interested in departing Japan via USG-chartered transportation should proceed to Narita and Haneda airports or contact the US Department of State and Embassy Japan by sending an e-mail to JapanEmergencyUSC@state.gov or by calling 1-202-501-4444. Please provide the following information:
- place of birth
- U.S. passport number, and
- any special medical needs.
Immediate family members (spouses and children) who are not U.S. citizens must be documented for entry into the safehaven country and/or U.S., if that is your final destination.
We hope that the ongoing situation in Japan can be resolved quickly, preventing further damage and destruction in a nation already reeling from a series of tragic events.
If you can provide any assistance, please do so. There's an excellent list of organizations put together by Lili Ladaga from Yahoo! News. The list there provides some details in a description about giving. In order to get the list of organizations out to the public with the donation links intact, I've listed the organizations directly below, using the links provided by Lili @ Yahoo - so you'll notice that any click-thru tracking credits Yahoo! with the source ID. That's a good thing. Still, check out their original source material for more information, and do what you can to help:
Bumped and promoted. Originally posted 2011-03-14 04:37:12 -0400. -- GH
The Japanese disaster at Fukushima I is a human tragedy of striking proportions. As many as ten thousand citizens may be dead in the general catastrophe, with many more at risk for radiation poisoning at levels yet to be determined. The fact that Japan is a highly organized and wealthy nation in no way diminishes the intensity of the losses and pain experienced by the victims. (Image)
Political and economic implications will emerge rapidly. As the whole world watches, the Japanese experience creates windows of opportunity to learn how to avert future meltdowns at nuclear ticking time bombs placed throughout Europe, the United States, India, and China.
Events have overwhelmed the highly professional Japanese bureaucracy. In a late Saturday night report by CNN, the chief cabinet minister said that he presumed that there was a nuclear meltdown in reactors one and two, with three on the way. A nuclear regulatory official hedged by referring to the "possibility" of a meltdown, which he said could not be confirmed since workers couldn't get close enough to see. The same regulatory official told CNN,
"We have some confidence, to some extent, to make the situation to be stable status," he said. "We actually have very good confidence that we will resolve this." March 12
Experts outside the government referred to the situation as desperate given the use of saltwater as a last resort for cooling the nuclear material.
Video from May 7th (4 days ago) flyover of Gulf of Mexico and location of sunken Deepwater Horizon courtesy, Current TV. Amateur Video Of Gulf Oil Slick - Worse Than BP Admits Transcript follows :
On May 7 2010, John Wathen and Pilot Tom Hutchins flew out over the Gulf of Mexico. Along the way we saw small boats dragging buoys out to the islands to protect them from the oil sheen that was certainly coming our way. At nine miles out we began to smell the oil.
When the story of the mine collapse Tragedy in West Virginia was breaking I was reluctant to start pointing fingers out of the gate and start making ideological and political arguments climbing on the backs of the dead miners even given the initial and legitimate reportage of problems from all sources, blogospheric and media wide. But there comes a point where we have to look at what was behind the disaster that happened. And at this point it is pretty clear that Massey has been negligent with miner's lives when it comes to safety issues in the past:
California is one of the largest states in our nation, and is also one of the most diverse: it spans several terrestrial ecoregions, contains everything from mountains to deserts with coastlines and even inland saltwater seas, and has a vast and vibrant smattering of cultural influences.
It's also a state of chaos, which could be ascribed (if you squint a little) the title "State of Apocalypse" because it has major fires, vast floods, devastating earthquakes, mudslides, sinkholes, fiscal disaster, a history of severe weather and it is governed by an actor and businessman most famous for his role as the Terminator.
The "State of Apocalypse" nomenclature occurred to me during an idle chat with our webmistress after I'd pointed out this doozy from CNN:
L.A. firefighters escape as truck sinks into hole
LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- Los Angeles firefighters and city crews worked for several hours Tuesday to rescue one of their own: a 22-ton firetruck that was nearly swallowed by a water-logged sinkhole.
[...story continues at link in title...]
If you click through to the original story, you'll see the firetruck with its nose in the sinkhole, looking eerily reminiscent of a child's Tonka truck abandoned on a playground.
No offense to the folks in CA -- and many of my friends are included over there -- but I think I'll just stay hunkered down in my New England habitat for a much smaller slice of the Disaster Pie.
"Imagined" is apparently the key word with the TVA, btw. This does not surprise me, unfortunately. What DOES surprise me is that there has been no real media coverage on what may be the very worst man-made environmental disaster in this country, ever.
Water testing by Appalachian State University is showing 35-300 ppm more arsenic and 6-60 ppm more lead than the EPA water drinking standards. What has not been discussed is that coal ash is radioactive, and at this point I have not found any evidence that measurements of uranium or thorium are being monitored. Let's try and change that!
This is worse than the Exxon Valdez, which is still not cleaned up, and I submit this is worse than Katrina, though it doesn't look that way yet, but the health and environmental devastation that will follow from this is not even conceivable at this point. I consider Katrina a man made environmental disaster because we could have saved the levees. Katrina was horrible. But so is this.
I will get to the radioactive issue in a moment, but today a test of the water quality from the Emory River was released from the Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry labs at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC, by Dr. Shea Tuberty, Associate Professor of Biology, and Dr. Carol Babyak, Assistant Professor of Chemistry.