A 7.1 Magnitude earthquake hit Japan on the 1 month anniversary of the massive 9.0 magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami. At nearly the same time as millions of Japanese were taking a moment of silence in honor of the 13,000 confirmed dead and some 14,000 still missing, the latest earthquake struck. A tsunami warning was issued, but a short time later was suspended. The area most affected by this latest quake was centered about halfway between Tokyo and Fukushima, site of the crippled nuclear power plant.
Power was lost briefly at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi power plant but electricity was restored to the Number 1, 2, and 3 reactor buildings. In other related news, the government is now ordering that residents living in five particular areas within 20 miles of the plant must evacuate within the next 30 days. One of the cities affected is Minamisoma, whose mayor, Katsunoba Sakurai, made a video appeal for help on You-Tube last week. His city is about 15 miles from the Fukushima nuclear power plant. As such, residents were ordered to remain indoors. But now one month later, the city is running out of food, water and gasoline.
During his 11-minute You-Tube appeal (see below), Mayor Sakurai tells a horrific tale of desperation and lack of outside help, even from Japan′s government. The city was damaged by the earthquake and tsunami, with some 1,800 residents missing. Hardly any supplies have reached them and practically none since the power plant became a serious crisis. During his video, the mayor called upon the international press to sound the alarm and help his city get the relief needed.
Meanwhile, some 40,000 military and police are combing the northeastern region which had been swamped by last month′s tsunami. Among what they are searching in earnest for are caches of money. An estimated $350 Billion Yen is believed to be buried among hundreds of thousands of small, private safes, as many Japanese do not keep their money in banks. So far, tens of millions of Yen have been turned over to police. The U.S. Navy announced today of a marine warning due to a massive debris field floating across the Pacific Ocean. The Navy reports the debris consists of shattered homes, cars and even severed human feet still wearing shoes. Oceanographers estimate that it could take between 1-3 years before the field reaches the West Coast of the United States, and could cover thousands of square miles, making it a major navigation hazard.
Today′s 7.1 magnitude earthquake in Japan comes exactly one month after the devastating 9.0 earthquake and tsunami wreaked havoc in Japan. Recovery efforts are still woefully lacking in Japan for the March 11 event. The Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant did experience a brief loss of power during today′s earthquake. The government in Tokyo has ordered residents within 20 miles of the plant to evacuate in the next 30 days.