Field Theory by Hadyn Green

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Field Theory: Japan moves

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  • recordari, in reply to Fooman,

    We seem to now be on the same page. Hopefully. Getting a bit overwhelmed with informations.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    Talking of texts, I'm going to cross-post this here for maximum viewage, as I think it's important: I didn't get a tsunami warning text on Fri/Sat despite supposedly being signed up to the council's text alert system. A friend who is signed up to the civil defence text alert system did get one (so they did get circulated).

    It's possibly an unintended side-effect of the amalgamation of all the separate councils into the supercity - I was previously signed up under North Shore Council's system, to the best of my memory. This doesn't seem to have automatically transferred to a pan-Auckland system.

    I went looking on both the Auckland region Civil Defence website, and the Council website, with no joy. There's no explanation. Neither is there a sign-up instruction page.

    I finally managed to find a sign-up for the Auckland region by googling, and going through Northland Civil Defence. The website is here.

    Frankly, unless I've missed something obvious (and I'm happy to be corrected by any of our resident CD experts), then that counts as a big fat fail on several counts. I've sent Auckland CD an e-mail asking for an explanation, but no reply as yet.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • linger,

    It has been quite difficult to get accurate information in English through official media in Japan. The NHK evening news broadcasts at 7pm & 9pm are usually translated, though with uneven comprehensibility and accuracy: several of their translators are really not able to keep up with breaking news.

    Outside those times, for two days after the quake, the only information broadcast in any language other than Japanese (and bear in mind there is an audio subchannel set up specifically for this purpose ) was a repeating 2-minute loop in English, Chinese and Portuguese giving a tsunami warning "could be higher than 3 metres; stay away from the coast"). After the first hour or so, surely additional information could have been given?

    The only English-language radio station (AFN) is utterly useless as a source of information: they've continued to broadcast their regular music programming, with occasional notes on how services are being affected on the American bases. (Like just now: "At Yokosuka, [some restaurant] is closed due to difficulties in staff transportation".)

    Unfortunately, I have to choose between TV broadcasts (only accessible at my apartment) or internet/email/newspapers (only accessible at my office). It's not an easy choice to make, on a purely physical level.
    Obviously, I am back at my office now -- having had to walk most of the way there yesterday morning, at about the time (I've only just found out) when the radiation levels peaked at Fukushima. (I also found out, again only after the event, that my town had a scheduled blackout after I left.)

    Regular commuting is clearly out of the question.
    I was able to get a train only about 1/3 of the way; then I had the option of waiting 3 hours for a 1 hour train journey on a less direct route, or walking 22km to the next station running services (which took me 3.5 hours, so was actually quicker, but not something I'm prepared to repeat on a weekly basis).

    Looking ahead, I can't see how my university will be able to offer classes to any regular schedule for the next few months.
    Plans have been mooted of cancelling April classes, and substituting classes in August -- but that seems even more idiotic: power outages and transportation disruption will only get more frequent as demand for air-conditioning and refrigeration rises from May through July. and power generation cannot be increased enough to meet this projected demand.

    Even so: it cannot be stated often enough that this event is two orders of magnitude bigger than Christchurch, on every measure - and focussing on Tokyo is very much like deciding to focus attention on the Christchurch quake's impact on Kaikoura.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Rich Lock,

    I didn’t get a tsunami warning text on Fri/Sat despite supposedly being signed up to the council’s text alert system.

    From the Bay of Plenty Times 1st October 2009

    It was the first real test for the Tauranga and Western Bay tsunami warning system and evacuation plan.

    While Mr Pearce was reasonably pleased with how the system worked, it did come in for criticism from many.

    Those who signed up for a SMS text alert system were surprised they did not get a message.

    Mr Pearce said authorities decided not to send a SMS message once they assessed the threat as not too serious. He also said they would probably struggle getting messages out given the amount of text traffic being sent at the time.

    A good point about the possibility of networks being clogged by worried txtrs. As tsunami follow earthquake events it is quite probable that the system would be fucked anyway by the time a Tsunami is reported, unless you are far enough away, in which case news should have got to you already, hopefully.

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4941 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    If you've been hit by an earthquake and you're near the coast, you should just assume a tsunami is a high chance. I learned that from a Japanese movie as a child.

    Edit: It also suggested that anything at all you can do to get people to high ground is good.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8659 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to BenWilson,

    If you’ve been hit by an earthquake and you’re near the coast, you should just assume a tsunami is a high chance.

    Waiting for a TXT alert would, in that case, be rather unwise.

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4941 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Because we live right on the coast in Big O, we have a prearranged signal (3 rifle shots at 2-second spacing) for tsunami warning; designated people to make it, and 2 places to go (both places 50metres up on the Kohuamaru Bluff.) This is for tsunamis that arnt generated by large local earthquakes: for those, we simply assume there will be tsunamis, and act accordingly.

    4 of us receive the tsunami-warnings that are sent out as advisories to governments - at the same time as they do.

    We all have grab-bags. And fortunately, at the moment, all of us are capable & independent people.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Jim Cathcart, in reply to linger,

    t has been quite difficult to get accurate information in English through official media in Japan. The NHK evening news broadcasts at 7pm & 9pm are usually translated, though with uneven comprehensibility and accuracy: several of their translators are really not able to keep up with breaking news.

    NHK has long been a propaganda tool for the LDP. Whatever its charter is, if it has one at all, the broadcaster will always bow to the bureaucrats. NHK World was first introduced to give Japan some kind of international "presence" for the state broadcaster. However, its budget is pathetic and it is run by chain-smoking ojis who are cruising towards retirement. NHK has superb coverage of quakes and typhoons in Japanese though. Probably among the best in the world with or without all the snazzy HD eye candy.

    Since Nov 2006 • 145 posts Report Reply

  • stephen walker,

    @linger:
    as much as i despise facebook, there seems to be a lot of english earthquake and power blackout-related info on facebook. sorry, can't post any links atm...

    nagano • Since Nov 2006 • 634 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Islander,

    prearranged signal (3 rifle shots at 2-second spacing) for tsunami warning;

    That sounds so organised Islander, Brilliant idea for small communities. Is it common do you think? Others should adapt this or am I behind the eight ball?

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6341 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Yo Sof' - it's organised because it has to be (here, it's not a matter of 'if,' but 'when', so we'd bloody stupid not to have plans in place.There was a tsunami here in c.1826, that washed the foothills clean of trees...))

    There are similar tsunami plans further south that I know of (Bruce Bay, Jackson's Bay, and the Haast rivermouth) but dont know about areas to the north or elsewhere-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Islander,

    dont know about areas to the north or elsewhere-

    I'm gonna check with our Volunteer Firemen for Peria.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6341 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Islander,

    but don't know about areas to the north or elsewhere-

    There is a system in place, what happens is...
    Neighbour comes round and says "Gidday, howzit goin?"
    Helps himself to your vegetation and tells you about his friends girlfriends horse and the shed he is building for his mates friends Uncle.
    When the wave starts rushing up your driveway he says "Oh yeah, I was going to tell you about that"...

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4941 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    If you've been hit by an earthquake and you're near the coast, you should just assume a tsunami is a high chance.

    Yes, although I was thinking more of the situation where there is an earthquake elsewhere on the Pacific rim which wouldn't necessarily be felt in NZ, but which presents a potential Tsunami danger several hours later.

    Weekends for my immediate family tend to be 48 hours of disconnection from sources of instant news such as TV, internet, etc. Works as a decompression mechanism for us.

    I did get a text alert at 7.00am on a Saturday morning for the (I think) Chile earthquake a few months back, and spent the rest of the day listening to NatRad for updates - I wouldn't necessarily have done that in the normal course of events, and would have remained blissfully ignorant until the house floated away.

    So the text was very useful and welcome.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming,

    Crap news reporting of the day:
    Compare this press release on Scoop with this "news report" on the NBR

    Rinse and repeat

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2198 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Rich Lock,

    Rich Lock - cool!
    BUT
    but you could be called fucking stupid.
    "Disconnection" from all instant news in understandable but - when the wave comes in, you will want help, yep?
    And you will expect that help to come from - just precisely where? Especially if you havent made any disaster arrangements?
    Good luck with that floating house-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to nzlemming,

    Compare this press release on Scoop with this "news report" on the NBR

    Churnalism

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16838 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    Oh yea Steve B!
    This is how things used to work here until
    a certain siesmogically-expert geologist came & showed us a few slides.
    And bought a home here.
    And showed us more slides, and papers- and pointed out the lines of where earlier
    (gulp) Really BIG TSUNAMI had ramped all over our place....

    They're really nice people, James Goff & Catherine Chague Goff.
    They'll unsettle your comfortable coastal world forever over a wine or 2 and their laptop views.
    You really want to see the one of a wee place in Papua -Niu Guinea. Those lovely white decorations way up in big trees.
    Uh oh.
    Skeletons.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Sacha,

    Yupyupyup

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2198 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Rich Lock,

    Yes, although I was thinking more of the situation where there is an earthquake elsewhere on the Pacific rim which wouldn't necessarily be felt in NZ, but which presents a potential Tsunami danger several hours later.

    Yup, in those cases, it's unlikely the mobile network would be jammed, so texts would work fine as an early warning, so long as your phone is near and charged.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8659 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    Ok so this is probably a better thread for this link
    http://www.the-scientist.com/images/yr1997/mar/opin_970303.html

    It's a really good discussion of low dose radiation hazards. For entirely understandable reasons everyone is nervous about radiation hazards but the problem is we really don't know what the effects are from low dose radiation exposure. We know about high dose and most of the safety standards are calculated from those. But the biology of how organisms respond to low dose radiation isn't easy to study experimentally. Nor is it straightforward, life on earth has evolved to deal with low dose radiation and it seems that different animals respond differently. Until we start to get data from lifelong experiments (eg health studies of people working in the radiation industries and pilots and flight attendants etc) then we won't really understand how humans respond.

    Obviously avoiding unnecessary exposure is good but stressing over low dose exposure probably isn't warranted.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3434 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    I note the scoop media release was from here..........Gosh!

    Here is what the iodine is supposed to do.

    From the release:

    Some are simply seeking products in case the fallout reaches NZ ” explains the Clinicians Technical Support Team.

    I wonder who they might be???? Unidentified "experts" can be dangerous!!!

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1502 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    Clinicians Disclaimer Folks!

    The active ingredients in the Clinicians range of products, when professionally recommended, will provide nutrient support for patients suffering from various conditions. It is not intended that the information describing the properties of the Clinicians range should imply a claim to cure any disorder. The philosophy of the Clinicians range is to provide nutrient support of a condition, regardless of whether standard medication is used.

    My italics

    Love it!

    Yes. Like:

    Clinicians L-Arginine provides a high quality source of the semi-essential amino acid L-Arginine.

    "Semi-essential"?


    But as they said:

    The World Health Organisation has a suggested limit for Iodide that would be needed per day for people in an immediately affected area*. This is a far greater dose than any product able to be supplied as a supplement over the counter in New Zealand due to the risks associated with overdosing on iodine. Clinicians have a lower level Iodine supplement in the form of oral drops (at a strength of 250 mcg per drop total iodine).

    They do supply a lower dose just in case you maybe, you know, want to try it

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1502 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    @ Bart

    life on earth has evolved to deal with low dose radiation and it seems that different animals respond differently.

    Hmmm...I suspect that DNA mutations from random low level radiation events may even have sped up our evolutionary rates.

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1502 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Ross Mason,

    I suspect that DNA mutations from random low level radiation events may even have sped up our evolutionary rates.

    You're certainly not the first to suggest that, but it's extraordinarily hard to test experimentally.

    However, what I was noting is that it's possible that we need a certain amount of constant DNA damage and repair to be healthy. Without such damage the auto-repair systems go haywire. Those experiments are slightly easier to do but much more difficult to prove to the satisfaction of the scientific community. Note there is more than enough background radiation and cosmic radiation to supply such damage so don't nobody go giving themselves low dose radiation for health - shudder I can hear Rod Jenson on the radio advertising it now.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3434 posts Report Reply

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