15 June 2008

Iwate Earthquake

Unfortunately a large earthquake has struck in northen Japan. Hiroshima did not feel the quake. The quake was 7.0 and struck 8:43 am Saturday 14 June 2008. Yes, there's been damage and loss of life.

This link gives a map of Japan showing areas which felt the earthquake:
Red dot indicates magnitude 7.0. Blue dot indicates magnitude 1.0. It's clear to see Tokyo felt part of the quake. The quake was felt about 500 km from the center. Hiroshima is about 1000 km away (by line of sight). On the above webpage, you can see a great stack of aftershocks indicated by different times shown under "log" on the right-side of the webpage.

Quake was in Iwate Prefecture, about 400 km north of Tokyo. Japan's advance earthquake warning system predicted the quake at least 12 seconds before Tokyo felt the earthquake as shown on this video: http://youtube.com/watch?v=zlDeRzUYFkI
The video was taken in Tokyo and shows a countdown to the earthquake on a computer screen. At zero seconds, the video shows the room with things beginning to wabble. Incredible!

If you're in Japan and you see or hear this on your TV, then I would get out of the building: http://youtube.com/watch?v=0AmrTnBaChE
Six seconds into the video, on the TV appears a map of northern Japan with a red X. You can see 4 Japanese words which are the names of the prefectures affected. This warning appeared within 7 seconds of the quake striking. You also here the "d-d-ding d-d-ding" alert sounds on the TV. At 21 seconds, a man appears live on TV to give earthquake updates, times and affected areas. The number of affected prefectures is increased. Later the video shows footage.

Iwate Earthquake YouTube videos (Japanese): http://youtube.com/results?search_query=%E5%B2%A9%E6%89%8B+%E5%9C%B0%E9%9C%87&search_type=&aq=f

09 June 2008

Australian PM in Hiroshima Pics


He's in the Peace Park!

Well, just as I arrived at the Peace Park in Hiroshima, here comes a whole group of offically dressed people and, sure enough, the Honourable Kevin Rudd MP, Prime Minister of Australia, is in the middle of the group.

Took a few snap shots within a few meters. Handed a note to his chief of staff, so I suppose he'll get it. Afterwards, met the driver of the car Kevin Rudd drove in. We swapped business cards and took a few photos of the car.

Media was a bit crazy (probably like usual), especially when Kevin Rudd stood in front of the A-bomb dome, the most famous building in Hiroshima and a reminder of the destruction caused by the atomic bomb. I heard one person say, "That was a bit of a scrum."

Anyway, interesting and surprising to meet my Prime Minister (at last a few meters away) in the city I live in overseas.

Where is he?

I'm an Australian teaching English in Hiroshima, Japan, and the Prime Minister of Australia just happens to be in town today!

Let's see if we can find him at the Peace Park...