Sandy Hook

Sandy Hook

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Terror in Japan

From DeadState comes never before seen footage of the 2011 tsunami in Japan. Nearly 30 minutes of gripping terror -- or as one viewer commented: "a living hell."
A haunting new video of the 2011 tsunami in Japan has emerged, showing how quickly the situation changed from a curious rush of water into a horrific torrent of nature.
Beginning at about the 3-minute mark, the video shows a subtle rise in the water along a canal which is just calm enough to keep onlookers from being scared away. But as the minutes progress, the water level rises and the stream becomes more powerful, forcing spectators as well as the cameraman to scurry to higher ground.
At about 7 minutes into the video, it’s clear that the water is flowing over the canal walls and barreling into the surrounding town. The devastation that follows is incredible in its scope as it is terrifying.


  1. I have some resistance to watching these because… my affinity with the place is too thorough.
    I have been to this area of Japan, years ago, and it was – and I assume will be again – very picturesque. Matsushima in Miyagi is one of the Nihon Sankei, the ‘three beautiful places’. It was relatively undamaged despite being so close to locus of the earthquake.

    Those houses in the foreground…. I can imagine the interior of all of them. Some of them would be internally subdivided mini-apartments, like the first place I lived in which was about the size of my house now in Australia but had four independent apartments, each of which could have a few occupants, and the landlord’s own section.

    Because they’re built for earthquakes you wouldn’t believe how much the walls can sway without the building collapsing. Not all quake movements are the same. Sometimes the ground rolls like a wave, sometimes it shakes side to side, and sometimes it convulses. I inserted steel braces between my wife’s closet and the ceiling, when we were 20something and just married, so it wouldn’t fall over and crush us in the first seconds before we could wake up – as the only floor space we had to sleep on was directly next to it.
    That doesn’t protect you from a tsunami however, though we were much further from the sea.

    It’s hard to say what the larger building is - where the camera holder takes refuge - but the sign on the long wing to the right speaks, loosely translated, about “everyone working together in a friendly spirit to meet the challenge of the future”. Probably a lot more apt than they ever preferred to think.

    I last in Japan earlier this year. In Tokyo. There’s a bit of a ‘shadow’ but mostly I note how little has changed. Saw the baseball, pro-soccer, sumo.
    I’ve been to London, Paris…and so on. None of them have anything on Tokyo. It is the most vibrant entrancing city in creation.

    If you want to see short happy videos of Japan as it normally is, here’s a couple:

  2. Frankly, I doubt very seriously if I would have been standing on that balcony just casually filming the horror. To me the building on the right looked like it might have been an ell but it's hard to tell. What impressed me so much was how calm everyone seemed to be. No screaming, no panic. Toward the last few minutes, night falls and there's the glow of fires across the whole city and the water has slowed but not stopped. Still, the people are utterly calm. Unbelievable.

    Thanks for the videos of Tokyo. Apparently nobody ever sleeps there - maybe because there's no room for anyone to lie down? I've never seen so many people and so much non-stop activity. My uncle used to go there when he was a radio operator for Lykes Bros. Ships. He loved it. Are there any parks where people can enjoy nature and peace and quiet?

  3. Oh wow. Here's something I just came across at CBC:

    "Deep beneath Fukushima's crippled nuclear power station, a massive underground reservoir of contaminated water that began spilling from the plant's reactors after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami has been creeping slowly toward the Pacific.

    Now, more than two years later, experts fear it is about to reach the ocean and greatly worsen what is fast becoming a new crisis at Fukushima: the inability to contain vast quantities of radioactive water."

  4. Sorry to take so long to answer your question…

    Yes there are parks, quite nice ones. Really you could slip into a shrine somewhere too… it’s amazing what peacefulness you can find amid the bustle.
    Most of Japan is mountains, some of it heavily wooded. You can get away from everything quite easily.

    As to the reactor… the shadow of that danger will loom over Japan for decades.

    It’s actually just one example of a broader problem our civilisation faces which is that the inertia of our industrial and economic system is not rationalised against long term sustainability and risk.

    The city I live in here in Australia is rated the most liveable in the world, and the population is exploding. Areas I remember being farmland as a child are now covered in houses and shopping malls. One of our debates is whether we want a big Australia or a small Australia and what exactly does either entail and who gets to decide.
    Conservatives talk up nuclear power – at present we have none.
    But nuclear power will never be safe. I don’t care how careful we are, something that potent and that permanent simply cannot ever be safe. We don’t have a lot of earthquakes but we do have other natural disasters.
    If that inertia I spoke of coupled with future population pressures means that someday some conservative bean-counter with a profound lack of imagination says it is a fait accompli that we must get nuclear power then I say we better address the question of that inertia and population growth now, and I will give airtime to any political group here that wants to talk about it.
    A lot of Australia is open desert. There’s nothing frickin’ there. Why are we living for the most part like frogs around a pond?

  5. Maybe getting the 2020 Olympics will be the shot in the arm Japan needs.

    Your memories of farmlands that are now housing developments, shopping centers and business parks are not unique to Australia as you well know,or to the U.S. for that matter - part of that broader problem you speak about. I live only 2.5 hours (162 miles) from Oak Ridge and am totally with you on the dangers of nuclear power. What the hell are people thinking?