These last several days are only the beginning of what I’m certain will be a very trying and difficult time for Japan. Not just economically, but in all facilities such as food, medical assistance, and resource distribution. The magnitude 9.0 earthquake (the largest ever recorded in Japan) seems to have shaken many off balance as the resulting tsunami caught the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) with its pants down in Fukushima.
The tragedy here is not the earthquake itself. Most buildings erected within the last 15 years have been built to very strict standards enabling these buildings to withstand such large earthquakes. The tsunami claimed more than 5,000 lives and 9,000 still missing (as of this blog entry). It has left many more with out homes and basic necessities for life. The real tragedy here is the situation with the TEPCO nuclear reactors and the way that company has handled them. It is gravely unfortunate that it must take an incident such as this to force standards to improve. I, for one, am for clean reusable sources of power. The GE Mark 1 reactors built over 40 years ago have been in desperate need of replacement for some time. But the greedy company chose to protect it’s bottom line rather than invest in the future. Let me point out that I have no hard-facts to support this position. Rather, it’s an observation gathered from all the related news about TEPCO’s nuclear reactors around the country since I have been living in Japan. A company’s shady past does not promise a trustworthy future.
As of today, my only concerns are regarding the radiation levels in Saitama and Tokyo. I have been monitoring the levels and so far, they remain normal. There is currently no need to be alarmed. Aside from radiation, I’m concerned with the inconvenience of the forced rationing of electricity. While I have two functional UPSs to battery power my network at home, I feel it’s more important to to have a power backup for my refrigerator. I don’t want my food to spoil! So, I have purchased another large UPS online. I can only hope that it will arrive this month. Unsurprisingly, it appears that those UPSs that were available as of last week are now sold out.
I don’t glue my eyes to the TV stations as they only focus on the worst hit areas. Tokyo is fine. There is currently no need to escape. This may change as the situation evolves. But I plan to stay. I can deal with the electrical outages and lack of trains.