natural disasters

Earthquake, Tsunami, and now a Volcano

Crikes - it's been one hell of week for Japan. Now, Shinmoedake volcano on the southern island of Kyushu has started erupting:

Hundreds of people were forced to flee when the Shinmoedake volcano on the southern island of Kyushu began spewing ash and boulders.

The explosion from the eruption could be heard miles away and an ash plume extended two miles into the sky.
[Read more]

Located 950 miles or so from the epicenter of the quake, experts are uncertain if the volcano's activity is tied to the recent quake.

Sorry for the short diary - but wanted folks to have something to add to if following relief and recovery efforts in Japan. There is nothing below the fold.

Side note: Something called 'volcano monitoring' was used by experts in recent weeks, who noted increased activity and lava buildup.

Dual & Dueling Natural Disasters: Major Earthquakes, Tsunamis in Japan

Above the fold: Information and links regarding emergency communication and people finder services. Please DO NOT use these pages or access the links unless you are actually looking for someone, particularly if you are not located in or around the affected areas.

Please provide any corrections to translated text in comments

Google Activates Person Finder page

Google activates Person Finder for Japan quake, tsunami

Google Inc. has just activated a Person Finder page to help people concerned about loved ones in the area affected by Friday's devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

The Person Finder page can be found at and it is available both in English and Japanese.
Read more:

via SF Gate

In Japan: Emergency Message Board

NTT East Voice171/Web171 Page

Overview and emergency messaging
Available for telephone emergency messaging service, offering start date,
We explain our message and phone number can be registered.


Specifically, the way emergency messaging service for recording and playback
We explain.

Specifically, the way emergency messaging service for recording and playback
We explain

[Source Page on NTT East]

NTT West Web171 Page

Mechanism and overview of broadband Disaster Message Board

災害用ブロードバンド伝言板の 登録 および 閲覧 方法を具体的に
Broadband disaster message board for registering and viewing messages

[Source Page on NTT-West]

California: A State of Apocalyptic Proportions

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.

From the BBC: Quake in Western China Buries Nearly 900 Students, and other stories

From the BBC:


'Hundreds buried' by China quake

Almost 900 students have been buried by collapsed buildings during an earthquake in south-western China, state media reports.

What a horrible start to the day, and to the week.

The BBC article quotes the following statistics for recent quakes in China:


  • March, 2008: 7.2 quake in Xinjiang - damage limited
  • February 2003: 6.8 quake in Xinjiang - at least 94 dead, 200 hurt
  • January 1998: 6.2 quake in rural Hebei - at least 47 dead, 2,000 hurt
  • April 1997: 6.6 quake hits Xinjiang - 9 dead, 60 hurt
  • January 1997: 6.4 quake in Xinjiang - 50 dead, 40 hurt


In other news, US planes carrying aid land in Burma after days spent negotiating with the government, and a US researcher finds a way to kill stowaway plants and animals from marine ballast tanks:


US researchers say they have developed an effective way to kill unwanted plants and animals that hitch a ride in the ballast waters of cargo tankers.

Tests showed that a continuous microwave system was able to remove all marine life within the water tanks.

The UN lists "invasive species" dispersed by ballast water discharges as one of the four main threats to the world's marine ecosystems.

That's all I've got for now -- busy, busy day ahead -- but I'm sure there's a lot more.

Have at it. :)