Although I’ve tried to get the news out on Facebook and Twitter, I thought I would also add a post to my blog because there may be some friends that are reading this blog that aren’t Facebook or Twitter friends. I’d rather saturate with information than under-report and have people worry.
Currently everyone is concerned with ongoing search and rescue operations. Also, there is a real threat at the Fukushima nuclear power plants as well. The event there is already Level 4 (on a scale of 7), and equal to the event in Tokaimura in 1999. Incidently, I was 18 km away from the Tokaimura event, and nearly oblivious to what was happening. Communication has changed a lot since then.
Anyway, to many folks in the US and abroad, distances in Japan are a mystery. I put together a little map to show where Nagoya is relative to Fukushima. Nagoya is about 300 mi SW of Fukushima. In terms of distance, that’s a little longer than Indianapolis to Detroit. In addition, the prevailing winds tend to be to the north and east, so in the event that the incident becomes more severe, the likelihood of a major impact to Nagoya is small.
I’m not trying to be cool, or downplay the seriousness of what is going on. I’m very concerned, more concerned for people in the area though than specifically for me. If this incident escalates, it will be very bad, and I am really hoping the Japanese agencies are being forthright with the information. I hope the concern of “shame” does not trump doing the right thing.
One of my colleagues is leaving the country with his small child and pregnant wife. Some European-based companies are evacuating their personnel. I think the memory of Chernobyl and other accidents is still strong in Europe. I have not been directed to leave, nor do I expect to leave. I am monitoring as best I can, I have my work BlackBerry with me and configured to alert me to every email, and if requested to leave, I will.