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President's Biannual Press Conference Thread
| Main | Meanwhile, Heavy Rains Call Major Floods In North/Central New Jersey
March 11, 2011

Tsunami Now Hitting Crescent City, California

Boats and homes along the shore have been destroyed. Reports are that most (or all) were evacuated out first. Update: Reports that four people were swept out to sea by the tsunami.

Meanwhile, "slightly radioactive vapor" may be released at that Japanese nuclear plant to reduce the pressure building in the pipes. The pressure (and heat) have to be released to prevent a core meltdown.

The US is rushing coolant to the plant. I'm not really sure why the Japanese wouldn't already have as much of this as needed at the ready, but we're sending some.

The last I read, 88,000 were missing in the disaster. Even if you assume that 90% of the missing are just waylaid and not dead, that's obviously a catastrophe of deadly dimensions.

Coolant? Commenters don't think that business about rushing coolant to Japan is accurate, since the coolant, they say, is just highly pure water.

It was mentioned of FoxNews. Maybe they have the details wrong.

Huh? A commenter writes that the earthquake was so powerful it shifted the earth's axis by 10 inches/25 cm.

Pictures of the Disaster: Awful.

The video is arresting because water and debris is slowly rushing into huge areas of land. Because our eyes are not used to seeing things this big, it baffles the eye -- we do not have a sense of scale which would make sense of this disaster. For example, watching the debris move across farmland, it looked sort of like water from a leaky sink moving across the floor, except swept up in that water were cars and what, on second inspection, appeared to be pieces of houses' walls and roofs. At first it looked like small bits of debris -- like chunks of cardboard boxes -- but in fact it was chunks of houses.

That gave an idea that the "spill" of water flowing over the farmland was a really about ten feet high (or more), and therefore, while it appeared, in the big picture, to be moving quickly, it must in fact be moving very fast on a human scale.

Did I say pieces of houses? I just had a scale-check again and saw that entire houses are floating in the tsunami water.

The point I'm struggling to make is that this is so large I don't have any scale-references to make sense of it.


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posted by Ace at 01:38 PM

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