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Friends in Need When Nature Hiccups, Natural Disasters forum
pandaneko
post Mar 19 2011, 01:00 PM
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First of all our thanks go out to all those countries who are helping us at the moment. What follows is my accout of what it felt like and a few things I have noticed.

I was probably 800km away from the first epicentre (and there were two more breakages in succession over a distance of about 500km). Each breakage lasted about 100 seconds.

I and all others who have mobile access knew that a very strong tremor was approaching because we get an automatic e-mail warning when your area is going to be affected a tremor with (shaking) severity larger than 4. I had, I think, about one minute warning. All the tremors I had experienced until that day were under 3 minus. This time, I experienced 5 plus.

However, as far as I am concerend it was a very strange one indeed. All those quakes I had experienced were of short duration, sometime a fraction of a second and were all kicks, impulses lasting a few seconds at the most.

This one was totally different. It was not a very violent tremor, perhaps it was, but I did not feel ferociously violent elements in it. Instead, the ground rolled a great deal, not up and down, but sideways, and lasting for 5 mininutes. It seemed not ending at all.

My guess now is that all those higher frequency tremors failed to reach my area. I was standing by the side of my car and I did see it shake violently side to side and sometimes up and down.

Now, tsunami, it is a Japanese word, meaning narrow bay tidal waves. The areas most affected by the tsunami were protected against severe tsunamis. This is because historically these areas were frequently devastated by tsunamis. There was one town which was famous for its protective barriers.

Many overseas observers had visited this town in order to plan for their own barriers. This town had two barriers in pararell, each reaching to the height of 10 m. However, they did not work at all as the actual tide height easily exceeded 20m, wiping out the whole town.

You could have planned for 20m waves or more, but there is this cost issue.

Now my serious thought about evacuation. Normally, they suppluy blanckets and they usually arrive too late, say 5,6 days after the shake and that was the case this time. So, what people did was to rip off school and gym curtains to wrap themselves (no water, no heating, no gas, no electricity, no food and snowing outside with temp down to minus 10 C, of course).

I am now convinced that sleeping bags should be supplied, because with blanckets cold air still sneaks in.

Regulated power cust are imposed now and I went out to buy battery-powered fluorescent lamps, but they were all sold out. So, I had to buy Coleman's buthane lamps, which turned out to be rather good. All the rooms in my house are (electricity) air-conditined and the living room has an additional gas heating system.

As it turned out this gas heating system did not work when power is down. Kitchen gas system does work. My wife was just recently talking about changing our kichen heating to induction heating and I am glad that we did not do that. For a start, it does provide some heat and for that matter Coleman's also provide some heating. That is good, because under this controlled power cuts you lose 7 hours of heating/day (usually 3.5 hours, but double that when it is cold and that is exactly when you need heating!).

About nuclear reactors, I am glad that hydrogen explosions took place. If they did not happen there is no easy way to pour water into those pools. This shows that you need to prepare for even unimaginable situations when trying to use nuclear reactors.

Thanking once again for your concern and help.

Pandaneko
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elakdawalla
post Mar 19 2011, 08:27 PM
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Pandaneko, I'm glad to hear from you that you were far from the devastated areas. Thank you for your account, and best wishes for your country's rapid recovery.

QUOTE (pandaneko @ Mar 19 2011, 05:00 AM) *
This one was totally different. It was not a very violent tremor, perhaps it was, but I did not feel ferociously violent elements in it. Instead, the ground rolled a great deal, not up and down, but sideways, and lasting for 5 mininutes. It seemed not ending at all.


This is my experience of large but distant earthquakes too, though yours lasted far longer than any I've experienced. Last year there was a biggish quake in northern Mexico, Mag 7.2 about 400 km away from Los Angeles. At my house it felt like a few rolling ocean waves passing by -- slooow up, sloooow down, up and down a couple of times, each "roller" lasting several seconds. I think you are right about the high-frequency waves damping quickly, while the low-frequency ones travel farther; also, the high-frequency waves will be "noisy" and tend to cancel each other while the low-frequency ones will be more coherent. Here is an animation made from GPS station data where you can see the up and down motion of the waves radiating out from the earthquake source.


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eoincampbell
post Mar 20 2011, 06:57 PM
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I think Pandaneko exemplifies the Japanese sprit!
You're in our thoughts with the recovery effort.


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pandaneko
post Mar 23 2011, 03:15 PM
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QUOTE (eoincampbell @ Mar 21 2011, 03:57 AM) *
I think Pandaneko exemplifies the Japanese sprit!
You're in our thoughts with the recovery effort.


Thanks, and I think I will be reporting on this more as time goes on. Right now, my biggest concern is the regulated power cuts. In between them, I need to gather info on next cuts and radiation. My responses will be slow and minimum, for the time being. I think that this regulated power custs will last for the next 2 years.

One piece of good news is that yesterday (22 March) a dolphin was found struggling in a rice paddy field filled with sea water (as the area had sunk by 1.2m) in Sendai area, 2 km inland. (To me, it is like a n elephant found stranded on a tree after a tsunami!) Despite severe food shortage there they did not eat it and it was safely released back into the Paciffic.

It is good to see on TV the flight deck of Ronald Regan (US carrier off the coast of Sendai) piling up with nappies and waters and all other supplies. My salute goes to US armies, air, sea and ground. Most grateful.

Pandaneko

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tasp
post Jun 8 2011, 12:14 AM
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Any regulars or viewers here that are or will be affected by the current Missouri River flooding emergency please know you're in my thoughts.

My house will not be inundated by flood waters, but my area will have disruptions in internet, electricity, transportation, and cell and land line phone service.
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nprev
post Jun 8 2011, 02:11 AM
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Oh, crap. sad.gif Good luck, Tasp.

For some reason this hasn't been on the media screen much, though it definitely should be.


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tasp
post Jun 8 2011, 03:39 AM
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Local media coverage will expand to national when the peak water arrives in several days. The duration of this flood will also be unusually long.
I have been studying the Army Corp of Engineers inundation maps. Amazing (to me at least) at the accuracy they have for the location elevations. Were space based technologies used to scan this area? They have noted local 'mudholes' and slopes all but unnoticeable from my local perspective.

Also, it seems the snowfall on Enceladus was more accurately characterized last year than that which fell in Montana . . . . .
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nprev
post Aug 26 2011, 03:08 AM
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Just a note to encourage good wishes for our UMSF friends--and everyone else--on the US East Coast who may be affected by Hurricane Irene.

Juramike is in NC--the state most likely to bear the brunt of the storm--but thankfully well inland. That doesn't exempt him from torrential rains, though.

Hang tight, man, and hope this is a non-event after all is said & done.


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PDP8E
post Dec 2 2011, 06:02 PM
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To all the UMSFers on the west coast, AZ, UT, and others affected:

Hope all of you are well after the wicked winds in the west.


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djellison
post Dec 2 2011, 06:49 PM
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JPL's weatherstation reported a peak wind of only 65mph - elsewhere in Pasadena I've heard reports of 90mph+ Thursday from about midnight till 4am was terrifying.

Had a tree down infront of my house - had to axe my way to work yesterday. Lots of roof shingles down. Pasadena is a mess - hundreds of downed trees, several hundred homes damaged - I've seen half a dozen crushed cars. But - no reports of serious injury so far.
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nprev
post Dec 3 2011, 12:21 AM
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Wow. blink.gif The hillside really took the brunt of it, apparently.

I was traveling so missed most of it; Kay said downtown LA wasn't bad (all those buildings.) However, I will say that was the bumpiest damn flight I've been on in years (flew to San Jose); NOBODY was allowed out of their seats, and rightfully so.


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Syrinx
post Dec 3 2011, 04:06 PM
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My fence was felled last night here in San Jose. Last night and this morning seem to have the worst winds so far in my area.

Unfortunately I have a flight to Vegas this morning sad.gif. I see the same flight before mine departed on time but arrived late.
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brellis
post Dec 5 2011, 09:10 PM
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Wow! What a serious wind storm! A giant oak tree came down outside my studio in South Pasadena, CA. I had been in its path minutes prior to it coming down. Thankfully, no injuries, just a lot of sore muscles from chopping it up and clearing the debris.
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Floyd
post Oct 29 2012, 07:28 PM
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A little wet and windy here in Boston and other parts of the east coast. Power out for two hours, but back on---so I can visit UMSF smile.gif


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Phil Stooke
post Oct 30 2012, 01:12 PM
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We lost power (at home, not at the University) last night for a few hours - London Ontario was at the outer edge of the storm. Much worse further east.

Phil



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