I know some people up in sendai that I'm a bit worried about.
What to Do During an Earthquake
What to Do After an Earthquake
11:30 pm JST and I'm still feeling quakes.
Some of the later quakes were als closer to Tokyo compared to the big one.
Edit: I'm from seismically-inactive Pennsylvania and completely not used to this, even after four years. It took me a while to fall asleep the first time since I kept feeling like I was shaking and would jerk awake. Now I don't know if I should try to fall asleep again or what.
Nobody was hurt, fortunately, but I'm really glad this quake wasn't any stronger... I've been through a lot of quakes here, and this is the first time I thought I might be going home in a black bag.
Not sure how to get the word out, but you've gotta start somewhere. :)
I believe most people in a quake get killed or injured by falling debris. You're probably more likely to get injured trying to run out of the building or by having glass or a piece of a building fall on you than you are of having the building collapse.
If you live in a coastal area, after the quake stops, we have now all learned step two: get your ass to high ground in a hurry.
On the main stream media, I'll get a couple of statistics and video, then an empty comment about "loved ones trying to make sense of this senseless tragedy".
On HN, I get the facts, but both broader and deeper, from the geological nature of the quake to the effect on other locales. And I get real, unfiltered perspective from those involved -- without the bogus posturing for the human interest feel.
I don't know why you brought that up, though.
On average however disaster porn is the lowest common denominator.
Do not paint all individuals with the brush created by looking at the average. Just because the big networks seek the maximum number of viewers does not mean every viewer particularly strongly prefers that kind of coverage.
If you have a website, please consider adding a message and link to the Red Cross donation website or the link to the donation page of any other website.
To get it up ASAP, I've used the HelloBar (http://www.hellobar.com) on my site. You can see a working version of it at http://www.webdesigncompany.net but really any way that grabs attention would be a good way.
PS: I'm not associated with the HelloBar product but I've sent them an email requesting that they allow those who want to use their product to participate to get an invite to their beta. Hopefully they'll reply here soon.
If you don't want to setup an account or don't have an invite yet, you could copy/paste the following code:
We've set up the invite code "helpjapan" if you would like to use Hello Bar to encourage aid.
Melvin's working version is a great example to duplicate. Just sign up at http://www.hellobar.com and enter the invite code on the next page.
Pasting Melvin's code is a great alternative as well if you don't want to sign up for an account.
"At this point we strongly recommend holding off on giving to this relief/recovery effort. We believe that money isn’t a cure-all, and that there can be such a thing as an 'overfunded' relief effort even in a devastating disaster. We don’t know yet whether that is the case with Japan, but we believe that the next few days will bring valuable information about it (and we will be providing updates in this space). We also believe that waiting a few days will not diminish the impact of your donations."
I am also going to ask some of the speakers at SXSW to share the "helpjapan" invite key at their talks.
I updated the code to a Hello Bar we control in case there are scaling issues:
<noscript>Help The Victims of the 8.9 Earthquake in Japan by Spreading Awareness and Aid. Visit http://goo.gl/wjZQz to donate.
It's just outside of the "tsunami zone" in Waikiki, so I know my dad will probably be working until the police make him evacuate. He did that on the last tsunami warning, and Vit's was pretty much the only restaurant open for several blocks. There was a line out of the door, haha.
Update 2: About an hour later, still very moderate waves, although the water has been receding so far that you can see the reefs. No damage reported. Pacific Tsunami Warning Center doesn't expect this to be a major event, although there's still a few hours left in the danger zone.
I'm in Hawaii right now (out of the evacuation zone). They expect the tsunami to hit in about 45 minutes. The tsunami sirens have been going off about every hour, the evacuation zones have been blocked off, and even the police are starting to move to higher ground. Honolulu Harbor is pretty much empty, and it seems like all flights in and out of the airport have been cancelled.
Also, Waikiki Beach is deserted, the hospitals are being inundated with people seeking shelter, and we're all basically holding our breath. The scary thing is that many people don't realize that a tsunami wave is not like a surfing wave; it's basically a solid wall of water, and we're expecting 6-7 feet at the moment.
If you want to follow what's going on, check out #hitsunami on twitter; it's being updated very frequently. Also, there's a live webcam of Waikiki Beach at http://hitsunami.info.
[edit with more information]
Hope your family and the restaurant are safe. I have a lot of friends down there as well. I actually wish that I could be there for this, the last time there was a tsunami warning (almost a year ago exactly) I was out of town on the mainland =/
I remember growing up on the beach at the North Shore though, there were a few times when we had to evacuate in a hurry because the early warning systems were not nearly as good as they are now.
Wait, you want to be in the path of a tsunami? I'll admit being in Wisconsin can be a little boring weather-wise but the lack of natural diasasters is kind of nice. The one tornado warning I've lived through was quite enough for me.
On a side note, twitter and fb feeds are going off right now.
At first, I didn't think to use a phone, since I was sitting at my desk and email worked normally. I could email a colleague in a different building back and forth in neartime while the quakes were happening. About 15 minutes later it occurred to me to try my (naz)iPhone and see if it was useful. It was not--could not make or receive calls, and the test text message I sent did not arrive in a timely manner (took more than 30 minutes).
Just as a data point.
Also, the landline data networks seemed to be up and stable, so Skype worked great. Something to remember next time you're in an emergency and need to get a call out.
The system was a government requirement for events such as yesterday's quake, but I can't confirm all phone disturbances reported were/are due to it.
Technically, it relies on a bitpattern called "accessClasssNBarred".
Also, it is much cheaper to provide enough cable than radio transceivers. Thus mobile networks nearly always run close to full capacity... ever had "network busy" on your phone when dialing in a downtown? So they are easily overwhelmed in emergencies. With landline, in contrast, you always have the line, so it is mostly a matter of installing big enough BX station.
Luckily, it seemed to be a long, hard earthquake rather than a short hard earthquake, which means that buildings are able to withstand the shaking better. The shaking went on for about 3 minutes here, and there were some after shocks that lasted for about a minute.
The Great Hanshin Earthquake was only a 7.2, and it was much more destructive.
PGV (peak ground velocity) is a more accurate way to estimate the strain put on infrastructure.
This shakemap shows the preliminary recordings: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/shakemap/global/shake...
The energy release of an earthquake, which closely correlates to its destructive power, scales with the 3⁄2 power of the shaking amplitude. Thus, a difference in magnitude of 1.0 is equivalent to a factor of 31.6 ( = (101.0)(3 / 2)) in the energy released; a difference in magnitude of 2.0 is equivalent to a factor of 1000 ( = (102.0)(3 / 2) ) in the energy released.
Larger earthquakes have more low-frequency energy, so they go further.
There's no simple equation, they just use regression to fit the attenuation as a factor of 1/r, 1/r^2 (...), and for magnitude, and for frequency.
You can start here: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/hazards/about/attenuation.php
However earthquakes may be "flat", in which case it's by r (i.e. r^1). It's probably somewhere in between those.
Unless you also expect a linear attenuation, due to energy loss through the bedrock.
Google's response. Seriously cool.
Can this be accurate? It reiterated what I heard on the news regarding passenger trains missing due to the Tsunami - but 6MM???
EDIT: Looks like wiki-trolling...
The official death toll stood at 137, with 539 injured and 351 missing, according to Kyodo, citing police, but that death toll seemed almost certain to rise -- from 200 to 300 bodies have been found in the coastal city of Sendai alone, Kyodo reported. It said the death toll is likely to surpass 1,000.
I was fine during the quake itself and now I'm having an attack of the nerves; it still feels like the ground is moving and I can't stop eating, heh.
Malls and grocery stores are closed, so the local convenience stores are being stripped of absolutely everything.
An interesting anecdote: the only provider that ISN'T forwarding/storing my messages properly is Softbank. It worried me until I noticed, but all e-mails I'm trying to send to friends with Softbank phones are just bouncing.
Let's hope this does not get any worse than it is right now.
That's good news.
hope everything will be okay at the Fukushima Daiichi plant. Another blow to the public's perception of nuclear energy. :(
Edit: It looks like the reactor had a coolant pump failure. The loops are intact. There is time to do something about this. The water has to boil off before anything really bad starts happening. At this point they would be concerned with saving the reactor from damage. Declaring a nuclear emergency is still a good idea. This is dangerous but not anywhere near three mile island. They know what's happening inside the reactor and can handle things accordingly.
and they are still working apparently
"At 11:01 pm we just had a 4.6 earthquake on the big island"
There's also increased seismic activity on some of the volcanoes in the Pacific Northwest (far left link on each row shows latest activity):
I'm not a seismologist so I have no idea if that's as gnarly as it looks.
The destruction is terrible (http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xhj2ge_violent-seisme-d-une...)
I cannot explain in written how sorry I feel for the people living in the area.
I think soon it's hitting Hawaii. Let's hope it'll end as well as in Taiwan.
My friends in Osaka (San Fran) felt it.
I live in Ogaki (Kansas). There was a mild panic in the mall, and our trains stopped for a few minutes.
Folks in Tokyo are largely shaken but not terribly affected (Boston/DC ish).
Miyagi/etc (Maine-ish) got a wee bit whacked by a tsunami. They had a few minutes of warning. Reports will come in for a few hours, but we're really good at dealing with this.
Video: No Tsunamis. Clear water
Announcer: 6 Meter Tsunami Warning
American News: 10 METER TSUNAMIS!!!! BWAAAA!!!!
It took the US news (nytimes.com) at least 20 minutes to have anything up, but twitter and facebook exploded instantly.
I want mass media to diligently collect all the information they can get and I know that that takes longer than just sending a tweet. Whether the New York Times writes about the event five minutes or an hour after it happens doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things.
This used to be a huge problem for me, sine I would be constantly out-of-touch. But nowadays, I find that Twitter/Facebook tend to keep me up to date on anything that's really big.
It's really sad to wake up and find that it has happened again.
Some tags to follow:
A massive 8.8 magnitude quake hit the northeast coast of Japan on Friday, shaking buildings in the capital Tokyo
Why would you talk about the earthquake in Tokyo, when it happened in Miyagi? Tokyo only got hit with a 3 or 4. [EDIT: updated to 5 JMS. Tokyo got hit pretty hard too]
The actual earthquake was around 240 miles away. That's the same distance from New York to Boston.
Also, Al Jazeera is reporting 4+ million homes are without power in Tokyo.
Or direct 256k: mms://nhk-world.gekimedia.net/nhkw-highm
They have revised the earthquake to 8.4 as of 11:08PM PST.
watching the 3-meter tsunami roll over land is surreal
"The March 11 earthquake was preceded by a series of large foreshocks over the previous two days, beginning on March 9th with an M 7.2 event approximately 40 km from the March 11 earthquake, and continuing with a further 3 earthquakes greater than M 6 on the same day."
Al Jazeera has good video:
Seems like this happened during the day but watching the news made me think about disasters that happen at night. How are people notified to get the hell out of there??
Are you familiar with the term "air raid siren"? The coast is wall-to-wall peppered with squack boxes. About a minute prior to the earthquake there would have been a "Earthquake is imminent -- brace yourself." broadcast and within a minute there would have been a "A tsunami warning is in effect for (here). Go to shelter immediately. Repeat..."
There are a couple levels of alerts they can pull, from "Be careful" to "MOVE NOW." Miyagi just got "MOVE NOW."
Can I tell you my favorite outsourcing story? Apologies for those who've heard it (and yes, this actually happened):
India: We can't log into the test server.
Patrick: Then you didn't set it up right.
India: No, we did, but we get an error message.
Patrick: What error message?
India: We can't read it.
Patrick: sigh Please take a screenshot then.
India: Here you go.
Patrick: Oh, that is just a weather report which correctly reflects the state of the test database. The system is operating normally. Please proceed with your testing of the function you were assigned.
India: Are you sure it isn't an error? It is written in red. And why would you put a weather report on the login screen anyway?
Patrick: Q1) That is because if you ignore it you'll die. Q2) See Q1.
Here is a screenshot of EMG1 and EMG2 both being shown at the same time, it was the first time for me to see more than one shown at the same time in production.
I forget what EMG3 is used for.
No, company policy and common sense would not let me tell you the names of the engineers I had that conversation with. You can read it as "An Employee Of A Japanese Megacorp's Indian Subsidiary" if that makes you feel better. I'm assuming most people understand I do not actually mean everybody in the country.
On CNN the newscaster is repeatedly mentioning how people on the ground are waiting in line to use the pay phone to notify loved ones etc...
I use my phone as an alarm so that's why I just thought it might be helpful if there was a public alert service you can sign up for or even a part of the phone (like emergency 911 always works on a cell phone even if you don't have minutes) that will make it ring, beep or do soemthing stupid to get your attention.
Or a central database and disaster management site where you just register the contact details of your loved ones including yourself. Also a good idea is a general notification for groups.
So say I learnt about it and am in the other end of the world, I would want to leave a beep so shrill that my family gets the hell out and run.
Another easy solution is setting up a reminder service from local trends on twitter+natural language processing+ Bloody loud notification depending on threat levels.
The siren systems are also automated. The signal is relayed by governmental offices.
// Although that was a warning message -- not an emergency one.
If you're on a coastline, here are the tsunami height predictions: http://wcatwc.arh.noaa.gov/models/models.html
Web message at http://wcatwc.arh.noaa.gov/2011/03/11/lhvpd9/06/messagelhvpd...
WEAK51 PAAQ 111037
PUBLIC TSUNAMI MESSAGE NUMBER 6
NWS WEST COAST/ALASKA TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER PALMER AK
237 AM PST FRI MAR 11 2011
THIS MESSAGE KEEPS THE WARNING AND ADVISORY REGIONS
FIXED AND ADDS NEW TSUNAMI OBSERVATIONS. A LINK IS
PROVIDED FOR TSUNAMI AMPLITUDE FORECASTS.
...THE TSUNAMI WARNING CONTINUES IN EFFECT FOR THE COASTAL
AREAS OF CALIFORNIA AND OREGON FROM POINT CONCEPCION
CALIFORNIA TO THE OREGON-WASHINGTON BORDER...
...THE TSUNAMI WARNING CONTINUES IN EFFECT FOR THE COASTAL
AREAS OF ALASKA FROM AMCHITKA PASS ALASKA/125 MILES W OF
ADAK/ TO ATTU ALASKA...
...THE TSUNAMI ADVISORY CONTINUES IN EFFECT FOR THE COASTAL
AREAS OF CALIFORNIA FROM THE CALIFORNIA-MEXICO BORDER TO
POINT CONCEPCION CALIFORNIA...
...THE TSUNAMI ADVISORY CONTINUES IN EFFECT FOR THE COASTAL
AREAS OF WASHINGTON - BRITISH COLUMBIA AND ALASKA FROM THE
OREGON-WASHINGTON BORDER TO AMCHITKA PASS ALASKA/125 MILES
W OF ADAK/...
A TSUNAMI WARNING MEANS... ALL COASTAL RESIDENTS IN THE WARNING
AREA WHO ARE NEAR THE BEACH OR IN LOW-LYING REGIONS SHOULD MOVE
IMMEDIATELY INLAND TO HIGHER GROUND AND AWAY FROM ALL HARBORS AND
INLETS INCLUDING THOSE SHELTERED DIRECTLY FROM THE SEA. THOSE
FEELING THE EARTH SHAKE... SEEING UNUSUAL WAVE ACTION... OR THE
WATER LEVEL RISING OR RECEDING MAY HAVE ONLY A FEW MINUTES BEFORE
THE TSUNAMI ARRIVAL AND SHOULD MOVE IMMEDIATELY. HOMES AND
SMALL BUILDINGS ARE NOT DESIGNED TO WITHSTAND TSUNAMI IMPACTS.
DO NOT STAY IN THESE STRUCTURES.
ALL RESIDENTS WITHIN THE WARNED AREA SHOULD BE ALERT FOR
INSTRUCTIONS BROADCAST FROM THEIR LOCAL CIVIL AUTHORITIES.
A TSUNAMI HAS BEEN RECORDED.
A TSUNAMI ADVISORY MEANS THAT A TSUNAMI CAPABLE OF PRODUCING
STRONG CURRENTS OR WAVES DANGEROUS TO PERSONS IN OR VERY NEAR
THE WATER IS EXPECTED. SIGNIFICANT WIDESPREAD INUNDATION
IS NOT EXPECTED FOR AREAS UNDER AN ADVISORY. CURRENTS
MAY BE HAZARDOUS TO SWIMMERS... BOATS... AND COASTAL
STRUCTURES AND MAY CONTINUE FOR SEVERAL HOURS AFTER THE
INITIAL WAVE ARRIVAL.
AT 946 PM PACIFIC STANDARD TIME ON MARCH 10 AN EARTHQUAKE WITH
PRELIMINARY MAGNITUDE 8.9 OCCURRED
NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU JAPAN.
THIS EARTHQUAKE HAS GENERATED A TSUNAMI WHICH COULD CAUSE DAMAGE
TO REGIONS IN A WARNING OR ADVISORY.
ESTIMATED TSUNAMI ARRIVAL TIMES AND MAPS ALONG WITH SAFETY RULES
AND OTHER INFORMATION CAN BE FOUND ON THE WEB SITE
MEASUREMENTS OR REPORTS OF TSUNAMI ACTIVITY
LOCATION LAT LON TIME AMPL
------------------------ ----- ------ ------- -----------
TOSASHIMIZU JAPAN 32.8N 132.9E 0747UTC 00.9FT/00.27M
TOKAI JAPAN 33.8N 137.6E 0645UTC 00.8FT/00.25M
OFUNATO JAPAN 39.0N 141.8E 0605UTC 10.8FT/03.29M
HANASAKI JAPAN 43.3N 145.6E 0643UTC 09.3FT/02.82M
BOSO JAPAN 34.8N 140.8E 0609UTC 02.6FT/00.78M
MINAMITORISHIMA JAPAN 24.3N 154.0E 0747UTC 01.5FT/00.45M
NAHA JAPAN 26.2N 127.7E 0902UTC 00.7FT/00.20M
SAIPAN USA 15.2N 145.7E 0901UTC 02.6FT/00.79M
WAKE IS. USA 19.3N 166.6E 0918UTC 01.6FT/00.50M
SHEMYA, ALASKA 52.7N 174.1E 1028UTC 01.3FT/00.43M
TSUNAMI AMPLITUDES ARE EXPECTED TO PEAK TWO TO THREE HOURS AFTER
INITIAL ARRIVAL ALONG THE NORTH AMERICAN COAST.
FORECAST TSUNAMI AMPLITUDES ARE AVAILABLE ON THE WCATWC WEB SITE
TSUNAMIS CAN BE DANGEROUS WAVES THAT ARE NOT SURVIVABLE. WAVE
HEIGHTS ARE AMPLIFIED BY IRREGULAR SHORELINE AND ARE DIFFICULT TO
FORECAST. TSUNAMIS OFTEN APPEAR AS A STRONG SURGE AND MAY BE
PRECEDED BY A RECEDING WATER LEVEL. MARINERS IN WATER DEEPER
THAN 600 FEET SHOULD NOT BE AFFECTED BY A TSUNAMI. WAVE HEIGHTS
WILL INCREASE RAPIDLY AS WATER SHALLOWS. TSUNAMIS ARE A SERIES OF
OCEAN WAVES WHICH CAN BE DANGEROUS FOR SEVERAL HOURS AFTER THE
INITIAL WAVE ARRIVAL. DO NOT RETURN TO EVACUATED AREAS UNTIL AN
ALL CLEAR IS GIVEN BY LOCAL CIVIL AUTHORITIES.
PACIFIC COASTAL REGIONS OUTSIDE CALIFORNIA/ OREGON/ WASHINGTON/
BRITISH COLUMBIA AND ALASKA SHOULD REFER TO THE PACIFIC TSUNAMI
WARNING CENTER MESSAGES FOR INFORMATION ON THIS EVENT AT
THIS MESSAGE WILL BE UPDATED IN 60 MINUTES OR SOONER IF
THE SITUATION WARRANTS. THE TSUNAMI MESSAGE WILL REMAIN
IN EFFECT UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION STAY TUNED
TO NOAA WEATHER RADIO... YOUR LOCAL TV OR RADIO STATIONS... OR SEE
THE WEB SITE WCATWC.ARH.NOAA.GOV.
It's getting serious.
Hope goes out to those more affected, looks insane from what I'm seeing.
So now you know the full extent of the disaster.
And this is how Gojira was created..
"Off-Topic: Most stories about politics, or crime, or sports, unless they're evidence of some interesting new phenomenon. Videos of pratfalls or disasters, or cute animal pictures. If they'd cover it on TV news, it's probably off-topic."
I think it's fair to post stories which are headlines in ~all news simultaneously, even if not "hacker news" -- nuclear explosions, assassinations of G7 leaders, major wars, etc.
And unlike cosmok, I do mind it, because this type of news is slowly turning HN into something it shouldn't be. There's a reason for this particular guideline, and I think we should honor that.
EDIT: I don't mind the downvoting, but please, if you do that, at least post a comment on why you think my comment deserved to be downvoted.
This story violates neither the letter nor the spirit of the rule against "video" of a disaster; aka cheap sensationalism. Rather, much of the thread is the opposite of sensationalism: e.g. patio11 on the average state of Japanese disaster preparedness.
This story has all sorts of HN community relevance, ranging from how are community members experiencing this on the ground to how do otherwise abstract geology papers manifest in real life to hey, wait, my startup is sitting in a prime earthquake zone; how should we prepare?
And, you know, this is a magnitude 8.9 earthquake. They don't happen every year. We can afford a handful of threads on each one. It's nice to try to have an interesting news site, but if this isn't news one has to question the entire concept of news. Which is fair: News is not for everyone, and perhaps news is not for you. It's just not to your taste. Have you tried an exclusive diet of decade-old paper books?
With respect to the kind of exceptions we make every day, I agree with you. But once or twice a year, a lot of people die, and everyone kind of stops what they're doing and pays their respects, wherever they happen to be, whether you're in line at the bank, or on the floor of the senate.
We all happen to be on HN 24 hours a day, so this is where we all stop and take notice.
If your downvoters think the same way I do, they're downvoting because they don't think right now is a good time to worry about the future of HN, no matter what the guidelines say. This isn't to say your opinion is invalid (it's a perfectly legitimate thing to worry about); it just seems ill-timed in the face of potentially catastrophic disaster, and downvoting is an easy way to express disapproval.
However, the strongest earthquake to hit Japan in three centuries, causing loss of who knows how many lives and how much damage?
This is news worth looking beyond the "hacker" moniker for.
I upvoted you to keep you closer to cosmok's comment.
Edit: I mean this in earnest, we can and should help.
In a scenario like this, who gives a fuck if it's off topic? And for the record, I saw the story here first, so I am thankful for that.
The reason you saw it here first is because somebody posted it here despite what the guidelines say, and you happened to come at the right moment, before you checked other news sites you usually do.
The fact that you saw it here first does not change the fact that the article is, according to guidelines, off-topic.
Oh, and FYI, not posting this article on HN != not having compassion for fellow hackers.
Absolutes are silly.
Also the fact that the post has over 300 points and is comfortably the most talked about thing within the community is proof enough that topics like this should be allowed to remain within HN
It's clear emotions are running a bit high in this part of the comments.