Natural Disasters Hub

No-Fly Zone Established Over Damaged Nuke Plant; Crisis Deepens

The situation in Japan continues to deepen as explosions and fire have damaged the Fukushima nuclear reactor perhaps beyond recovery:

Fukushima In a brief morning address to the nation Tokyo time, Prime Minister Naoto Kan pleaded for calm, but warned that radiation had already spread from the crippled reactors and there was “a very high risk” of further leakage.

The sudden turn of events, after an explosion Monday at one reactor and then an early-morning explosion Tuesday at yet another — the third in four days at the plant — already made the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station the worst nuclear accident since the Chernobyl reactor disaster a quarter century ago.

Most workers have abandoned the plant:

Engineers at the plant, working at tremendous personal risk, on Tuesday continued efforts to cool down the most heavily damaged unit, reactor No. 2, by pumping in seawater. According to government statements, most of the 800 workers at the plant had been withdrawn, leaving 50 or so workers in a desperate effort to keep the cores of three stricken reactors cooled with seawater pumped by firefighting equipment, while crews battled to put out the fire at the No. 4 reactor, which they claimed to have done just after noon on Tuesday.

RIA Novosti reports: "The Japanese Transport Ministry declared a no-fly zone within the range of 30 km from the blast-hit Fukushima 1 Nuclear Power Plant, the Kyodo news agency said on Tuesday. The ban does not include planes and helicopters involved in rescue efforts and delivering aid to quake-hit areas."

Some folks are evacuating Tokyo: "Panic swept Tokyo on Tuesday after a rise in radioactive levels around an earthquake-hit nuclear power plant north of the city, causing some to leave the capital or stock up on food and supplies. Embassies advised staff to leave affected areas, tourists cut short vacations and some multinational companies told staff to move from Tokyo out after low levels of radiation were detected in one of the world's biggest and most densely populated cities."

The aircraft carrier USS George Washington was docked for maintenance after detecting low levels of radioactivity.

Watch: Second Explosion at Japan's Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant


A second explosion has occurred at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant in Japan.

The Japan Times:

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano gave assurances that the No. 3 reactor's containment vessel survived the explosion, just like the one at the No. 1 reactor, which blew up its housing on Saturday.

Tokyo Electric Power Co., struggling to cool down all three reactors, said the water level in the No. 2 reactor is still above the fuel rods, but officials are scrambling to prevent a meltdown.

The latest hydrogen explosion came as the government — confronted by the massive rescue and body retrieval operation all along the Tohoku region coast, and the threat of massive power outages in the Kanto region — scrambled to prevent a nuclear meltdown that could be triggered by overheating fuel rods.

NYT: "As the scale of Japan’s nuclear crisis begins to come to light, experts in Japan and the United States say the country is now facing a cascade of accumulating problems that suggest that radioactive releases of steam from the crippled plants could go on for weeks or even months."

More from CNN...

Watch the explosion, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Watch: Second Explosion at Japan's Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant" »

News: David Gandy, Poland, Madonna, Nashville, PJ Crowley

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David  road ShortList cover model David Gandy would like to tell you about his favorite style icons.

 road Richard Hatch is going to prison for tax evasion. Again.

 road While gay rights still have a very long way to go in Poland, things are starting to slowly change: "Socially, being openly anti-gay is becoming as unacceptable as being anti-Semitic: A decade ago it was possible to hear otherwise cultured and intelligent Poles declaiming on how Jews controlled both capitalism and communism, but outside of marginal groups like soccer hooligans, such views are now almost never publicly expressed."

 road Nashville clergy members in support of discrimination bill say that they have been "in prayer that a spirit of inclusion rather than exclusion would descend upon our city."

 road Seawalls in Japan provided very little protection during the quake and subsequent tsunami: "The tsunami that followed the quake washed over walls that were supposed to protect the plants, disabling the diesel generators crucial to maintaining power for the reactors’ cooling systems during shutdown."

Mad  road Unseen photos of a pre-fame Madonna published in Out.

 road Capuchin monkeys have figured out a new way to "fish" for termites.

 road Department of State spokesman P.J. Crowley resigns after coming under fire for comments about Bradley manning: "The unauthorized disclosure of classified information is a serious crime under U.S. law. My recent comments regarding the conditions of the pre-trial detention of Private First Class Bradley Manning were intended to highlight the broader, even strategic impact of discreet actions undertaken by national security agencies every day and their impact on our global standing and leadership."

 road Marriage equality advocates in Maryland vow to keep fighting.

 road Only 1% of the residents in the Siberian city of Novokuznetsk vote to approve anti-gay legislation in their city.

Japan: Before And After The Quake

Australia's ABC News has published several dramatic before and after aerial shots of the massive destruction in Japan. The above pictures are of Sendai Airport in Northern Japan. See more remarkable interactive shots on the ABC News site.

Meanwhile, some estimates have the death toll at an astounding 10,000.

News: Pokemon, Japan, The Smurfs, Rhode Island

 road Yet another claim that the lost city of Atlantis has been discovered.

Mi  road Vampire Diaries star Michael Trevino gets suited up and bespectacled.

 road Watch the trailer to The Smurfs movie starring Neil Patrick Harris.

 road Alec Baldwin has some really good advice for Charlie Sheen.

 road Death toll from Japanese quake and tsunami now stands at  1,700 with about 10,000 missing from just one port town in the northern part of the country.

 road Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark cancels shows scheduled between  April 19 and May 11, will officially open June 14.

 road University of Connecticut holds the largest gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth conference in the country where Governor Dannel P. Malloy speaks to the crows about his strong support for gay rights.

 road Dim-witted man gets into an argument with his partner, calls in a phony bomb threat at Heathrow Airport.

Jaoa  road Dramatic photos of the massive destruction in Japan.

 road The immensely powerful quake moved Japan's coast about 8 feet and shifted the Earth's axis.

 road Despite rumors to the contrary, the creator of Pokemon did not perish in the Japanese tsunami.

 road The Vatican gives John Paul II an official Facebook page.

 road The Situation gets booed off stage at a Donald Trump roast.

 road Hundreds show up for heated marriage equality rally in Rhode Island.

 road Ice caps are in bigger trouble than first thought: "Vast ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica are melting much more rapidly than predicted by climate models, according to scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California."

Videos: 88,000 Reported Missing in Japan 8.9 Earthquake, Tsunami - UPDATED


A massive earthquake measuring 8.9 struck Japan earlier today. It's the largest quake to strike in Japan's recorded history and the fifth-largest recorded since 1900 in the world.

I'll keep updating this post as more information comes in...

Live video from Japan, above.

WATCH some unreal video footage of the quake and tsunami, AFTER THE JUMP...


Above, Reuters: "A massive tsunami sweeps in to engulf a residential area after a powerful earthquake in Natori, Miyagi Prefecture in northeastern Japan"

Tsunami AP: "Authorities said at least 32 people were killed. The magnitude 8.9 offshore quake was followed by at least 19 aftershocks, most of them of more than magnitude 6.0. Dozens of cities and villages along a 1,300-mile (2,100-kilometer) stretch of coastline were shaken by violent tremors that reached as far away as Tokyo, hundreds of miles (kilometers) from the epicenter."

UPDATE: CNN reporting that 200-300 bodies have been found in the coast city of Sendai. 88,000 people are reported missing.

Officials fear that the tsunami may have washed over entire islands in the Pacific.

A ship carrying 100 people was swept away...

Obama released the following statement: 

"Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to the people of Japan, particularly those who have lost loved ones in the earthquake and tsunamis. The United States stands ready to help the Japanese people in this time of great trial. The friendship and alliance between our two nations is unshakeable, and only strengthens our resolve to stand with the people of Japan as they overcome this tragedy. We will continue to closely monitor tsunamis around Japan and the Pacific going forward and we are asking all our citizens in the affected region to listen to their state and local officials as I have instructed FEMA to be ready to assist Hawaii and the rest of the US states and territories that could be affected."

Here are tsunami warnings and potential arrival times for the U.S. west coast:


UPDATE: The tsunami waves have arrived in Hawaii. Authorities report that there should be no damage, and people are safe. Good news.

Quake Warnings have been issued for Hawaii, California, Oregon, Alaska, the Philippines, and parts of Russia. Advisories have been expanded to Washington, and British Columbia.

Hotels in Hawaii have begun a "vertical evacuation"....

Evacuation zone maps here.

Sky News reports:

"A 33ft tsunami has reportedly killed at least 32 people as it swept over Japan's northeastern coast after the country's biggest earthquake in recorded history...The 8.9 magnitude megaquake caused a huge wave that hit the port of Sendai city, sending ships crashing into the shore and carrying cars and buildings through streets. It also rocked the capital, Tokyo, which was among the cities shaken by at least 19 subsequent aftershocks."

Live Reuters updates HERE...

Live Hawaii coverage HERE...

Our thoughts are with the people of Japan and all those affected by the tsunamis.

Watch video, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Videos: 88,000 Reported Missing in Japan 8.9 Earthquake, Tsunami - UPDATED" »


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