8.8 magnitude quake in Japan (1 Viewer)


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We were up late last night watching the crazy tsunami video. Never seen anything quite like that.

An 8.8 here in Los Angeles might actually knock California into the sea, as religious fanatics and Republicans have been hoping for all these years. That's bigger than the 1906 San Francisco quake and much bigger than 1971, 1989 and 1994 quakes that wrecked big chunks of Los Angeles and the bay area.

I can only pray that Little Stevie Dulka/MULLINAX/et al is okay. I would hate to find out that he was buried under half a ton of rubble or torn apart by tsunami debris. That would be a real shame. Yeah. A real shame.
yeah, that footage was some of the craziest shit I've seen. I've always wondered about that "wall" of water described when one of these events happen, but jesus, until you see a fifteen or twenty foot wall of water like that sweeping the countryside clean, carrying houses and semis away in the debris field, well a person just has no fucking idea how FAST it moves.
What freaks me out is the U.S. media referring to the nuclear meltdown as "minor". NPR did this tonight and so did some radio news. Shit - anytime a nuclear reactor has to be cooled down quickly is a bad day.
I read on some crazy conspiracy website last night that a meltdown in Japan would send radioactive dust to the U. S. West Coast within 36 hours. Nobody is too sure how bad a thing that is, but it can't be good. Oh, and there are 3 nuke plants unable to control their cooling and in danger of meltdown, not just one. So if they meltdown, do we get in our car and drive east, or is the dust just going to follow us and we might as well stay home?
my (extremely limited) understanding of a 'meltdown' is that it is just that: there is no explosion, it is the core melting through the bottom of the structure casing it and sending huge amounts of toxic waste into the earth. It would cause radiation levels in the surrounding area to rise dramatically and no doubt have lethal and longlasting effects on those in that area, but i don't think any dust would be reaching the US.

dave d: keep in mind that there is a fine line between authorities trying to keep people from freaking out and the media trying to be the first with a huge news scoop. Japan is one of the most seismically active areas in the whole world, and if the japanese are anything as a people, they're competent and efficient and capable and the foremost experts at building things on shaky ground. but from what i've read, the problem isn't the structure at all, but rather a lack of power to the keep the core cool.
Justine: right: the problem was a loss of all power and then failure of back up generators, so the cooling systems that would prevent meltdown aren't operating. I could be wrong, but I think I've read that there is a worldwide release of radioactive dust in trace amounts whenever you have a nuke plant meltdown. I think the closer you are to the plant, the higher the level of radiation. But I'm sure the experts will be telling us all about that if it happens. Me, I'm always on the ragged edge of freaking out.
I don't know about dust, but clearly Chernobyl and Three Mile Island killed a lot of people who worked on them after they went haywire, and killed and crippled a lot of people in the very near vicinity. So yeah, we have been through this before, but it is "containable" should the thing self-destruct. Containable for our lifetimes anyway, and after that I don't really care.

Besides, hasn't anyone ever seen a Japanese monster movies from the 50s? Hello! If there's one thing they know how to deal with, it's the effects of radiation.
It IS a horrible thing, what's been going on there (and still is).

But from a scientific point of view, having read myself a bit into plate-tectonics only last year, I must say: There's No reason for anything like Surprise!

I mean, plate-tectonics is THE force, that shapes the whole face of the earth! These are POWERS! What we're used to experience as earthquakes are just whispers compared to the forces involved in the whole process over the millennia. If you have one quick look at the change of the erath's surface over longer periods of time (thousands of miles in each direction!), you must be surprised, that things like that don't happen much more.
Engineers always plan for worst case scenarios (9.5 earthquakes, etc.), but then the budget planners say "that's not likely to happen" and build for a 6.0 quake. Then shit happens. This is pretty much the history of engineering failures anywhere.

Looks like the conspiracy nuts were right when they announced three meltdowns in progress, days before the media caught up with them. Or just a lucky guess?
This is such a horrific disaster. My son is in Seoul. They haven't felt the quake there, but I am really worried about the radioactive dust, and wondered how safe they are.
I got word from a good friend stationed there with the Navy...he thinks that THE folks (best in the world) who know best about all things nuclear are on the scene...and that the news we're getting is straight and on the level. As for my friend and his family, they're stocked up on batteries and toilet paper and experiencing rolling blackouts to help keep power where it needs to be. I think they'll weather this too. After all, they're the only nation that has had to survive an atomic attack...and they've got lots of practice with earthquakes too.
Black Swan: don't worry too much about the dust. Being far from the site will protect most people. The news media is telling it straight, as Hosh says. I don't think they are spinning this.
Thanks, David.
The death count is rising, now a sure 10,000 and more. I wish that all these reactors would be done away with.
This could be the end of new nuke developments. Imagine trying to sell the idea now to the public. Three Japaneses reactors melting down, 6 to 9 total in trouble.

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