Welcome to my blog! Tom made it for me (what a wonderful present). I know it's not as personal as receiving an e-mail but this way all the stuff is in one place, you can post your comments, and we can share the information. Of course, I'll be very happy to have personal messages too.
It's been a slow day, Japan is probably off the radar now, slowly returning to normal. The army and Tokyo's unmanned fire engines have been inundating the reactors with seawater and the situation is stabilising (although still grave). There is a new danger: radiation above normal levels has been found in Fukushima milk and Ibaragi spinach. Samples were sent off last night. This is probably not the result they were hoping for.
The levels at the city office were 2.6 this evening which is up from the 2.1 this morning. It had been falling steadily so this is a setback but still not a level to worry about. For more information on this see the piece I posted entitled Takeshi's Technical Assistance which was a real help to me on Tuesday when I was in a panic.
Spent the day at the office. Toshiaki is beavering away with the figures for the split of the company. I do hope this goes ahead as planned. Who can tell in this new situation? I've been tidying up and began to do a bit of my own work. Yes, life is beginning to return to normal.
What's it like out in Koriyama? To tell you the truth I know very little as I'm being cautious and staying inside.Most people passing by in the street are wearing the 'uniform' - hooded jacket, peak cap, mask and gloves, but some people, especially young people are dressed as normal. The queue of cars for petrol wound past the office again with the police telling those without tickets to leave the queue. So a system is in place.
My good friend Mr Kishimoto in Tokyo is trying to get us some oil for the factory boiler but he tells me that there is none available for civilian use. Supplies are all under government control and it is going to the disaster areas and for emergency use. Which is as it should be. Poor people in the 30 km zone are still without petrol and oil for heating. They were supposed to be supplied yesterday but it's going to be a few more days.
The Mayor of Koriyama is calling for the reactors to be closed down for good.
My old friend Kazuko found out last night that her mother and sister are safe and sound in Miyagi. What an ordeal to go through! Apparently, all the phones were dead and they eventually got through by walking along an old disused road to an area where their mobile phones connected. The worst thing about this disaster has been the difficulties with communication. From the moment the earthquake struck mobile phones were useless. In the disaster areas, where Shimizu-san's mother was, the network was destroyed but for the rest of the country it was the overload of calls that jammed the networks. The first call I got was from Lydia in England about three hours after the quake. She said she was ringing from a satellite phone and indeed it is these phones that have been set up in the evacuation centres for people to contact their families and let them know they are safe. Scenes on TV of people queuing up and being given 1 minute to make the call.
Although things seem to be returning to normal the shocks continue. Just had a big one (although only 4 here). I got half way down the stairs (I'm at work) before it stopped. I've got my cycle helmet on and I noticed Toshiaki had donned a helmet when he came in just now.
Anyway, I hope you like the new system. When I've found out how to do it, I'll put some pictures up too. (If you scroll down these posts you'll find a picture of my apartment and see why I was anxious to leave.)
I'll drive home now. Only a third of a tank. Last night I drove back at about 20 mph, there were very few cars on the road and those that were were going as slowly as I was. Surreal.Take care