Home > Earthquake > TSUNAMI WARNING: Monster earthquake hits Japan

TSUNAMI WARNING: Monster earthquake hits Japan

The Humboldt Coast now under a Tsunami warning. More info from NOAA.

First waves are expected at 7:20 am.

The initial quake hit near Honshu, Japan and measured as a whopping 8.9. Aftershocks have ranged from 6.8 to over 7.

  1. Big Al
    March 11, 2011 at 12:07 am

  2. Big Al
    March 11, 2011 at 12:15 am

    sorry but this is just too amazing not to share

  3. March 11, 2011 at 12:19 am

    That’s terrifying tsunami footage. Burning debris floating in a sea of mud as it wipes out the landscape.

  4. Plain Jane
    March 11, 2011 at 12:22 am

    MSNBC has a video of the debris filled tsunami carrying a burning house. Cars driving over bridges with the tsunami flowing over it. Nightmarishly surreal.

  5. Anonymous
    March 11, 2011 at 12:28 am

    drop, cover hold, count to 20, one thousand one etc, if it is still shaking (and you’ll know if it is the cascadia event) and you are in the Tsunami hazard zone, head to high ground on foot with your go bag. If you are outside of the Hazard Zone (15 meters) almost every where actually. Remain safe. For distant source events
    like this one go to,
    follow the directions.

  6. Plain Jane
    March 11, 2011 at 12:29 am

    OMG that video that Al linked! People in cars trying to get away with the tsunami coming at the road ahead and behind them.

  7. March 11, 2011 at 12:37 am

    Post updated with similar footage.

  8. Big Al
    March 11, 2011 at 12:42 am

    Kym has an extended version of the same vid, kinda changes your mind about what you think it might be like…

  9. Plain Jane
    March 11, 2011 at 12:50 am

    and blows it at the same time. I never thought about the debris in the wave adding to the destructive power just like the debris in a hurricane.

  10. Anonymous
    March 11, 2011 at 12:54 am

    We are now under a tsunami watch status.

  11. Big Al
    March 11, 2011 at 1:05 am

    wave should be here just before 7:30 am, I will not be going to the jetty to watch…

  12. Anonymous
    March 11, 2011 at 1:05 am

    It’s yet another reminder that atheists are wrong. Godzilla exists, people!

  13. Anonymous
    March 11, 2011 at 1:41 am

    We are now under a tsunami WARNING.

  14. Anonymous
    March 11, 2011 at 1:46 am

    It is supposed to arrive around 7:20. Does anyone know if any areas in Eureka could be affected. On the news they say to call your friends along the water and tell them to go to higher ground.

  15. Anonymous
    March 11, 2011 at 1:48 am

    Link to the information with the arrival time please

  16. ....
  17. Anonymous
  18. Anonymous
    March 11, 2011 at 2:05 am


  19. AJ
    March 11, 2011 at 2:11 am

    1. Go to Weather.gov.

    2. Submit your zip code through the box at upper left.

    3. Click the red link labeled “Tsunami Warning.”

    4. Scroll down until you see a few arrival times. At the moment, Crescent City is listed as 7:23 a.m. You can expect the possibility of a few minutes variance between there and Humboldt Bay.

  20. Anonymous
    March 11, 2011 at 4:52 am
  21. Anonymous
    March 11, 2011 at 4:54 am

    My second post of the information:
    443 AM PST FRI MAR 11 2011





    W OF ADAK/…



  22. Anonymous
    March 11, 2011 at 4:59 am

    A good link for information about the actual earthquake. It includes a link to tsunami information.


  23. Anonymous
    March 11, 2011 at 5:02 am

    Magnitude 8.9
    * Friday, March 11, 2011 at 05:46:23 UTC
    * Friday, March 11, 2011 at 02:46:23 PM at epicenter

    Location: 38.322°N, 142.369°E
    Depth 24.4 km (15.2 miles)
    130 km (80 miles) E of Sendai, Honshu, Japan
    178 km (110 miles) E of Yamagata, Honshu, Japan
    178 km (110 miles) ENE of Fukushima, Honshu, Japan
    373 km (231 miles) NE of TOKYO, Japan

    The 03/11/2011 earthquake (preliminary magnitude 8.9) near the east coast of Honshu, Japan, occurred as a result of thrust faulting on or near the subduction zone interface plate boundary between the Pacific and North America plates.

    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.

  24. Rick Khamsi
    March 11, 2011 at 5:27 am

    Fifteen minutes ago, I received an official recorded message instructing me to stay off the beaches and away from low-lying areas. The estimated time the tsunami will arrive in Eureka is 7:30 a.m. The tsunami alert will continue for ten to twelve hours. An information number was given, 800-360-3605. That is not an emergency number. True emergencies should be reported to 9-1-1, as always.

  25. March 11, 2011 at 5:47 am

    I received an official recorded message…..

    I did, too. Just before 5:30. I also heard the tsunami sirens go off around 4:00ish and figured I’d wake up to news of an earthquake.

    Maybe I should rush down to the North Jetty with my camera to take pictures?

  26. Rick Khamsi
    March 11, 2011 at 5:51 am

    This link helped me decide whether my own home is in a “low-lying area.” I hope it will be helpful to you all, too.


  27. Anonymous
    March 11, 2011 at 6:03 am

    The “Richter Scale” is not commonly used anymore, and especially not for large magnitude earthquakes. For earthquakes of this size a “moment” magnitude is used.

  28. Mark Lovelace
    March 11, 2011 at 6:06 am

    11 March 2011

    Residents of Humboldt County, California, are waking up this morning to a tsunami warning which has been issued for coastal areas of California due to a strong earthquake that occurred at about 9:46 p.m. last night near the east coast of Honshu Island, Japan. While our thoughts and prayers go out to the people of Japan, our immediate concern is protecting the coastal residents of our community.

    A tsunami warning means that all coastal residents in the warning area who are near the beach or in low-lying areas should move immediately inland to higher ground and away from all harbors and inlets, including those sheltered directly from the sea. At this time, warning sirens are being activated in coastal areas of Humboldt County to notify residents of the strong possibility of tsunami waves.

    Law enforcement is advising residents to go to higher ground until wave action subsides, which may be as long as 12 hours after the first wave. Residents are reminded that the first wave of a tsunami event will likely not be the strongest. Residents should listen to local media or NOAA weather radio for updates.

    The Humboldt County Emergency Operations Center was activated at approximately 1:00 a.m. A Joint Information Center has been established by the County of Humboldt and the City of Eureka on the first floor of the Humboldt County Courthouse in Eureka. The telephone number for press inquiries is (707) 268-2547.


  29. Anon
    March 11, 2011 at 6:13 am

    Hey Lovelace, other than the Herald there was nothing when I went to look for info. So wise up about “checking with local media for information”. What a joke. Our media in this area sucks. As much as H is a hand wringing liberal hack that ignores anything that doesn’t fit his position, (ie recent calls for the death of conservatives in WI after his whining over the SP crosshairs, at least this place had information.

  30. Mark Lovelace
    March 11, 2011 at 6:29 am

    The press release was sent out to all media outlets. I’ve been in touch with the Times-Standard and they are trying to get the information posted to their site.

  31. March 11, 2011 at 6:30 am

    Turn on KHUM.

  32. March 11, 2011 at 6:32 am

    Tsunami sirens going off. Police evacuating Arcata bottoms.

  33. Anon
    March 11, 2011 at 6:35 am

    Trying Lovelace? Pull your head out. How does a little guy like H get things like this out in ten minutes after all the phones rang at 5 in the morning and the TS and local tv and radio can’t? You are the big cheese around here do your job. Or at least start funding the Herald at least they try. (H I am in a pocket and don’t get KHUM well).

  34. Anonymous
    March 11, 2011 at 6:42 am

    I don’t agree with the anger of 635. But, the reason Heraldo has the info is people know to come here and then the readers start posting. I made the posts at 450-5am. The strength of this type of media is the vast number of readers and their ability to combine many sources of information into one page.

  35. March 11, 2011 at 6:42 am

    Thanks, Mark, for the information.

    The T-S has is putting out updates on Twitter. 6:35 obviously has access to new media so tune in and chill out.

  36. March 11, 2011 at 6:48 am

    All Eureka City Schools are closed. Several charter schools are closed.

  37. Anonymous
    March 11, 2011 at 6:53 am

    CR is closed.
    Freshwater school is closed.
    NorthCoast Prep. Academy is closed.

    Samoa Bridge is closed.

    March 11, 2011 at 6:54 am

    When I mentioned the “economic” Tsunami affect the other day, little did I know that Japan would be included too.

    On a side note: let us see how well the Tsunami Signs will work that were politicized a couple years back by county officials. Kinda like speed limit signs – not really that effective.

    Jeffrey Lytle
    McKinleyville – 5th District

  39. March 11, 2011 at 6:54 am

    KHUM reports Samoa Bridge is closed.

    March 11, 2011 at 6:58 am

    Big Al – Cool shot of a bird over halfway through video just gliding over the waves.

    Earth is saying Frack the over-populated planet!


    March 11, 2011 at 6:59 am


    Is downtown portions of Arcata at risk nearer to Highway 255?


  42. March 11, 2011 at 7:03 am

    Here’s a tsunami inundation map.

    March 11, 2011 at 7:05 am

    Ok loserville ranters over nothingnesses – Mark Lovelace at least communicates on the blogs when he feels it a publiuc safety concern…..So, which other elected officials do the same???

    Besides, Mark aint a CEO of Times-Standard, nor an employee, he just appears to be reciting information – nothing wrong there is there?

    Thanks Mark for the communication – at least somebody is!

    Tsunami – Must explain all the planes flying and causing VERY LOW flight pattern nuisances over areas where no county “FLIGHT” right-of-way exists. Shoot those planes down so people can sleep, darn it, lola.


  44. March 11, 2011 at 7:07 am


  45. Anonymous
    March 11, 2011 at 7:07 am

    I think this was posted above. But this Hum Co. GIS will show you the tsunami zones. Click the box for tsunami and then zoom into the area of interest.

    Yes, the 255 area is in the tsunami zone.


  46. AJ
    March 11, 2011 at 7:10 am

    McKinleyville Union School District schools are closed today to assure the safety of families and staff traveling to and from the schools (automated phone call).

  47. March 11, 2011 at 7:15 am

    Power outages in Eureka. Not sure the reason.

  48. Sam Spade
    March 11, 2011 at 7:15 am

    Cool shot of a bird over halfway through video just gliding over the waves.

    Earth is saying Frack the over-populated planet!


    ¨Cool shot¨? Please. Let´s cool the rippage for just a moment. We can chat about over-population very soon in the future. But let us cool our guns today. Please and Thank you.

  49. March 11, 2011 at 7:17 am

    Jacoby Creek and Fieldbrook schools open. Arcata, Eureka, CR closed.

  50. High Finance
    March 11, 2011 at 7:19 am

    Local media gets a bad rap sometimes.

    KINS radio has been live since 5.30am with Tsunami info as well as school closing & etc.

  51. March 11, 2011 at 7:20 am

    101 south of Crescent City closed.

  52. AJ
    March 11, 2011 at 7:26 am

    The HSU website headline reads, “Coastline Evacuations Underway; HSU Campus is Open for Classes.” Wow, total disconnect. So what if you have to travel along the bay to get here, or so what if you were woken at 4 a.m. with a call telling you to evacuate to higher ground. Get to class!

  53. March 11, 2011 at 7:27 am

    I was just reading something in the Sacramento Bee that said the tsunami would be hitting the west coast starting from the north and heading south. The opposite of what I would have expected.

  54. March 11, 2011 at 7:29 am

    AJ, same with Jacoby Creek. They say “be careful” if you have to travel through a tsunami zone. Gee, thanks!

  55. AJ
    March 11, 2011 at 7:29 am

    Tsunami warning on our highway signs right now.

  56. March 11, 2011 at 7:30 am

    Humboldt County courthouse is open. If you have a court date, it’s still on.

  57. March 11, 2011 at 7:30 am

    So what if you have to travel along the bay to get here,….

    I’ve been wondering what the 101 corridor between Arcata and Eureka looks like now. Is it business as usual? If I wasn’t so lazy I would have been tempted to go take a look.

    I did realize, though, I’m actually being affected by all this. My first stop for work today was Happy Dog Kennels, on Jacobs Avenue right down on the bay. I guess I’ll pass on that one for now.

  58. March 11, 2011 at 7:30 am

    Jacoby Creek school is now closed. Police are evacuating the area.

  59. AJ
    March 11, 2011 at 7:33 am

    I’d like to know more about the 4 a.m. calls. My son’s speech therapist received one.

  60. March 11, 2011 at 7:34 am

    Aren’t there live webcams at Humboldt Bay? Link anyone?

  61. Hiding Out
    March 11, 2011 at 7:34 am


    PGE has taken coastal powerplants offline

  62. March 11, 2011 at 7:35 am

    Thanks, that explains it.

  63. Anon
    March 11, 2011 at 7:37 am

    Breaking: Only Hawaii damage was to office of birth records. All destroyed

  64. March 11, 2011 at 7:37 am

    I just went outside with my binoculars to Trinity Street, on the north side of my house. From there you can see a bit of the bay. I watched for a few minutes and didn’t see anything happening but a plane flying low over the bay. It’s still early, though.

    I didn’t realize just how much I could see of the bay from there. First time I looked with binoculars.

  65. March 11, 2011 at 7:39 am

    The first waves will not be the highest.

  66. March 11, 2011 at 7:40 am

    I would think a speech therapist would be able to convey a message?

  67. March 11, 2011 at 7:40 am

    PG&E tweet: Because the plant is shut down, we are requesting Humboldt County customers reduce energy usage as much as possible.

  68. AJ
    March 11, 2011 at 7:40 am

    The Trinidad Pier cam is inaccessible, not sure if it’s being hammered by web traffic, or is simply an old link.

  69. March 11, 2011 at 7:52 am

    Once again the local blogs become the de facto source for information (and rumors)
    Stay dry everyone.
    I must say this is a great drill for the early-warning system. Berry summit was packed with cars this morning. Didn’t really expect that.
    Every time something big happens, the local newspapers become more and more irrelevant. It’s not fair of course, but that’s the way it is.

  70. Mitch
    March 11, 2011 at 7:55 am

    Fred 7:27,


  71. March 11, 2011 at 7:55 am

    The Trinidad Pier cam is inaccessible….

    I haven’t been able to get to that site in quite some time. I think they took it down.

  72. March 11, 2011 at 7:56 am

    Oh. Just took another look at the bay. According to Google Earth my view is of the Fairhaven area. Still nothing unusual I could see but it’s still early.

  73. Cristina Bauss
    March 11, 2011 at 8:00 am

    I’d like to thank Mark Lovelace for posting the press release on this blog, and everyone else for the links to videos, USGS, etc. As for “problems” with local media… if you think the T-S is underfunded and not doing its job quickly enough, it’s not Mr. Lovelace’s problem. Take it up with Dean Singleton. Not that he’ll give a rat’s ass.

  74. SL
    March 11, 2011 at 8:04 am

    Do you suppose Redwood Acres Fair Grounds is high enough in Eureka? I’m debating with my parents whether we should head for higher ground or stay here at home.

  75. March 11, 2011 at 8:05 am

    Redwood Acres should be safe.

  76. Anon
    March 11, 2011 at 8:07 am

    I am sure I saw Virginia Bass down at the bay trying to evacuate the homeless to higher ground this morning.

  77. March 11, 2011 at 8:12 am

    Could be 15 minutes to an hour between wave surges, says Lori Dengler on KHUM.

  78. March 11, 2011 at 8:16 am

    Do you suppose Redwood Acres Fair Grounds is high enough in Eureka?.

    I would think you’ll be fine as long as you’re not down at sea level and close to the bay. I see Greg and Carol left their house in Loleta. I’m not that familiar with Loleta but it seems to me it’s probably up high enough and far enough inland to be safe enough, although maybe the Eel River might swell up and be a threat to homes right near the river.

  79. David Bazard
    March 11, 2011 at 8:17 am

    SL 8:04.
    Unless you are in a low-lying area (near the bay, on the spit) you are safe and should stay where you are. I’m not sure where your parent live, but moving to Redwood Acres is not recommended unless you are within a Tsunami Zone such as areas along lower Myrtle/Old Arcata. You can look at the maps posted by Heraldo or my post of the Humboldt GIS (link below). Click the magnifying glass then click on the image to zoom in. Click the tsunami box to see the zones.


    David Bazard
    CR Geology Professor

    By the way I posted the info at 454am and I agree with Richard (MOVIEDAD) that the blogs are the best sources in these situations. KHUM also does a good job.

  80. Anonymous
    March 11, 2011 at 8:21 am

    I understand why HSU is open. In the past, when a waterline has broken due to construction activity, the school immediately closed due to fire risk (the difficulty of putting out any fire due to lack of water).

    But today, if there’s a fire, the tsunami will put it out! Come on kids, come to school today. And remember, our parking spaces are severely limited, so please walk or ride your bike along our roadways that are near sea level. Thanks a bunch!

  81. Anonymous
    March 11, 2011 at 8:27 am

    I know this sounds stupid but…

    I am supposed to go to Target this morning to start a merchandising job. Are they open? I am coming from Fortuna. Is it a good idea to hit the road and try and make it in?

  82. bum
    March 11, 2011 at 8:28 am

    are betty chins showers still open?

  83. March 11, 2011 at 8:30 am

    Is it a good idea to hit the road and try and make it in?.

    I’d say no. Wait a few hours to see what happens. Call Target on the phone and tell them your situation, assuming they’re open.

    I’m wondering if Costco is open? They’re in a bad spot for this sort of thing.

  84. David Bazard
    March 11, 2011 at 8:30 am

    The following sites give tsunami information. The first provides the tides at the North Spit. Look at the difference between expected and what is observed. The green line shows an uptick of about 2 feet. The second site shows the predicted energy.


  85. David Bazard
    March 11, 2011 at 8:34 am

    To see the North Spit data, you will need to first click on California and then the North Spit. This will give you the water levels for the North Spit

  86. March 11, 2011 at 8:36 am

    Evacuees can go to Redwood Acres.

  87. March 11, 2011 at 8:50 am

    Damage in Santa Cruz and Crescent City reported on ABC.

  88. March 11, 2011 at 8:54 am

    Sheriff Downey declares state of emergency.

  89. Big Al
    March 11, 2011 at 9:03 am

    my sister in Santa Cruz from FB chat
    “oh yeh they are showing the harbor right now its ****ed , boats are sunk etc etc”

  90. March 11, 2011 at 9:06 am

    Just heard report of nuclear power plant in Japan that’s not cooling.

  91. Mitch
    March 11, 2011 at 9:08 am

    What happened in Japan is horrific. But aren’t people hyperventilating just a bit about Humboldt? Go to Target, go to Costco.

  92. March 11, 2011 at 9:15 am

    PG&E: HBGS has now returned to operations and will continue to serve Humboldt County customers without any further rotating outages.

  93. Filibuster
    March 11, 2011 at 9:21 am

    The likely MAXIMUM tsunami heights locally are on the order of 1.7 m (5.5 ft) at Trinidad (source: http://wcatwc.arh.noaa.gov/models/models1.html). Those in the Bay will be less (0.4 m at Eureka, 1.3 m Humboldt Bay).

    So, it’s only if you are below about 12 ft above sea level that there’s any problem. That means the beaches and adjacent low-lying areas.

    In my opinion, school-closing is unnecessary unless students have to pass through significantly low-lying areas near the Bay or ocean to reach them. It’s totally unclear why schools in McKinleyville, all of which are at least 100 ft above sea level, should close.

  94. RT
    March 11, 2011 at 9:29 am

    Arcata High is open, but my daughter just texted me and said hardly anyone’s there.

  95. March 11, 2011 at 9:32 am

    Tsunami end time will be 3:59pm sayeth KHUM.

  96. Eric Kirk
    March 11, 2011 at 9:35 am

    On the Japanese nuclear power plant. Basically, “nothing to see here, move along.”


  97. March 11, 2011 at 9:45 am

    Troy Nicolini of NWS now says tsunami event won’t be considered over until after dark.

  98. tra
    March 11, 2011 at 9:55 am

    The McKinleyville school closings (and others) may be necessary due to too many staff not being able to make it there. While the schools themselves, and most students’ homes, may not be in the tsumani zone, many teachers and other staff live elsewhere and may have had concerns about getting there safely.

    It looks like this will not have a major impact in Humboldt. Still, it’s a “better safe than sorry” situation, so I don’t blame anybody for erring on the side of caution.

  99. Eric Kirk
    March 11, 2011 at 9:57 am

    Is 101 closed anywhere?

  100. March 11, 2011 at 9:58 am

    Yes, north of Orick.

  101. David Bazard
    March 11, 2011 at 9:59 am

    Distant source tsunamis have killed people many hours away from the source. The 1960 Chilean earthquake produced a tsunami that killed people 22 hours later in Japan. Hawaii and Crescent City have had similar situations. In hindsight, people in those areas were frustrated (outraged) that they were not told how bad it would be. A contributing factor to the 1964 Crescent City fatalities was that some residents assumed they knew the size of distant source tsunamis because a smaller one produced by a Chilean earthquake inundated a small portion of CC in 1960.

    Since we don’t know “exactly” how the tsunami will occur or how big it will be, emergency plans error on the side of caution. Many of our schools include students from outside of district. It is irresponsible to suggest that students should decide if it is safe, especially if they have the pressure of assuming class or a test will occur on that day.
    I understand the frustration, but I think it would be harder to explain why a day of shopping at Target or Costco or a day at school was worth the risk. The “expected” wave heights, arrival times, and durations are only estimates. Think of it as a “snow day” and good practice for what to do if we have a local tsunami or a larger one from a distant source.

  102. David Bazard
    March 11, 2011 at 10:08 am

    If you click on California, then on Crescent City at the tide web site below, you can now see that CC is experiencing water levels about 7 feet above the expected tidal variation. The green line.


    Area Cove is at about 4 feet.

  103. Anonymous
    March 11, 2011 at 10:11 am

    I was asking about going to work at Target not because I was “afraid” or “over-reacting,” it was because I was trying to be responsible and stay off the roads. I think it is always best to listen to the authorities and do what they request. Later, if it turns out to be no big deal, then you can go ahead and mock! One of the first things I taught my kids was “better safe than sorry” and I think that is good advice for us all.

    Heraldo, thank you for this blog. I always come here first for the most current information on most things. This blog is a community treasure in times of disaster.

  104. March 11, 2011 at 10:17 am

    “Meanwhile, an administrator at the Tohoku Electric Power Co’s Onagawa
    facility said the process for the cooling reactor is ‘not going as planned’
    adding that ‘nuclear emergency situation’ has been declared.”


  105. Filibuster
    March 11, 2011 at 10:28 am

    Hi Dave — On the NOAA models page cited above, the predicted maximum height for Crescent City is 2.5 m (8 ft) which neatly encompasses the currently observed 7 ft.

    If you take the model height and double it, and stay above that, I believe that gives you a prudent factor of safety.

    At one point I got a cell-phone warning from HSU saying that we should all retreat to an elevation above that of the Arcata Plaza (35 ft). That’s unnecessarily alarmist for a distant tsunami, especially given that the tsunami effects are damped by the entrance to Humboldt Bay, and the Bay itself.

    People need REASONABLE & prident, not alarmist warnings. Otherwise folks will tend to view them as “crying wolf” and will disregard them when it’s really important not to.

  106. Eric Kirk
    March 11, 2011 at 10:30 am

    Better “alarmist” than sorry.

  107. Anonymous
    March 11, 2011 at 10:33 am

    The “authorities” can often be profoundly ignorant, or have a vested interest (a la the Bush administration’s color-coded perpetual terror alerts) in our fear.

    The NOAA scientists do a good job. It’s what the “emergency authorities” do with the information that’s often lacking.

  108. longwind
    March 11, 2011 at 10:36 am

    fyi, here in SoHum I just got a call saying 101 is closed South of Eureka and HSU was evacuated. IT’S NOT TRUE! Right?

    I’m with Filibuster, and I’m going to HSU this afternoon, alarms be damned. Humboldt Bay should be more interesting at high tide . . .

  109. Anonymous
    March 11, 2011 at 10:38 am

    If one always takes the view that it’s better to be safe (i.e. alarmist) than sorry, then no risks ever get taken. Life is about taking risks — preferably calculated risks, based on good information, not mindless reckless ones.

  110. Curley
    March 11, 2011 at 10:40 am

    From what I’ve seen, everyone locally responded quickly and appropriately. Great job emergency responders and planners!

  111. March 11, 2011 at 10:44 am
  112. tra
    March 11, 2011 at 10:47 am

    I was driving up Old Arcata Rd, past Jacoby Creek school at about 7:15 this morning, and dozens of cops — Arcata, County, even HSU cops — were swarming the area, jogging from door to door telling people to evacuate. There was a real sense of urgency in the way they were moving, which was enough to convince me that it was worth it to head to higher ground, at least for a while.

    So I went a little way up Fickle Hill and there were hundreds of folks along the street and out on the street corners, particularly in the spots where you could see the Arcata end of Humboldt Bay and the Arcata Bottoms. I suspect it was the same on other bay-view hillside streets in Arcata and elsewhere — like one big stadium.

    At least from where I was standing, I couldn’t make out signs of any really unusual flooding down in the bottoms or at the edge of the bay. Did see the “tide” coming in and out about every 20 minutes or so, as if it was a speeded-up film of several days of tidal action.

    Talked with some friendly folks, listened to the radio, but there didn’t seem to be any clear information on how long we ought to hang out up there. Well at about 8:45 – 9:00 or so, fairly abruptly, most people started heading back down the hill. I basically went with what the “crowd wisdom” was at that point, figuring that plenty of folks were using their i-phones or blackberries or laptops or talking on the cell phone to somebody who was in front of a computer, and that they had determined that the effects, locally, weren’t really going to be a big deal.

    But then when I got down to a coffeeshop that has internet, it looked like the biggest surges were actually expected to come between about 9am and noon. So I suppose that means that those of us who were up on the hill at 7:30, most of whom decided to go back down around 8:45 or 9:00 — maybe we all jumped the gun a little bit, and in theory we should have stayed up there a little longer?

    I suppose if there had been more dramatic flooding in the Bottoms during the first few sets of waves, more people would have stayed put up there.

    Fortunately it sounds like this particular tsumami isn’t creating very much damage here in Humboldt. But it was kind of an exciting morning, watching everyone scrambling around and then waiting to see if something truly catastrophic was underway.

  113. skippy
    March 11, 2011 at 10:47 am

    Very good updates here, people. Thank you all, the Big H, Mr. Lovelace, Fred, and everyone.

    Our reverse 911 notification call at home worked fine waking us up, and upon hearing the tsunami sirens several miles distant awakening the neighborhood 10 minutes later for the first time, I filled the family in as to what the heck was happening at the crack of dawn.

    Our warning systems and preparedness worked well, as did the updates here. Good job, Humboldt.

  114. Coda 4jr
    March 11, 2011 at 10:48 am

    On the good news front, I was able to snag a same-day appointment at the vet’s because of tsunami cancellations. Yesterday I was told that there was no way the vet could check my pet because of her packed schedule.

    I just called and was given a choice of 4 different appointment times! The receptionist told me that some people weren’t showing up and were not even calling to cancel!

  115. March 11, 2011 at 10:48 am

    If no ones posted this, it’s a pretty neat graphic. You can see that we are in line for some impact

  116. David Bazard
    March 11, 2011 at 10:48 am

    I think part of the issue is who is making the “call”. If you look at the Humboldt GIS of tsunami zones (referenced above) you see the areas north of Samoa Boulevard and east of V St are out of the zones. Most of the vulnerable areas are around the bay and as far inland as Old Arcata Rd when you are near the flood plain and low elevations. So, I can’t vouch for your Arcata Plaza call. The Plaza is out of the tsunami zone; although someone may have just been playing it safe since it’s not far out of the zone.

    These zones are constructed to provide the safest areas for what is considered the worse case; although I wouldn’t risk my life by being 5 feet across the line on the “safe” side. So it’s somewhat of a one size fits all for any tsunami warning (I didn’t make the maps, but this is my understanding).

    It is confusing to release different evacuation procedures for each situation, so a general plan of evacuation is developed. In this way, if one hears there is a tsunami warning, then one knows what to do rather than trying to calculate the exact elevation for the event.
    The difficult part is getting a consistent and reliable message out.

  117. Filibuster
    March 11, 2011 at 10:52 am

    To see what’s going on inside Humboldt Bay, look at the North Spit Tide Gage:


    The green line shows the effects of the tsunami waves on the water level. (This line, the “residual”, is the difference between the actual water level and the tidally predicted water level.)

    The largest residual, at 0842, is 2.73 ft.

    Crescent City’s tide gage shows a maximum of 7.26 ft at 0900. The Crescent City boat harbor amplifies tsunami effects, and so always takes a lot of damage.

  118. Eric Kirk
    March 11, 2011 at 10:53 am

    If one always takes the view that it’s better to be safe (i.e. alarmist) than sorry, then no risks ever get taken. Life is about taking risks — preferably calculated risks, based on good information, not mindless reckless ones.

    I think that given the scale of the potential consequences, that is is prudent to issue the warnings even if the likelihood is very small. Earthquakes on this scale do not occur very often and we don’t fully understand the physics to be able to accurately predict the outcome. And the past consequences for underestimating the chances have been severe. So in weighing the costs of forgoing the beach for a day with death, I think the warnings are justified.

  119. tra
    March 11, 2011 at 10:56 am

    Again, kudos to the cops that I saw doing their thing along Old Arcata Road in the Bayside / Sunny Brae area. As I stated above, they weren’t screwing around… they were really jogging from door to door, with vehicles leapfrogging ahead as they went. They looked both well-organized and dead-serious. It was both reassuring, and at the same time conveyed a sense of urgency.

  120. longwind
    March 11, 2011 at 11:01 am

    tra’s story of Old Arcata Road this morning I think is a great example of prudence, and a fun community picture as well up Fickle Hill. We can’t say the cops overreacted because they just didn’t know what they were reacting to yet. We still don’t entirely.

    And just think, if a quarter-million people hadn’t been killed by the Indonesian tsunami-quake a few years ago, I don’t think those cops would have been scrambled. I agree we’re seeing good government in action, doing the best it can with incomplete information. I’m really glad it may have been, um, over the top.

  121. Anonymous
    March 11, 2011 at 11:02 am

    Foregoing the beach is a good idea — I wouldn’t argue about that. But folks being made alarmed enough that they evacuate from Loleta, or feel like they need to go to Redwood Acres when they don’t live in King Salmon or Fields landing is not.

  122. March 11, 2011 at 11:06 am

    Waves crashed over 101 at Freshwater according to KHUM, but waves have receded.

  123. 69er
    March 11, 2011 at 11:12 am

    Has really been interesting to read all of the contributions here today. An abundance of varying opinions, good information and bad. From my wake up call this morning at 0500 and the sirens afterwards I knew it would be amusing to see what would be happening here. The first time I was involved in one of these,1962, when we tried to evacuate King Salmon and Fields Landing we were unsuccessful, The next time we succeded due to what had happened at Crescent City previously. Haven’t heard but am wondering how it went this time. I also wonder after viewing these posts how many people really pay attention to their surroundings. The tsunami zone signs are posted everywhere but people are still anaware of whether they are out of danger or not. The signs are very clear, you are either entering or leaving the danger zone. One other point that interested me is that the only place to receive local news on television, KIEM had nothing of substance to report this morning. They are an affiliate of NBC and NBC did not even name Eureka or surrounding area on their map of the west coast. My son called me from Redding and he was watching the ABC affiliate station there and said that he was getting a good update of our area. I switched cannels and guess what, we were on the map and a young lady was giving a local update every few minutes. It sure would be good if we could get another station to come back with local news daily. Perhaps the competition would wake up the people at NEWS Channel 3. One more thing to mention that I haven’t seen mentioned yet, businesses have been interupted by all of this. Several businesses on and west of Broadway do not answer their phones, my trash that is always picked up before 0800 is still out front and there is no traffic on Herrcik Ave, the Broadway bypass.

  124. skippy
    March 11, 2011 at 11:17 am

    From Kym Kemp’s site a press release from Office of Emergency Services for your awareness:

    “The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office has enacted VOLUNTARY evacuations for the low lying areas of Humboldt County and recommends residents in those areas move to higher ground and inland. The Humboldt County Office of Emergency Services is advising this is now a declared disaster.

    Redwood Acres has been established as the evacuation center. Areas of concern include the Arcata Bottoms, the Samoa Peninsula, the North and South Spits, the Humboldt Bay lowlands area from Second Street to the bay and from Broadway to the bay, Indian Island and Woodley Island in Eureka, King Salmon, Fields Landing, the Loleta Bottoms, and the Ferndale are west of Dillon and Meridian Roads.

    All City of Eureka, City of Arcata elementary school district, McKinleyville Elementary and Crescent City schools have been closed as well as the following Humboldt County schools: Orick, Freshwater, South Bay, and Garfield. College of the Redwoods is closed as well.

    PG & E has established rolling outages for the next 2 hours to lighten their power load. The first wave hit our coast approximately 0730 hrs. in Shelter Cove with about 3 foot waves. The first wave may not be the only wave nor the highest, and wave action may last as long as 12 hours after the first wave. DO NOT go to “watch” the wave.

    Local law enforcement agencies are reporting significant drawdown in the water level in several coastal areas. Listen to LOCAL TV, radio, and NOAA weather radio for further advisories and instructions. We are also recommending residents with access to a computer go to http://www.humboldt.edu/rctwg/ to see if their location is within the threatened areas.

    Avoid unnecessary travel if you are already within a safe area. California Highway Patrol has closed US101 North of Orick at the 101 bypass, and south of Orick at Cane Road.”

    … thanks, Kym.

  125. A. Nomnomnom
    March 11, 2011 at 11:17 am

    It’s always the same people who bitch about the authorities overreacting (when what they’re really doing is practicing better safe than sorry) who also bitch the loudest when something bad happens and they think they weren’t adequately warned or protected.

    There’s just no pleasing some people. Generally the same people who could care less if anybody else is pleased or not.

  126. A. Nomnomnom
    March 11, 2011 at 11:29 am

    Now reports of homes damaged and a few people dragged out to see in Crescent City. But yeah, we’re over-reacting.

  127. Anonymous
    March 11, 2011 at 11:42 am

    I’d never bitch about not being adequately warned or protected. My safety is my own responsibility. I don’t expect others to figure it out for me. And if I get into trouble due to my own damn foolishness or bad judgment, I don’t expect them to come rescue me. It’s just hard lines for me then. I got myself into the jam, it’s my responsibility to get myself out.

  128. Anon
    March 11, 2011 at 11:43 am

    the loser in all this is this Lovelace character, running around scaring little children. What was he doing up at that hour anyway? Up all night with his liberal friends? Did he even go to bed. Also, what is with this rumor of iodine tablets stored in the secret basement shelter at the Ingomar club. When the radiation gets here we all need to do down there and get in. Bring tools!

  129. March 11, 2011 at 11:51 am

    Waves sweep 4 out to sea in Crescent City as tsunami surges reach west coast

  130. Eric Kirk
    March 11, 2011 at 11:54 am

    the loser in all this is this Lovelace character, running around scaring little children. What was he doing up at that hour anyway? Up all night with his liberal friends? Did he even go to bed. Also, what is with this rumor of iodine tablets stored in the secret basement shelter at the Ingomar club. When the radiation gets here we all need to do down there and get in. Bring tools!

    Are we in Junior High School Anon? That has to be just about the most childish post I’ve read in a while, and that’s saying something.

  131. Curley
    March 11, 2011 at 11:57 am

    Somebody woke up still a little hammered from last night it seems.

  132. March 11, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    Thanks to Mark for doing everything he could to get the word out.

    And luckily, it looks like this was a nice real-life drill. A lot of things went right.

  133. Anon
    March 11, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    Look Erik, I don’t care what the guy is up doing all night with his friends, but don’t wake me up at 5 unless it’s something important.

  134. tra
    March 11, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    Word out of Cresecent City that 4 people were swept out to sea. One confirmed dead, two confirmed survivors, one missing.

    Anyone who thinks these things are a joke…think again.

  135. NAZI Pride in Arcata
    March 11, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    White People Will Survive!

  136. Humboldt Politico
    March 11, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    12:19 – You are a dick.

  137. skippy
    March 11, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    Thank you, Supervisor Mark Lovelace, Eric Kirk(ditto), Rose, Tra, and Humboldt Politico.

    Now back to the important news and worthy contributions…

  138. Anon
    March 11, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    “Anyone who thinks these things are a joke…think again.”

    Ah, you do know the story on this right? The guys who went out on a boat to watch the big waves. Darwin at work.

    We all know how these little lib hand wringers are. He probably got scared and told them to hit the button and wake everyone up. This is the comish who only got through high school right?

  139. skippy
    March 11, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    Kym Kemp just posted an interesting video of the wave surge rolling up Mad River. Nothing overly dramatic, probably either side of an 8-12″ high surge as spectators watch on the nearby McKinleyville cliffs
    you can see here.

  140. tra
    March 11, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    If people went out on a boat despite the warnings, obviously that was unwise, to say the least. But this just proves my point that anyone who thinks these tsunami warnings are a joke…should think twice.

    As far as the voluntary evacuation here in Humboldt, it seems perfectly appropriate and prudent to me. It amazes me that anyone would be annoyed just because they recieved a warning of an event that turned out to be not-that-bad. At the time of the warning, no one could have been sure exactly how bad it might have been. Better to err on the side of safety.

  141. Not A Native
    March 11, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    According to the KIEM website, the Coast Guard is searching for one person in the water. That person and two friends wnet to the beach to take tsunami pics(and probably sell them), the friends got away.

    Also surfers in Santa Cruz tried to take advantage of the waves and went out. Were they crazy or will they now be called daring and bold, selling their stories for $$$? A gambler who bets correctly is a genius, a gambler who bets wrong is a loser. But they may both have been betting on the same thing, taking the same risk.

    As far as being safe or sorry, I’m glad this wasn’t more severe but have doubts about the extent tsunami warning system in most places. If circumstance were to cause a severe tsunami in Eureka, there wouldn’t be enough time to evacuate people. And when there is enough time to evacuate, the threat isn’t large enough to warrant an evacuation. Certainly, Crescent City is especially succeptible and a hairtrigger warning system is appropriate there.

  142. March 11, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    Skippy wrote, Nothing overly dramatic,...

    I thought that was awesome. Nicely done by whoever took the video. Anyone know if anything like that happened on the Eel?

  143. Not A Native
    March 11, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    BTW, the media also reported that some crabbers took their boats out of Crescent City last night to ‘ride out’ the tsunami. In deep water, tsunmai waves are just long swells, not breaking waves. I don’t know what the exact officiaL guidance to boaters was, but taking a (seaworthy)boat out of Crescent City harbor was the safest thing to do to protect it.

  144. Plain Jane
    March 11, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    Poor Japan. They’ve had 20 – 6+ earthquakes since the 8.9 last night. Just can’t imagine how they are coping. You know they, like us, can’t help but fear every one of them is going to be another BIG one.

    Kudos to our safety personnel and local radio stations for keeping us informed and safe, and 3 cheers for Heraldo for providing a real time forum to share information. Waking up to tsunami sirens isn’t my favorite way to start the weekend, but even if it was a false alarm, (which it certainly was not) better completely false alarms than massive loss of life by being too cautious about sounding the alarm. And practice makes perfect.

  145. tra
    March 11, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    NAN, I think a big part of the issue is how far away the triggering event happens. Of course faraway earthquakes can still cause huge tsunamis that cause massive damage even at a great distance from the earthquake that triggered it, but with modern communication at least there’s lots of time to react before the waves reach us, and the only questions are how soon the warnings / evacuation orders are issued, how effectively the evacuation is organized, and whether people heed the warnings / evacuation orders. In this case there was plenty of warning, as the triggering event was many hours away.

    If, on the other hand, the triggering event is just a few miles off our coast, then there just isn’t time for much, if any, warning, much less any effective evacuation. If I remember correctly, tsumani waves travel at hundreds of miles an hour. So a nearby earthquake where the seabed rises or falls dramatically could trigger a tsunami that would arrive in Eareka and Arcata in just a few minutes.

    That’s why they say that if you live in a tsunami zone and you actually feel an earthquake happen, don’t wait for a warning — head straight to higher ground. (Perhaps someone with expertise will correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe that’s the advice I’ve heard in the past.)

    In most of Eureka and Arcata, you don’t have to go very far to get a little elevation and be out of danger of even the most severe tsunamis (I guess if a huge meteor strikes the ocean, then all bets are off). But if you’re way out in the Arcata Bottoms, or in Fairhaven/Samoa/Manila, or near the ocean in the flat country west of Ferndale, and it’s going to take you 10 or 15 minutes to reach the “higher ground,” then it seems to me that in some cases you might not make it even if you jumped in your car immediately after feeling the earthquake. Of course folks who don’t have a vehicle, or don’t drive because they are disabled or elderly, or whatever, are going to be especially at risk. If you’re walking on the beach a couple miles from your car when you feel the earthquake and it’s a strong earthquake that is centered nearby and causes a serious tsunami…well at that point you may be outta luck.

  146. Plain Jane
    March 11, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    I seem to recall reading that a large quake in our subduction zone could result in a massive tsunami hitting our coast in about 8 minutes.

  147. Plain Jane
    March 11, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    Tra’s scenario is nightmarish – trying to run away from danger in liquifying sand.

  148. tra
    March 11, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    Nightmarish? Yes, potentially. And that’s still just the first phase — trying to flee the flood and getting caught up in it as it comes in. Then there’s the part where the water is rushing back out, filled with all kinds of debris, and you’re trying not to get swept out to sea and pulverized in that big debris soup…apparently that’s no picnic either.

  149. Eric Kirk
    March 11, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    If you’re walking on the beach a couple miles from your car when you feel the earthquake and it’s a strong earthquake that is centered nearby and causes a serious tsunami…well at that point you may be outta luck.

    Well that’s it then. We should all swear off walks on the beaches!

  150. wondering
    March 11, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    300 years ago, when the big one caused the formation of Humboldt Bay, there must have been little time between quake and inundation. Anyone know about the extent of that?

  151. tra
    March 11, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    Eight minutes ain’t much time. Hard to see how folks would make it out of Fairhaven, even if they fled immediately. It would certainly be a close call.

    Of course we do have earthquakes fairly often, and I doubt that most people in tsunami zones actually do drop everything and head to higher ground every time we get a moderate-to-strong quake.

    Even assuming that most people know about the potential for a tsunami to happen just a few minutes after a nearby earthquake, most of the time that tsunami doesn’t actually happen, so sitting tight works out fine, probably 99% of the time. But that other 1% could really suck.

  152. viewer
    March 11, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    Did anyone notice that KAEF, our local ABC station outsourced to Redding, had local coverage today?? They flew a reporter over to offer first hand accounts from Humboldt County. Channel 3’s coverage from eureka… well, spotty. Too bad we no longer have three truly local broadcast outlets. Beat by comptition in our own backyard.

  153. tra
    March 11, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    “Well that’s it then. We should all swear off walks on the beaches!”

    No, but we should appreciate them even more — you know, “live each moment as if it were our last.”


  154. Anon
    March 11, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    Now here is something for Lovelace to hit the button about:

    Radiation levels at damaged Fukushima-Daiichi nuke plant are continuing to rise… Radiation 1,000 times higher than normal detected. Ministry official: ‘Possibility of radioactive leak’…

    Ok, so this thing blows, I just check weather.com and the wind is going to blow it righ at us. Where is Lovelace?

    None of them will show their face over something real as they haven’t done shit to prepare for anything. This is what happens when you get democrats, lots of money to buy votes, but nothing to save or prepare. Not that buying duct tape will do any of you any good, but seal off a room, it will make you feel better.

  155. wondering
    March 11, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    stfu you ignorant loser 2:03

  156. Plain Jane
    March 11, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    What exactly COULD be done to reduce the damage from such an event, 2:03? Aside from banning nuclear power plants worldwide, of course.

  157. tra
    March 11, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    What’s up with the Lovelace obsession? I’m not even sure what your complaint is, other than you seem to have this notion that Lovelace somehow caused a panic?

    Funny, I didn’t see anyone panicing, just a bunch of people taking prudent precautions and cops providing a timely warning so that people could make an informed choice about whether to evacuate temporarily to higher ground.

  158. Not A Native
    March 11, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    TRA you’re just full of BS. You just kneejerk a reaction, writing:

    “Of course faraway earthquakes can still cause huge tsunamis that cause massive damage even at a great distance from the earthquake that triggered it”

    Aside from your redundant and self jutifying logic: If an earthquake is ‘faraway’, then OF COURSE its at a ‘great distance’. How could it be otherwise? You simply write the same thing over and over to make it seem like it must be so.

    The NOAA tsunami pridiction clearly shows a very rapid decline in tsunami height as the distance increases from the quake. In short, if there’s enough time for a warning and evacuation, the waves won’t be very large. If the waves are large, you won’t have adequate warning to evade them. The 1998 New Guinea tsunami caused deaths only within 10 minutes after the quake event.

    Anyone living near the shore and less than 10 feet above sea level is at constant risk and in denial if they don’t think they are. A plan to feel the quake and run away is as futile as hiding from a mushromm cloud. The elaborate warning systems are largely ‘feel good’ measures that ‘protect’ people who don’t need protection and are useless to those who will actually be affected. Of course, earthquake reporting and notification provides marginal benefits but also creates a dangerous ‘attractant’ to risk and profit seekers.

  159. March 11, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    I hates Tsunami’s! Being a sandweller and all. Robin and I called a list of people on the Samoa Peninsula for the Samoa Peninsula Fire District this morning to evacuate. We left a little after 7am and the waves were big. People out on the beaches. What can you do? Let us hope for the best.

  160. Anonymous
    March 11, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    The 1960 Chilean earthquake produced a distant, 6 meter high tsunami in Japan – 22 hours later and on the other side of the Pacific. The description below gives a sense of what can happen in these situations. The “elaborate warning systems” actually could have prevented these 199 deaths. If you don’t care, then fine, but why belittle the efforts of those who want to provide warning and provide a chance for people to evacuate. If it were my parents living in Fields Landing or King Salmon, I’d be happy that they can be alerted by a NOAA weather radio and that the sheriff and EOS personal would help them get to safety.

    JAPAN: In Japan, the tsunami runups reached more than 6 m. There was extensive destruction along the coast of Honshu. 199 people lost their lives, 85 were missing, and 855 more were injured. A total of 1,678 homes were destroyed (Iida et al. 1967). Damage was estimated at $50 million (1960 dollars).

    Hilo, Hawaii: 14.8 hours after the earthquake. The first wave appeared as a sudden rapid tidal oscillation but did not cause any alarm. Subsequently, the arrival of the second wave was proceeded by a quick recession of the water but again there was not much inundation. The third wave was extremely destructive. It arrived a little after 1 a.m. as a 20 ft. bore and crashed as a massive wall of water, completely inundating about 550 acres of Hilo’s waterfront area and penetrating inland by as much as 3,600 feet. The destruction this wave caused was unprecedented. It obliterated the entire downtown area of Hilo. 61 people died.

  161. Not A Native
    March 11, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    anon3:03, That 1960 quake is a good example. Most the people who died experienced a tsunami within 20 minutes of the quake. They wouldn’t have received adequate warning from the systems in place now.

    As I wrote, its sufficient to monitor earthquake activity and provide notification and advice when large quakes occur. No need for scaring people who aren’t at much risk and make them go through unnecessary ‘rituals’ of comfort. And no need to attract rubberneckers.

    The best way to protect against tsunamis is to require stronger structures in risky areas and not have large populations in risky areas. The media estimates tens of thousnads of lives were saved in Japan yesterday because they adopted stronger building standards. Sirens and police knocking on doors don’t stop buildings from collapsing.

  162. Mr. Nice
    March 11, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    Did this tsunami shit take any grow houses out or was the whole thing just Crescent City getting smashed on by the ocean again?

    Imma just be happy that I wasn’t in court or jail or anything like in the last go round of tsunami warnings.

  163. tra
    March 11, 2011 at 4:03 pm


    As is often the case, you seem to be seething mad for some reason, though it’s not clear quite why you’re so upset. It seems to be a chronic problem for you, and I have to kind of pity you for that.

    There was nothing “knee-jerk” about my comments, I just shared what I remembered about how these events can unfold, and the justification for providing warning and evacuation.

    Of course the waves decline in size as they get more distant from the source. I didn’t mean to imply otherwise. But as 3:03 noted, large tsumani waves can still hit a distant location, many hours after the triggering event (6.6 meters high, 22 hours later, all the way across the Pacific).

    So I can’t agree with your claim that “if there’s enough time for a warning and evacuation, the waves won’t be that large.” History has shown that’s not always true. My point was that it is in those sorts of scenarios where the monitoring / warnings / evacuations can be most valuable.

    Of course the people nearby the 1960 quake in Chile would not have been helped much (if at all) by modern tsunami monitoring/warnings/evacuations, but the folks who got hit with the 6.6 meter wave in Japan, 22 hours later, might have fared better with better warnings. Potentially we could have been in a similar situation here in Humboldt with this event — the people in Japan got hit right away, but if a 6.6 meter wall of water was headed our way, warnings and evacuations could have saved hundreds of lives here on the North Coast.


    Small and close-by — not so bad,

    Large and distant — potential for strong waves, but injury and loss of life can be minimized, due to opportunities for warnings and evacuation,

    Large and close-by, watch out.

  164. Rick Khamsi
    March 11, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    69er writes “One other point that interested me is that the only place to receive local news on television, KIEM had nothing of substance to report this morning. They are an affiliate of NBC and NBC did not even name Eureka or surrounding area on their map of the west coast.”

    False. I watched KIEM TV this morning. They did a damn good job of covering this tsunami alert. They broadcast frequent updates including practical information warning people to stay away from beaches and get away from low-lying areas. KIEM also broadcast the names of the local schools that had decided to close their doors today for the sake of the safety of their students.

    I can’t imagine how 69er missed these updates and then has the nerve to state with such certainty such falsehoods unless he left the room and forgot about that. I agree this area needs more competition in TV news reporting, but this is the worst possible example of an argument in favor of that competition.

  165. Mitch
    March 11, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    Anon 3:03,

    Thanks for the information — I’d thought that when 7:30 turned out to be pretty small, that was a sign that nothing very substantial would happen. I know everyone said the tsunami warning would continue for ten hours, but I figured if the first was a piddle, then things might get bigger but not much bigger.

    It’s a surprise to hear that a small first wave can be followed by a huge wave after some time (that’s if I understand what you’re saying). Thanks.

  166. Not A Native
    March 11, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    Gee tra, you’re so profound having figured out that thinhgs small and distant have less effect than thing large and near. Thank you for that amazing bit of wisdom, what would we ever do without your guidance, which you graciously offer again and again scores of time daily and in a multide of blogs.

    And yeah, you just wrote something you remembered hearing somewhere, sometime ago. Oh sure, thats not kneejeck, thats incisive critical thinking. NOT Just dump those memory banks, whatever comes to mind in about 2 seconds.

  167. tra
    March 11, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    I have to kind of agree that the idea of dropping everything and running to high ground every time you feel an earthquake may be futile in some cases, and I explained why, above.

    But if you feel a strong earthquake when you’re in a low-lying coastal area, and a high spot is just a few minutes away, you might well be able to make it to safety in time. Or not. But why not give it a try…what do you have to lose?

  168. Plain Jane
    March 11, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    Some pretty amazing video taken from Pebble Beach Drive of the tsunami surge.


  169. tra
    March 11, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    Again, NAN, I don’t understand what you’re so angry about. Maybe you’re just a bit embarassed that you were quickly shown to be dead wrong when you stated so confidently that “if there’s enough time for a warning and evacuation, the waves won’t be that large.”

  170. Coda 4jr
    March 11, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    I’m back from the vet’s. Although they had several morning cancellations and no-shows, many people ventured out after the danger was over and showed up anyway, hoping to be seen.

    Tip for fellow pet owners: receptionists remember things like who canceled and who didn’t show up. My pooch and I were treated like royalty for being early for our appointment and I’ll bet we’ll be rewarded in the future.

    On the other hand, you should have seen the cold shoulder that slackers received when they showed up unexpected and unannounced.

    Target was open after 2 pm for the ipad opening day sale, but the Starbucks was selling only pastries and no beverages. What? No coffee after my big day? Grrrr……

  171. tra
    March 11, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    Gee tra, you’re so profound having figured out that thinhgs small and distant have less effect than thing large and near.

    I notice that you skipped the third scenario: large and distant, which contrary to your claims, can still result in large waves.

    So, keep seething and spinning all you want, that doesn’t change what happened in Japan in 1960 or what could happen here even if the triggering event takes place on the other side of the Pacific.

  172. Sam Spade
    March 11, 2011 at 4:57 pm

    Second nuclear power plant may be overheating after #quake, Kyodo reports http://on.cnn.com/fJVx1O?hpt=T1 – @cnnbrk

  173. Sam Spade
    March 11, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    Radiation 1,000 times above normal in nuclear plant, Kyodo reports #quake http://on.cnn.com/fJVx1O?hpt=T1 – @cnnbrk

  174. Eric Kirk
    March 11, 2011 at 5:06 pm

    1000 times normal doesn’t sound good.

  175. suzy blah blah
    March 11, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    Did this tsunami shit take any grow houses out

    I sure hope not, if it’s not one thing it’s another.

    what would we ever do without your guidance, which you graciously offer again and again scores of time daily and in a multide of blogs.

    -well said.

  176. skippy
    March 11, 2011 at 5:12 pm

    Perusing the whereabouts around 1pm: our Redwood Acres/Red Cross evacuation site sits predictably quiet and empty, the Samoa Bridge closed by EPD (later lifted around 2pm), and Arcata’s Samoa Boulevard/Highway 255 to the North Jetty surprisingly open without traveling advisories. The Jetty gates are closed at the Coast Guard station.

    The low coastal towns of Manila, Samoa, and Fairhaven were seemingly deserted, their side roads closed and empty, residents having headed for either higher ground or remaining sequestered to the counterfeit safety of homes. The industrial park of the peninsula spit looking abandoned save for the few lone wisps of smoke emanating from Fairhaven Power and nary a worker nor chip truck in sight.

    Times-Standard photographer Jose Quezada was the lone visible holdout at Manila Dunes snapping his pics, the air frequently broken by the throaty chop of our Coastie’s distinct red and white Dolphin H65 issued from Air Station Humboldt Bay and patrolling at a fast clip 500 feet above between the north and south coastlines.

    The Bay was unusually low and devoid of water. The beaches calm and quiet, neither the wave nor tide being of noteworthy size, design, or interest.

    The beach is eerily silent. Noticeable were no songbirds singing in the coastal dunes and not a single beach bird, gull, or sandpiper spotted for many miles in either direction of sea and sand.

  177. Anon 3:03
    March 11, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    There are no “elaborate warning systems” for a local tsunami. It’s the ground shaking, your knowledge of tsunami evacuation zones, and common sense. That’s it.

    The elaborate systems are for areas distant from the source of the tsunami where warnings can make a difference. If your logic is more people get killed near the source then why bother (“Most the people who died experienced a tsunami within 20 minutes of the quake”) then I have no way to overcome your callous attitude about the loss of over 260 lives 15 and 22 hours later. The people at the distant locations, in the case of the 1960 quake, could have been saved by advanced warning and education. Unfortunately education seems wasted on some.

  178. tra
    March 11, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    Thanks, Suzy & NAN…coming from you folks that means a lot.

  179. March 11, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    “But if you feel a strong earthquake when you’re in a low-lying coastal area…”

    Sorry, TRA, but this is thoroughly illogical. If you feel a “mild” earthquake, how do you know that it’s not a powerful quake that’s, say, three hundred miles away (sending a tsunami that will reach you in 30 minutes)?

    And Not-a-Native, brevity is the soul of wit. You are witless.

  180. Coda 4jr
    March 11, 2011 at 5:41 pm

    “Did this tsunami shit take any grow houses out”

    Alas, Kym is focused on tsunami stories and is currently not covering her speciality— the local weed scene.

  181. tra
    March 11, 2011 at 5:47 pm

    You make a good point Joel.

    If it feels like a weak quake it make sense that it would either be close-by but weak at the source, or more distant but stronger at the source. In the former case there’s less chance of a large tsunami effect, while in the latter case at least you might have a few minutes to turn on the radio, check the web — or head to higher ground, but not necessarily in a headlong rush to get there.

    On the other hand, if it feels like a strong quake, then there’s the chance that it is both nearby and strong, and you’d better get a move on in case there’s a big tsunami headed your way within minutes.

    So I’d still say that if you’re in a low-lying coastal area and feel a strong quake you may want to immediately head to higher ground. But I would agree with you, Joel, that even if it feels weaker that doesn’t mean you’re necessarily out of danger.

  182. Plain Jane
    March 11, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    Why gas containers on a coast prone to earthquakes and tsunamis isn’t a good idea.


  183. skippy
    March 11, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    Kym Kemp reported the following updates:

    “Information from Mark Lovelace and County Services at 2:30: The County’s team in the Emergency Operations Center just took part in another conference call with CalEMA… Here’s the latest:

    The tsunami warning for areas North of Pt. Conception remains in effect, though it is believed that the tsunami has peaked and is diminishing. Surges are continuing, but disapating. Humboldt County is ramping down our emergency operations at this point, as are many counties to the South.

    Part of the fishing fleet from Crescent City went out to sea to ride out the tsunami. Due to the significant destruction of the harbor, they cannot return to Crescent City and will need to find safe harbor in Humboldt Bay for the time being. Apparently there are a number of boats from Brookings that are also in need of anchorage here.

    The tsunami has created a hazardous bar condition at the bay entrance, so there may be some delay before the Crescent City fleet is able to come in. There is no damage estimate from Crescent City harbor, yet.

    The Coast Guard has an active search and rescue mission underway to look for an individual who was swept out to sea at the mouth of the Klamath River. 2 others who were also swept out were able to self-rescue.”

    Del Norte Information: Excellent piece in the Boston Herald online. They say:

    “Ted Scott, a retired mill worker who lived in Crescent City watched the water pour into the harbor. “This is just devastating. I never thought I’d see this again,” Scott said. “I watched the docks bust apart. It buckled like a graham cracker.” The waves, however, had not made it over a 20-foot break wall protecting the rest of the city, and no serious injuries or home damage was immediately reported.”

    Mendocino Information: A nice piece in the Ukiah Journal about Mendo’s tsunami action. They report:

    “Back in Fort Bragg, seadogs and longtime residents won’t likely forget the eerie spectacle of the mini-tsunami. Rather than one large wave, the event was a series of long pulsations, as water was sucked back from shore and returned again with storm-like force. It resembled the actions of a weeks’ worth of high and low tides – occurring in mere minutes, not days. As water pulled back to sea, the normally full entrance to the harbor was nearly bereft of water. “Here it comes again,” says an onlooker. What was just a quiet harbor is now awash, with sound as well as water, as hundreds of tons of ocean attempted to squeeze into a space made for much less volume.”

  184. Plain Jane
    March 11, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    And this demonstrates how distance from the epicenter is not necessarily the sole factor in how much damage will occur in far away places. South America is a lot further away from Japan than we are, but the tsunami on its way to them will be much more severe. They have had time to evacuate the at risk people and secure property.

  185. Mitch
    March 11, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    Special to tra,

    Let’s just hope the turtles are ok.

  186. tra
    March 11, 2011 at 6:14 pm

    But P.J., hold on a minute! NAN says those warnings and evacuations are unnecessary “feel good” measures that “protect people who don’t need protection and are useless to people who will actually be affected.”

    NAN knows this because NAN is sure that “if there’s enough time for a warning and evacuation the waves won’t be very large. If the waves are large, you won’t have adequate warning to evade them.”

    What would we do without NAN’s guidance, which NAN offers daily, along with a heaping dose of steaming spleen juice, on this and other blogs?

  187. HH
    March 11, 2011 at 6:14 pm

    KIEM news? What news? We have not had any tv signal in Rio Dell all day. Im glad this wasn’t a real emergency. I stayed home as long as I could.

  188. Plain Jane
    March 11, 2011 at 6:17 pm

    A photo which shows low high the tsunami was by the debris it left behind. Those people on the roof must have been terrified.

    <a href=link

  189. suzy blah blah
    March 11, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    Thanks, Suzy


  190. Plain Jane
    March 11, 2011 at 6:22 pm


  191. Plain Jane
    March 11, 2011 at 6:27 pm

    If you feel a small quake from a large quake far away, there will be time for sirens and evacuation. If you feel a big quake and don’t head for high ground before the sirens go off, you might not survive. Darwin’s theory in practice.

  192. tra
    March 11, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    Thanks, Jane, for summarizing that so concisely.

    Joel’s earlier crack at NAN — “brevity is the soul of wit. You are witless.” — has me thinking I might need to apply for the Witless Protection Program myself!

  193. Anonymous
    March 11, 2011 at 6:54 pm

    Any earthquake you feel that produces a tsunami will be here within 5-15 minutes. There will be NO time for sirens. We don’t feel the distant quakes that give us more time. So, if you feel shaking that last for more than a few seconds (15 or more), you are advised to head for high ground. Also, a smaller earthquake (6-7) can produce an underwater landslide and cause a local tsunami, even if it doesn’t send a tsunami across the ocean. This has happened in Alaska and other locations.

  194. Cristina Bauss
    March 11, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    Jesus H. Christ, NAN. Fifth-largest earthquake ever recorded, more than 1,000 confirmed dead, potential problems with nuclear reactors… and you’re going to spend the day arguing with tra for some unfathomable reason? Chillax, dude.

  195. Plain Jane
    March 11, 2011 at 7:03 pm

    Keeping a bag packed with extra copies of your important papers, water and compact nutrition, first aid kit, flashlight, portable radio and extra batteries is always a good idea since you don’t always have time to pack. Everything else can be replaced.

  196. tra
    March 11, 2011 at 7:15 pm


    And of course part of the blame is mine, for bothering to argue back. I should have known better — “don’t feed the seether.”

    It’s just that NAN made such a demonstrably false claim when he said that distant quakes, where warning and evacuation are possible, can’t produce large waves when they arrive and that therefore those warning and evacuations are pointless.

    But I should have realized that NAN would be incapable of conceding his error, and would instead spin and spew and vent spleen, anything to distract from his embarassing mistake.

  197. Anonymous
    March 11, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    Thank you Cristina…let’s just focus on what’s really important here people!

    Enough of the stroking ego’s and mental-masturbation that typically goes on here folks. We’ve got a crisis to deal with. Volunteer, donate, whatever…let’s do something positive rather than opt out and simply bicker with one another. This gains no one.

    You’d think this is something we couldall finally all agree on.

  198. J Warren
    March 11, 2011 at 7:51 pm

    Nice job H

    I get a lot of the notices but I think today you proved that blogs can have a meaningful impact, when communications are scattered and maybe in other things as well.

    Thanks sincerely, for keeping on top of this.

    Prayers to the people and families in Japan who need more than communications just now.


  199. Anon
    March 11, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    Reading these comments reinforce just how idiotic you liberals are. Keep clinging to government. Trust them. Idiots.

    Lovelace and the rest of them have evacuated their families ahead of the possible nuke fallout and didn’t tell you squat. Dont want the plane seats full you know.

    Me, I got guns, liberals don’t. I’ll take what I need. Idiots.

  200. Decline To State
    March 11, 2011 at 7:55 pm

    Thank you Cristina…let’s just focus on what’s really important here people!

    Enough of the stroking ego’s and mental-masturbation that typically goes on here folks. We’ve got a real crisis to deal with. Volunteer, donate, best wishes whatever…let’s do something positive rather than opt out and simply bicker with one another. This gains no one.

    You’d think this is something we couldall finally all agree on.

  201. Anonymous
    March 11, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    I will repeat myself. NAN and Mr. Nice are so “not nice”. Why get caught up in arguing with them?

  202. skippy
    March 11, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    About as airy and half baked as a Fresh Freeze Frostee Double Dip cone, Anon @7:54 twaddles about like a balmy loon missing both the boat and his plane.

  203. owltotem
    March 11, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    “The low coastal towns of Manila, Samoa, and Fairhaven were seemingly deserted, their side roads closed and empty, residents having headed for either higher ground or remaining sequestered to the counterfeit safety of homes.”

    YAY! Many have spent years organizing Emergency Preparedness Fairs, Events, Seminars, and often were met with resistance. Sirens in place and communities educated, people evacuated! Lots of them!

    I got the opportunity to spend the day with an old emergency preparedness comrade,(an evacuee herself) and after securing a pen full of chickens, doves, cats, dogs, the whole evacuated menagerie up at my pad we made a box full of sandwiches juice and coffee for the families that evacuated on a beautiful day “no school!” to Sequoia Park.

    This warmed Owls Heart! Thanks most especially to stalwart Troy Nicolini who has first hand knowledge of the challenges associated with developing Tsunami Ready Coastal communities. He has been the steadfast soldier that continues to get the consistent message out, and encourage and assist the volunteer efforts. Manilans evacuated !!! Success !!!

    All it will take is 1 event, everyone at risk who leaves, lives. Today, a lot of people showed that they knew how to save their lives! Thanks Troy, the Redwood Coast Tsunami Working Group Volunteers, NOAA, NWS, Humboldt Counties Office of Emergency Services, The Operational Area representatives The American Red Cross, HAM Guys, Coast Guard, Fire, and everyone else who has dedicates their time and effort to the safety of our citizens. Your efforts are so greatly appreciated!!!

    Owl is Smiling!

  204. skippy
    March 11, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    Well said and nicely observed, Owl. Ditto, my friend.

    And, oh, what a nice and fine day it was to rescue the animals, be with the loved ones, and traipsing to the Park with a picnic basket smiling in the sunshine.

  205. owltotem
    March 11, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    “Me, I got guns, liberals don’t. I’ll take what I need. Idiots.”

    Anon 7:54, this is a joke right?

    I wonder how you sleep

  206. Anon
    March 11, 2011 at 9:41 pm

    Ya you keep thinking its a joke when it gets mad max around here. Hold out your union card and I am sure people will leave you and yours alone. Idiot.

    Look peoples, you can play this make nice libieral crap but when it comes down to it, peopl like lovelace will eat you. You a are useful idiots and they laugh at you.

    Heraldo plays nice as this caring hand wringer and you eat the crumbs he hands you.

    Typical pukes that you are.

    Frankly, I am looking forward to the day you are begging in front of my driveway for dog food.

  207. tra
    March 11, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    Don’t hold your breath. Or do.

  208. Anonymous
    March 11, 2011 at 10:37 pm

    Regarding Anon:
    This is a bit, someone is practicing, the deal is the argument or “stance” has to make sense and this doesn’t.

    He says I have a gun I’ll take what I want (Anon has power over me)

    You are stupid, your leaders use you (Anon villifies Lovelace and gives him power to deceive) the dominate gun toter would emasculate Lovelace

    you eat crumbs sprinkled down to you, (Again he uplifts Heraldo as if H has some power, glory and is worshipable) the gun toter would more likely set H as our equal, (lesser beings, soon to beg)

    and then he wishes for himself “I am looking forward to the day you are begging in front of my driveway for dog food” (This implies that he feels we have to be knocked down a few rungs that we have some current status we do not deserve, that we should be begging from him.) Anon already called us beggars; he already has his way.

    You see, Anon, you are practicing; this is an online persona you are developing, you are disingenuous and actually sound like you identify more with a part of the community who has been robbed of their voice, or who has been silenced, the very people those you dispel seek to empower. You see, it doesn’t make sense.

    Maybe it’s just Hi Fi drinking.

    Scary to think some one like Anon may actually have a gun.

  209. Eric Kirk
    March 11, 2011 at 11:37 pm

    Look peoples, you can play this make nice libieral crap but when it comes down to it, peopl like lovelace will eat you. You a are useful idiots and they laugh at you.

    Heraldo plays nice as this caring hand wringer and you eat the crumbs he hands you.

    Typical pukes that you are.

    Frankly, I am looking forward to the day you are begging in front of my driveway for dog food.

    Because Mark wants to take all my dog food? Can’t wait to see the signs, “will work for dog food.”

  210. Not a Native
    March 11, 2011 at 11:57 pm

    Well tra you’re great with name calling but not so hot with the facts. And I’m not angry, I’m sickened by your nonsensical BS that you spill out scores of times. Why don’t you just give your diarrhea keyboard a rest and get a real life doing something productive and useful. Most of your drivel is kneejerked reactions that say little but use lots of redundant words. If you really think you’ve got something to contribute, start your own blog and see who really cares about it. Yesterday’s earthquake killed many people but not nearly as many as earlier quakes so its not the 5 largest quake as far as deaths go. And the reason deaths were not much higher was because of Japan’s building codes, not a tsunami warning system. In fact there wasn’t enough time to warn the Japanese people. So again the bullk of people killed by tsunamis can’t be helped by the warning systems. All that the rest need is notification that a distant large earthqake has occurred without the hysteria. And locally, more have died from sneaker waves than tsunamis. andf the Crescent City person who died was attracted to the shore by all the hoopla. He’s a victim of the warning system and would still be alive if it wasn’t done with such drama.

  211. Not A Native
  212. taxed
    March 12, 2011 at 3:23 am

    Now the worst has happened-an explosion at the nuclear power plant. PGE and all you other pushers of plutonium-now what? We told you so ASSHOLES.

  213. taxed
    March 12, 2011 at 3:49 am

    Now the Prime Minister is on TV spewing the usual bullshit that there is no danger. They have evacuated residents in the area. They are LIARS!!!!! No Danger? The same ole shit. LIES AND MORE LIES

  214. Sam Spade (uh oh)
    March 12, 2011 at 4:25 am

    Explosion rocks Japan nuclear plant


  215. Sam Spade (uh oh)
    March 12, 2011 at 4:28 am

    ¨IWAKI, Japan (AP) — An explosion at a nuclear power station Saturday destroyed a building housing the reactor amid fears that it could melt down after being hit by a powerful earthquake and tsunami.

    Large amounts of radiation were spewing out and the evacuation area around the plant was expanded but officials did not know how dangerous the leak was to people.¨

  216. Sam Spade (uh oh)
    March 12, 2011 at 4:31 am

    (CNN) — An explosion sent white smoke rising above a nuclear plant where a massive earthquake and tsunami crippled cooling systems in northeastern Japan, the country’s chief Cabinet secretary said Saturday.


  217. Sam Spade (uh oh)
    March 12, 2011 at 4:34 am

    Huge blast at Japan nuclear plant
    A massive explosion has hit a Japanese nuclear power plant where a meltdown is feared as a huge relief operation continues after Friday’s devastating earthquake and tsunami.
    More from BBC News


  218. Satan Jr
    March 12, 2011 at 6:08 am

    Heh heh heh you will all burn alive.

    March 12, 2011 at 7:01 am

    Just like March Madness,

    over-rated, da da da da da, over-rated, da da da da da……

    Now, Gubbamint says, ” back to development in the low lying areas and flood zones to house the over-populations.” – For SmokeMonster!!!


    March 12, 2011 at 7:04 am


    SO, where are those nuclear boogers again proclaiming our alternative energy choices? Yep, cleaning their noses of the green radioactive residue no doubt.

    Wind towers baby, wind towers. More solar baby, more solar.


  221. Plain Jane
    March 12, 2011 at 7:12 am

    That paragraph Nan quoted doesn’t really support his point, IMO.

    His point that was challenged was “when there is enough time to evacuate, the threat isn’t large enough to warrant an evacuation.” No one was disputing the fact that tsunamis do the most damage to nearby coastlines which his quote “confirmed” needlessly. What was proven is that tsunamis can do massive damage with horrific loss of life many hours distant from the epicenter and early warnings do allow time for evacuation of those at risk. Even with tsunamis generated nearby, a few minutes of warning could make a huge difference in the survival rate of individuals, if not everyone. Getting to higher ground, as was just demonstrated in Japan, can include climbing stairs. While there is no guarantee your building isn’t going to be demolished by the tsunami, some aren’t and warning signals are to increase the chance of survival, not guarantee everyone will survive. What sort of person thinks, “If we can’t save 100%, why bother?”

  222. Ned Cola
    March 12, 2011 at 7:18 am

    Stuff the reactor with hippies. Then with the stench from their arm-pits it’ll over-take the radiation rods and then you can pour concrete and let it harden.

  223. tra
    March 12, 2011 at 8:51 am

    NAN, you crack me up.

    You complain about name-calling / insults, yet that seems to be all you really have to offer. Projection?

    As Jane noted, no one has denied that the folks closer to the triggering event are most at risk, and no one is arguing that warnings and evacuations are the answer for those folks. Nor is anyone arguing that better building codes / construction practices aren’t important for reducing the earthquake-related deaths or injuries. And finally, no one has disputed the fact that tsunami waves lose strength as they travel, that’s obvious. So in arguing against those points, you’re simply jousting with Straw Men of your own creation.

    Meanwhile, you’ve done nothing to back up your erroneous statement that “if there’s enough time for a warning and evacuation the waves won’t be very large. If the waves are large, you won’t have adequate warning to evade them.”

    History has shown that in fact large and deadly tsunami waves can strike areas all the way across the ocean from the original triggering event, as happened in the case of the 1960 Chilean earthquake which caused large tsunami waves and many deaths in Japan (6+ meters), many hours after the original event in Chile, and thousands of miles away from that event.

    In such cases, warnings and evacuations can save lives in those on distant coastlines who are at risk of getting hit by large tsunami waves many hours after the original event.

    Apparently, since you can’t refute those facts, you’re going to just continue ignoring them, and debating your hastily-constructed Straw Men. Have fun with that. If this somehow makes you feel better, and allows you to avoid having to avoid having to concede that the claims you made earlier were erroneous, well then have at it.

  224. March 12, 2011 at 9:02 am

    “Craigslist’s Rants & Raves” must be down. Suddenly there are too many moronic, stupid, racist, elitist, treacherous, traitorous and imbecilic statements to comment on.
    Hey man, if this is how you feel why not put your real name to it?

  225. 344Brother
    March 12, 2011 at 9:11 am

    Im collecteing 20$ a person to send to Japanise earthquakes over their. Ill be in Arcata plaza at noon to collecet funs.
    Dave Short

  226. Anonymous
    March 12, 2011 at 9:11 am

    Coast Guard flyover video of the Crescent City harbor

  227. skippy
    March 12, 2011 at 9:33 am

    Japan’s Fukushima Nuclear Power plant explosion is the biggest news of today. Folks on the West Coast would best be served by staying tuned to the news of this disaster. The potential of nuclear fallout carried to the atmospheric prevailing winds is very rare but still real. Some reports indicate this danger is decreasing.

    From Voice of America:

    “Officials say a blast at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear facility destroyed an exterior wall, not the reactor. A radiation leak is decreasing, despite meltdown fears.

    VOA reporters close to the Fukushima nuclear plant say aftershocks are still rocking the area, more than 24 hours after the original 8.9-magnitude jolt and tsunami. After a serious explosion destroyed one of the Fukushima plant’s nuclear reactor buildings earlier Saturday, authorities called on all residents to move at least 20 kilometers away from the facility.

    The explosion north of Tokyo did not damage the reactor’s spherical metal containment vessel, and that the reactor’s internal pressure decreased after the blast. Pressure in the reactor built to dangerous levels after the earthquake knocked out power to essential cooling systems, greatly increasing the risk of a possible release of radioactive particles and gases earlier. Another nuclear plant near Fukushima also has been shut down due to a cooling-system failure.”

    Other local tsunami news carried by the Times-Standard wire this morning:

    Thadeus Greenson’s report, “Tsunami ‘Destroyed’ Crescent City Harbor” is found here.

    Donna Tam’s report, “Tsunami Take Toll on North Coast; Hundreds Evacuated– Governor Brown Declares Emergency” can also be found here, too.

    Stay tuned, people. The world is rocking and rolling today.

  228. beel
    March 12, 2011 at 9:36 am

    check out the fishing boat leaving the harbor on an outgoing ebb at 7:00.
    tricky direction change at 7:16
    at 7:46 it encounters an incoming surge.

  229. tra
    March 12, 2011 at 10:39 am

    All that the rest need is notification that a distant large earthqake has occurred without the hysteria.

    Notification that a distant large earthquake had occured is an appropriate first step, but more specific information on the estimated time and possible size of an incoming tsunami is obviously going to be helpful, both to individual residents, and to public safety agencies. That information is what informs local decisions about issuing warnings and/or ordering evacuations, voluntary or otherwise.

    In this recent incident, I didn’t see or hear of any “hysteria,” just people taking appropriate precautions.

    And the Crescent City person who died was attracted to the shore by all the hoopla. He’s a victim of the warning system and would still be alive if it wasn’t done with such drama.

    No, he’s a victim of his own unwillingness to use good judgement and heed the warnings to stay away from the water. Perhaps someone had misinformed him by inaccurately claiming “if there’s enough time for a warning and evacuation the waves won’t be very large.”

  230. suzy blah blah
    March 12, 2011 at 10:49 am

    — has me thinking I might need to apply for the Witless Protection Program myself!

    Promises like this one are sometimes well intentioned, but typically the problem becomes even more elongated.

  231. skippy
    March 12, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    Kym Kemp is diligently carrying recent reports and updates, “At the Precipice of a Massive Nuclear Crisis”, and a very surprising ‘Nuclear Fallout Map’ indicating being in the wake of this potentially occurring disaster in 6-10 days should the condition of the Fukushima nuclear plant worsen,

    on her excellent website here.

    Yours truly wonders if there will be a run on iodine tablets?

  232. a psychiatrist
    March 12, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    Occasionally, you see a guy on the street – disheveled, dirty, drooling or spitting. He flails and screams, shakes his fists and mumbles nonsensically.

    When you see him, what is your response? Do you try to strike up a conversation with him? Debate him? Try to make sense of his rants?

    Probably not. Because you recognize that he is unhinged. Mentally ill.

    Anon 7:54 and 9:41 is one of these. No point responding to him. He is definitely incoherent and probably beyond help.

    Let him rant and get on with your sane life.

  233. skippy
    March 12, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    Redheaded Blackbelt’s Kym Kemp is reporting in her article, ““Japanese Officials Checking Children for Signs of Radiation”:

    Residents, including children, who live not far from Fukushima’s nuclear power plant are being checked for radiation. The power plant just suffered a breakdown in the cooling system of a second installation, the number 3 reactor. It desperately needs to have an infusion of water to keep it from a second explosion! The number 1 reactor has had an explosion already and up to 160 people are believed to be exposed to radiation.”

    More at her site located here.

    To note locally, Eureka Natural Foods said they’re all sold out of iodine tablets as of an hour ago…

  234. March 12, 2011 at 6:37 pm

    Anon 6:13 am, I had an interview with Troy Nicolini of the National Weather Service on the air on 3 fm and two am station in the 3 am hour.
    We were about an hour ahead of the Emergency Alert System.

    We did local updates until we were evacuated. KRED refused to evacuate and stayed the story the whole time. We in the local media may be under staffed and we may suck but you apparently weren’t listening.We can give the information but we can’t force you to tune in.

  235. March 12, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    Local radio is a life saver.

  236. skippy
    March 12, 2011 at 11:19 pm

    Yes, radio is a lifesaver, Moviedad.

    Pay close attention to the news and radio in the coming hours, folks. This is very important.

    CNN wire staff just recently reported here “Japanese Authorities Rush to Save Lives, Avert Nuclear Crisis”:

    Sendai, Japan (CNN) — Japanese authorities are operating on the presumption that possible meltdowns are under way at two nuclear reactors, two days after a massive earthquake, a government official said Sunday. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano added, however, that there have been no indications yet of hazardous emissions of radioactive material into the atmosphere.

    Edano told reporters there is a “possibility” of a meltdown at the plant’s No. 1 reactor, adding, “It is inside the reactor. We can’t see.” He then said authorities are also “assuming the possibility of a meltdown” at the facility’s No. 3 reactor.

    A meltdown is a catastrophic failure of the reactor core, with a potential for widespread radiation release.

    Edano said only a “minor level” of radiation has been released into the environment — saying it all came from a controlled release of radioactive steam, insisting there have been no leaks and it is not harmful to human health.

    About 180,000 people were being evacuated from within 10 to 20 kilometers (6 to 12 miles) of the Daiichi plant, in addition to the thousands that have already been taken away who live closer by. More than 30,000 more were being evacuated from their homes within 10 kilometers of the Fukushima Daiini nuclear facility located in the same prefecture.”

    Stay tuned, listen to the news, Sunday morning will perhaps bring us a different scenario– for better or for far worse.

    Kym Kemp has been doing a great job keeping everyone up to speed on this disaster with her website, links, updates, and pics that can be found here.

    Kym’s site also wisely links TEPCO’s (the owners of the Fukushima Power Plant) press releases that can also be found here. Thanks, Kym.

  237. skippy
    March 12, 2011 at 11:58 pm

    Associated Press now reporting, “Japanese Government Warns of Fresh Explosion Threat”:

    “Date: Sun. Mar. 13 2011 3:15 AM ET
    TOKYO — Japan’s top government spokesman is warning of a fresh threat of explosion from a nuclear unit at a power plant in the country’s earthquake-ravaged northeast.

    Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said Sunday that a hydrogen explosion could occur at Unit 3 of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear complex. That would follow a blast the day before at the same power plant as operators attempted to prevent a nuclear meltdown of another unit by injecting sea water into it.

    More than 170,000 people were evacuated as a precaution, though Edano said the radioactivity released so far into the environment is so small it does not pose any threat to human health.”

  238. skippy
    March 13, 2011 at 10:46 am

    News of Tokyo battling to avert a meltdown at three stricken reactors at the Fukushima plant in what is the worst nuclear accident since the 1986 Chernobyl disaster is bewilderingly slim to none recently. The news agencies have been scarce in their reporting this morning.

    Fears of a nuclear meltdown at present are very real and terrifying Japan– and the world– as we speak. Our local Times Standard newspaper was remarkably devoid mentioning this looming disaster today. Heraldo and Readers have astoundingly moved to discussing the Eureka City Council and marijuana dispensaries as the topic du jour while the biggest manmade disaster in the last 3 decades looms worldwide.

    950 miles from Sendai’s quake’s aftermath, Kym Kempreports her link and surprising video of southern Japan’s Shinmoedake volcano blowing its top off sending ash 4700 feet up into the sky.

    Reports are slowly coming in indicating the major earthquake hitting Japan may have triggered volcanoes in Russia and Indonesia as well. While these reports are still vague, there’s a strong correlation between the two occurrences. In Russia, there are reports that earthquakes were felt during the eruption.

    Japan’s Prime Minister Kan, the Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times report Japan is clearly “facing its worst crisis since WWII.

  239. Plain Jane
    March 13, 2011 at 11:34 am
  240. skippy
    March 13, 2011 at 10:48 pm

    Kym Kemp and her website are doing an admirable job of sorting and keeping up with updates in Japan for Humboldt County.

    Kym recently reported:

    New Hydrogen Blast at Fukushima; 1000 Bodies Found; Radioactive Particulates Found 60 miles From Japan’s Nuclear Plant:

    “UPDATE @8:46 pm: 3 Injured 7 Missing in Explosion at the Unit 3 reactor of Fukushima says Associated Press.

    UPDATE @ 8:15 :International Atomic Energy Agency says: Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) has informed the IAEA that there has been an explosion at the Unit 3 reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. The explosion occurred at 11:01AM local Japan time.

    BBC reports Hydrogen blast at Fukushima but containment wall has held. The video above (on Kym Kemp’s site) shows the explosion.

    New York Times reports: Pentagon officials reported that helicopters flying 60 miles from the plant picked up small amounts of radioactive particulates — still being analyzed, but presumed to include Cesium-137 and Iodine-121 — suggesting widening environmental contamination.

    Tokyo stock market falls sharply as Japan starts new week. It’s Central Bank pumping $85.5 Billion into market.

    Earthquakes continue to rock Japan the latest a little after 6pm our time. This was a 5.8. Here is a constantly updating map of earthquakes.

    Voice of America Bureau Chief Steve Herman is reporting that 1000 bodies have been found on Ojika Peninsula. He’s also reporting that a tsunami alert is in Sendai. Other sources say 2000.”

    Thank you for sorting through this information and keeping us up to speed, Kym. Your site rocks for Humboldt.

    Peace, everyone… it’s going to be a bumpy week… skips

  241. skippy
    March 14, 2011 at 12:12 pm


    The Hindu News, “Meltdown Threat After Hydrogen Blast and Japanese Nuclear Plant”: “Water levels dropped precipitously leaving the uranium fuel rods completely exposed and raising the threat of a meltdown, hours after a hydrogen explosion tore through the building housing a different reactor. The fuel rods in all three of the most troubled nuclear reactors appeared to be melting.”

    BBC News, “Meltdown Alert at Reactor” “The latest hydrogen blast injured 11 people, one of them seriously. It was felt 40km (25 miles) away and sent a huge column of smoke into the air. Nearly 185,000 people have been evacuated from a 20km (12 mile) exclusion zone around the plant. The US said it had moved one of its aircraft carriers from the area after detecting low-level radiation 160km (100 miles) offshore.

    New York Times, Link text ” Crews prepared Monday to pump seawater into a third reactor in order to prevent a meltdown of its fuel. Experts called the injection of seawater into the site’s three crippled reactors units a desperation move never attempted before in the industry…describing this measure as a Hail Mary Pass…”

    Christian Science Monitor,“Oil Prices, World Markets affected:” “The natural disaster in Japan has put an end to the recent rise in the price of oil. Crude oil tumbled over $4 to below $100 per barrel as Japanese refiners shut plants. This drop was dramatic, and looks like some traders took advantage of the natural disaster to go ahead and take profits on the higher oil prices.”

    Google Crisis Response Information, Quake, Tsunami, Nuclear Resources Page is found here: Listing shelters, aid agencies, phone numbers, transportation and flight status out of Japan, Disaster Message Boards, Power and Blackout Status, etc.

    Newsweek, Is Our Next Big Earthquake Going to Be California? The scariest earthquake is yet to come– the tsunami that struck Japan was the third in a series of events that puts California at risk:

    “Now there have been catastrophic events at three corners of the Pacific Plate—one in the northwest, on Friday; one in the southwest, last month; one in the southeast, last year. That leaves just one corner unaffected—the northeast. And the fault line in the northeast of the Pacific Plate is the San Andreas Fault, underpinning the city of San Francisco.”

    Current reports indicate 500,000 individuals evacuated from tsunami, quake, and nuclear areas. Japan’s Nikkei stock index closed down 6.18%, the worst drop in two years. US DJIA currently down 96 points. Folks, it’s gonna be bumpy… disaster moons, Mayan calendars, iodine tablets and Geiger counters aside…keep those emergency supplies ready at home.

  242. skippy
    March 14, 2011 at 7:20 pm

    Latest news, folks.

    Associated Press: “Japanese Agency: Explosion Heard at Power Plant”

    Posted: 03/14/2011 05:45:22 PM PDT
    SOMA, Japan (AP) “– A third explosion in four days rocked the earthquake-damaged Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant in northeast Japan early Tuesday, the country’s nuclear safety agency said.

    The blast at Dai-ichi Unit 2 followed two hydrogen explosions at the plant as authorities struggle to prevent the catastrophic release of radiation in the area devastated by a tsunami. The troubles at the Dai-ichi complex began when Friday’s massive quake and tsunami in Japan’s northeast knocked out power, crippling cooling systems needed to keep nuclear fuel from melting down.

    The latest explosion was heard at 6:10 a.m. Tuesday (2110 GMT Monday), a spokesman for the Nuclear Safety Agency said at a news conference. The plant’s owner, Tokyo Electric Power Co., said the explosion occurred near the suppression pool in the reactor’s containment vessel. The pool was later found to have a defect.

    International scientists have said there are serious dangers but not at the level of the 1986 blast in Chernobyl. Japanese authorities were injecting seawater as a coolant of last resort, and advising nearby residents to stay inside to avoid contamination…”

    (Surprisingly enough, this AP article appears at the Times-Standard site. To note, the T-S has been remarkably negligent of any coverage of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant– and readers going elsewhere for information on the worst manmade disaster in 30 years.)

  243. Mitch
    March 14, 2011 at 7:28 pm


    It’s already far worse than your report. Go to BBC or probably any US network.

    But in fairness to the T-S, nobody expects them to cover nuclear plants in Japan. People expect them to cover the tsunami’s effects on CC, and they’ve done a decent job of that as far as I can tell.

  244. Mitch
    March 14, 2011 at 7:36 pm

    The NYT seems more up to date:


    The sharp deterioration came after government officials said the containment structure of the No. 2 reactor, the most seriously damaged of three reactors at the Daichi plant, had suffered damage during an explosion shortly after 6 a.m. on Tuesday.

    They initially suggested that the damage was limited and that emergency operations aimed at cooling the nuclear fuel at three stricken reactors with seawater would continue. But industry executives said that in fact the situation had spiraled out of control and that all plant workers needed to leave the plant to avoid excessive exposure to radioactive leaks.

    If all workers do in fact leave the plant, the nuclear fuel in all three reactors is likely to melt down, which would lead to wholesale releases of radioactive material — by far the largest accident of its kind since the Chernobyl disaster 25 years ago.

  245. tra
    March 14, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    All it would take to end the use of nuclear power would be to enact one or both of these two simple policy changes:

    (1) Repeal the Price-Anderson Act, which indemnifies the owners of nuke plants in the event of a major catastrophe, and require them to have insurance coverage that would cover the costs of a full-scale meltdown. Under Price-Anderson, which was recently renewed in 2005, the U.S. taxpayer is acting as the insurer against catastrophic events for all these plants, at no cost to the industry. Without that hefty bit of corporate welfare, there is no way anyone would be able to operate a nuclear plant — nobody in their right mind would be willing to insure it, at least not at a price that was anything less than astronomical. (That should tell us something about whether it’s such a great idea in the first place.)


    (2) Require that in order to be an investor, high-level manager, CEO, or board member of any utility that owns a nuke plant, those people must reside, full-time, within a 5 mile radius of a nuclear plant, and are to report directly to the plant in the event of any earthquake, tsunami, tornado, hurricane, terrorist attack, nuclear accident, leak, meltdown or any other emergency that puts the plant at risk. No evacuating to a hotel suite in a distant city, corporate boardroom, country home, fallout shelter, or anywhere else. If these nuke plants are really so “clean” and “safe,” surely those who profit from them and advocate for more of them, should be delighted to have one in their own backyard.

    The fact is, the only way that these accidents-waiting-to-happen are able to operate is that the financial and personal health risks are foisted onto the taxpayer and the general public, while the profits, largely disconnected from those risks, are allowed to flow freely to the investors, CEOs and so on, who stay well out of harms way even as they tout the “safety” and “cleanliness” of their radioactive cash cows. It’s quite an impressive business plan — no wonder they want to build 200 more nuke plants in the U.S.

  246. tra
    March 14, 2011 at 7:57 pm

    And now this:

    [10:12 p.m. ET Monday, 11:12 a.m. Tuesday in Tokyo] A fire has erupted in a fourth reactor at the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, a top adviser to Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan announced Tuesday.


    The bad news keeps coming in, and it’s getting to the point where the next bit of bad news is hitting even before the last bit of bad news has been widely reported.

  247. walt
    March 14, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    So when the fewmets hit the windmill, should we start stocking up on potassium iodide, or will the nuclear love spread to Oregon and Washington only?

  248. March 14, 2011 at 8:36 pm

    Start stocking up now. There is already a run on the stuff.

  249. Plain Jane
    March 14, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    Japan Faces Prospect of Nuclear Catastrophe as Employees Leave Plant

    Japan faced the likelihood of a catastrophic nuclear accident Tuesday morning, as an explosion at the most crippled of three reactors at the Fukushima Daichi Nuclear Power Station damaged its crucial steel containment structure, emergency workers were withdrawn from the plant, and much larger
    emissions of radioactive materials appeared imminent,
    according to official statements and industry executives informed about the developments.

    Prime Minsiter Naoto Kan of Japan was preparing to make a televised address to the nation at 11 a.m. Tokyo time.

    The sharp deterioration came after government officials said the containment structure of the No. 2 reactor, the most seriously damaged of three reactors at the Daichi plant, had suffered damage during an explosion shorly after 6 a.m. on Tuesday.

    San Onofre was built to withstand a 7.0 earthquake.

    March 14, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    Not too long ago, didn’t the herald have a thread where nuclear was discussed?


  251. tra
    March 14, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    While the Chernobyl accident did spread a huge amount of radiation around Europe, and to some degree around the world, the Japanese plants at least do have containment structures, which Chernobyl did not. So hopefully the chances of us getting hit with with a lot of radioactive fallout here in North America are pretty low.

    But if the containment structures fail due to damage from the quakes and/or explosions, then we could be looking at a full-on Chernobyl situation, in which case all bets are off.

  252. tra
    March 14, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    San Onofre was built to withstand a 7.0 earthquake.

    Let’s all just take a moment to consider the stark, raving MADNESS, the sheer, gibbering utter INSANITY of that.

    It’s Russian roulette, only with a cast of millions.

  253. Plain Jane
    March 14, 2011 at 9:15 pm

    Well, it also has a barrier that will stop a 25 foot tsunami. Of course, IF the earthquake does structural damage to the wall, all bets are off. What’s amazing to me is that they actually use the word “if” rather than “when” a massive earthquake strikes. However, they do have a “detailed evacuation plan for 10 miles around San Onofre” so don’t worry, be happy.

  254. tra
    March 14, 2011 at 9:20 pm

    “We remain fundamentally committed to nuclear power and the expansion of nuclear power in the U.S. as a safe and clean emissions-free source of electric generation.”

    – Jim Owen, a spokesman for the Edison Electric Institute, an association of electric utility companies.


    Just to be clear: He said that today.

    That’s right, he used the phrase “safe and clean, emissions-free” to describe nuclear power, even in light of today’s events.


  255. tra
    March 14, 2011 at 9:58 pm

    Apparently the fire in Reactor # 4 at the Japanese plant may bave been due to spent fuel rods overheating:

    That fourth reactor had been turned off and was under refurbishment for months before the earthquake and tsunami hit the plant on Friday. But the plant contains spent fuel rods that were removed from the reactor, and experts guessed that the pool containing those rods had run dry, allowing the rods to overheat and catch fire. That is almost as dangerous as the fuel in working reactors melting down, because the spent fuel can also spew radioactivity into the atmosphere.


    But, but, but it’s soooo safey-cleany, sooooo emission free, it’s like having a fresh dewy mountain meadow next door, and the aroma of Mom’s apple pie wafting in from the kitchen, all wrapped in one!

  256. tra
    March 14, 2011 at 11:03 pm

    The leaders of BOTH major political parties are continuing to push for hundreds of billions in additional direct and indirect subsidies to ensure the creation of more of these ticking time-bombs, which are so expensive, uneconomical, dangerous and impractical that no one in the private sector will finance one, insure one, or build one without massive corporate welfare.


  257. Plain Jane
    March 14, 2011 at 11:17 pm

    But that’s big government that is profitable to the shareholders, Tra. I can’t remember, what political system is it that the government is of, by and for the corporations and the little people just tools?

  258. tra
    March 14, 2011 at 11:31 pm

    At this point in history, the name for that system is The Status Quo.

  259. tra
    March 14, 2011 at 11:38 pm

    The ongoing nuclear disaster in Japan may signal the death knell for the long-planned addition of two nuclear reactors at the South Texas Project.

    CPS Energy CEO Doyle Beneby announced Monday that the utility and NRG Energy, the majority partner in the expansion, have mutually agreed to suspend talks over CPS possibly buying power from the two proposed reactors, which were scheduled to be licensed and begin construction in 2012.

    Tokyo Electric Power Co., which owns the crippled Fukushima Daiichi plant, was expected to invest in the STP expansion if the project was awarded a federal loan guarantee. In addition, NRG has said it would also rely on loan guarantees from the Japanese government to build the new reactors.

    It now seems unlikely that either entity will be in a position to invest in the U.S. nuclear industry any time soon.


  260. tra
    March 15, 2011 at 12:13 am

    “It is likely that the level of radiation increased sharply due to a fire at Unit 4,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said. “Now we are talking about levels that can damage human health”…the warning to residents within the 19-mile radius was dire. “Please do not go outside. Please stay indoors. Please close windows and make your homes airtight. Don’t turn on ventilators. Please hang your laundry indoors,” he said. “These are figures that potentially affect health. There is no mistake about that.”


  261. tra
    March 15, 2011 at 12:59 am

    Just listening to a press conference by a Japanese Gov’t official on Al Jazeera’s English service. Currently they’re saying that the #1 and #3 reactors are “relatevely stable,” meaning that the seawater pumping seems to be succeeding in keeping the temperature and pressure in those reactor vessels down, hopefully enough to avert a full-scale meltdown.

    He was much more cautious (evasive, even?) about the status in reactor 3, but it sounds like they’re still having trouble keeping enough seawater in the reactor vessel to prevent the fuel rods from being exposed. Earlier, there were reports that in the reactor # 3, the reactor vessel itself may have been damaged during the hydrogen explosion, and is leaking (radioactive) sea water as fast or faster than they can inject it, leaving fuel rods still partially exposed and probably continuing to melt.

    So at the moment, it looks like #3 is the biggest problem, the one most likely to go into a full-scale meltdown. The problem is, if that happened, workers would have to evacuate all of the reactors there, and without the workers to keep the seawater-pumping operation going, #1 and #3 would likely end up with full-scale meltdowns. And I suppose the spent-fuel fire problem at #4, and maybe the other off-line units, might recur.

    It sounds like there’s still a chance that they can avert the worst-case scenario, though a happy ending seems to be getting less likely as new problems keep cropping up. Meanwhile, the aftershocks aren’t over, and a whole new quake could be on the way. What a nightmare.

  262. tra
    March 15, 2011 at 1:18 am

    I’ve seen a few posts and comments about people locally scrambling to get idodine tablets, wondering if they should be fleeing to Florida, heading to a fallout shelter, that sort of thing.

    From what I have been able to gather, it seems that even in the worst-cae scenario (even if all three reactors went into a full-on meltdown, and even if all three had total failures of both the reactor vessel and the containment structure and massive Chernobyl-style releases of radioactive materials do occur) nobody here in North America is likely to end up with any significant dose of radiation from those melt-downs.

    It’s true that the jet stream could carry airborne radioactive particles in our direction, but the vast majority of these particles would “precipitate out” over the ocean long before it reached us. Not an ideal situation, but also not a reason for anyone here to panic.

    The major damage and immediate loss of life will be in the region immediately around (and downwind from) the melted-down nuke plants, with long-lasting effects on the environment and human health in a wider area, again depending on where the wind carries the fallout, but probably not amounting to much over here in the Americas.

    Of course I’ll be monitoring what the experts are saying about this issue, but at this point I’m not planning to flee the area, head for a fallout shelter, or anything like that.

  263. skippy
    March 15, 2011 at 8:37 am

    Thank you Tra, Plain Jane, Mitch, and others working hard and providing the above information.

    Times-Standard’s mighty Thadeus Greenson in his article, “State, Feds: No Current Nuclear Risk from Japan; California Hotline Set up to Field Questions” reports today:

    “As the risk of a nuclear meltdown increases in Japan, numerous media outlets reported that winds in the island nation are carrying any radioactive material being released east into the Pacific Ocean…there is no need for alarm, according to state and federal agencies. ”Given the thousands of miles between the two countries… the U.S. West Coast are not expected to experience any harmful levels of radioactivity,” stated a release from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    Robert Lima, owner of Lima’s Pharmacy, said a customer actually started screaming at one of his store’s pharmacists Saturday when it was discovered the tablets Lima’s had on its shelf were expired. ”We’ve got several calls,” Lima said Monday. “We are trying to get some more in.”

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency spokeswoman Mary Simms said in an e-mail to the Times-Standard that the agency has testing stations set up throughout the West Coast and throughout California that would pick up any radioactive particles in the air. There’s a station in Eureka, according to the EPA’s website.

    “At this time, there is no indication that materials from the incidents in Japan have the potential to have any significant radiological effect on the U.S.,” the (Nuclear Regulatory Commission) list states. …The California Department of Public Health has set up a hotline to field questions, which can be reached by calling 916-341-3947 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.”

  264. Anonymous
    March 15, 2011 at 9:37 am

    This is still making my spine quiver…

  265. Mitch
    March 15, 2011 at 9:51 am


    I really like option (2) of your 7:43 post. It would be a different world if it were applied to every corporate executive of every manufacturer — build things as safely as you can, and plan on being forcibly confined with your family to the grounds of your factory in the event of any health issue arising.

    Hell, it should apply to every government elected official who votes in favor of any reduction in regulation of an industry.

    And to Hifi, just because.

  266. tra
    March 15, 2011 at 10:29 am


    I wouldn’t support forcing their family into sharing their fate.

  267. Mitch
    March 15, 2011 at 10:36 am

    Even in your fantasies, you are nicer than I, tra.

  268. Mitch
    March 15, 2011 at 10:37 am

    Grammar Police: “than me”

  269. tra
    March 15, 2011 at 12:26 pm


    The beleagured crew at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant had to abandon the control room Tuesday night because of high radiation levels, Kyodo News reported, citing plant owner Tokyo Electric Power Company. They were monitoring data from a remote site, Kyodo reported.


  270. Random Guy
    March 15, 2011 at 12:37 pm


    Despite all the “don’t worry”…not a good idea to be playing in the rain for awhile.

  271. March 15, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    Nice fallout map [link removed].

  272. Mitch
    March 15, 2011 at 1:33 pm


    I’m a bit dubious about that map; for one thing, one version says “Australian Radiation Service” and another says NRC. Also, it’s highly unlikely that any credible organization would put out a map like that without explaining the event it is “mapping” better than “meltdown.”

    Here’s a news release from nrc.gov:


  273. Mitch
    March 15, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    And it’s discredited at snopes.com as a fake:


  274. tra
    March 15, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    What that map doesn’t show is that most, if not all, of the airborne radioactive particles are likely to have already “precipitated out” of the atmosphere long before they could reach us.

    I wish they could quantify our risk here in North America in terms of something that people could undertand, like Tanning Bed Hour Equivalents. I think that might calm people down a bit, because even in a worst-case scenario, we’re not likely to get much fallout over here.

    Even in the case of Chernobyl, which involved an explosion and massive fire and NO containment building, the actual radioactive fallout didn’t make it more than 1,000 miles, and the overwhelming amount of the fallout and health effects were much, much closer to the plant.

    I’m not saying there’s no risk here in North America, or that we can be sure that our exposure here will be zero (although that’s quite possible) but even in the worst-case scenario our exposure will probably not be anywhere near enough to justify all the hysteria and the iodine-grabbing panic.

  275. Mitch
    March 15, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    There are people of integrity everywhere. Unfortunately, they rarely seem to be in charge. It rarely turns out to matter quite as much as it does today, though:


    First sentence: “Thirty-five years ago, Dale G. Bridenbaugh and two of his colleagues at General Electric resigned from their jobs after becoming increasingly convinced that the nuclear reactor design they were reviewing — the Mark 1 — was so flawed it could lead to a devastating accident.”

  276. skippy
    March 15, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    This update in from Reuters 1 hour ago.

    Fire Breaks Out at Japan Fukushima Daiichi No.4 Reactor Building:
    “(Reuters) – A fire has broken out at the building housing the No.4 reactor of Tokyo Electric Power Co’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, the electric utility said on Wednesday. Efforts are under way to put out the fire, it said.”

    Previous reports:
    UPDATE 3-Japan Radiation Leaking “Directly” Into Air-IAEA:
    “VIENNA, March 15 (Reuters) – Japan has told the U.N. nuclear watchdog radioactivity was being released “directly” into the atmosphere from the site of an earthquake-stricken reactor and that it had put out a fire at a spent fuel storage pond there…”

    U.S. Energy Chief: Don’t Delay New Nuclear Plants:
    “(Reuters) – U.S. regulators should press ahead with approving construction licenses for new nuclear power plants despite Japan’s nuclear crisis, President Barack Obama’s top energy official Steven Chu said on Tuesday…

  277. tra
    March 15, 2011 at 5:04 pm

    Between the environmental effects of uranium mining and refining, the high-level and low-level waste problems, the radiation releases during the inevitable accidents and “malfunctions” (inevitable given enough time and the presence of thousands of plants), and the possibility, which is always there (no matter how remote) of full-scale catastrophic meltdowns, I have a hard time listening to these industry shills who use the phrase, “safe, clean, emission-free” to describe nuclear power. It’s anything but.

    I do understand the appeal of it, though — the idea that we can somehow squeeze all that energy out of such a small amount of fuel, and the desire to continue to be able to generate electricity in a hugely centralized way, and continue our high-energy-consumption lifestyles, but without the carbon-spewing fossil-fuel plants.

    It’s the shiny-happy technofuture we’ve all been promised for so long now that many of us actually have come to believe that not only is it inevitable, but we are in fact entitled to it. Unfortunately, the Law of Physics and Mother Nature aren’t interested in our utopian techo-fantasies, mor in our sense of entitlement and/or inevitability, and these natural laws will continue to operate whether we are in denial about them or not, and notwithstanding any amount of Public Relations spin about how “safe, clean, and emission-free” splitting atoms is.

    The fact of the matter is that nuclear power is really neither a cost-effective nor a safe technology, and is only able to exist because of the massive subsidies and the way that the costs and risks are underestimated, externalized and unrecognized. Amazingly, even WITH all those subsidies, incentives, and indemnities, and even WITH the “expediting” of permits for new nukes, they’re still having a very hard time finding any companies who want to build new nukes in this country.

    Imagine if even just half the subsidies that go to the nuclear industry were redirected to the research and development of renewable energy sources, as well as tax incentives to help speed the adoption of things like solar power, wind power and energy conservation.

    But noooooo, we’ve just gotta keep throwing more money down a radioactive rathole…or at least so says Obama and the Republicans who are his allies on this issue.

  278. tra
    March 15, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    And now reactor #4’s spent fuel pool has caught fire again, spewing more radioactivity. Apparently there was an explosion there this morning, and then a fire with flames that were visible from quite a distance away.

    Officials are saying that the fire there apparently hadn’t been fully extinguished yesterday. But though that fire has still not been put out, they’re saying that the situation is “under control.” Which is a relative term, I suppose, because that’s probably not what most of us mean when we use the phrase “under control.”

    I have a proposal for a new slogan for the nuclear power industry:

    Nuclear Power: Hey, What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

  279. skippy
    March 15, 2011 at 5:51 pm

    From the Los Angeles Times “Fire Erupts Again at Fukushima Daiichi’s No. 4 Reactor; Nuclear Fuel Rods Damaged at Other Reactors” by <Carol J.Williams:

    “Fire breaks out for the second time at the No. 4 reactor of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex. Meanwhile, a report says about 70% of the nuclear fuel rods at the No. 1 reactor have been damaged, along with 33% of the rods at the No. 2 reactor.

    The ominous disclosure, after authorities insisted throughout the previous day that damage to the overheating reactors was negligible, compounded a sense of escalating hazards and fear…

    An estimated 70 percent of the nuclear fuel rods have been damaged at the troubled No. 1 reactor of the Fukushima (Daiichi) No. 1 nuclear power plant, and 33 percent at the No. 2 reactor,” Kyodo news agency reported Wednesday, quoting an unnamed official of the Tokyo Electric Power Co. that operates the stricken power complex…

    The reported partial meltdowns of the No. 1 and No. 2 reactor cores were thought to be responsible for the plume of radiation that escaped Tuesday, sending background radiation levels soaring to degrees that authorities conceded were harmful to anyone with prolonged exposure.

    Radiation released from the six-reactor Fukushima Daiichi complex Tuesday caused a 400-fold increase in background levels outside the stricken plant and about 10 times the normal level in Tokyo….

    …Those levels described by a top government official as hazardous to human health declined overnight… Radiation detected near the plant early Wednesday was insufficient to harm human health, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano told reporters.”

  280. tra
    March 15, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    From the BBC’s live blog:

    2359: Back to the ongoing crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant: the Kyodo news agency reports that engineers are spraying boric acid to prevent “recriticality” – presumably, the resumption of a self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction – at reactor 4.


  281. tra
    March 15, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    From Al Jazeera:

    Japan’s nuclear safety committee say radiation levels of 400 millisieverts an hour had been recorded near Fukushima’s No.4 reactor earlier today.

    Exposure to over 100 millisieverts a year is a level which can lead to cancer, says to the World Nuclear Association.


  282. tra
    March 15, 2011 at 7:05 pm

    More from the BBC live blog:

    0146 : Tepco says the reactor 3 at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has been emitting white smoke for about 45 minutes, Kyodo News reports. The plant’s reactor 4 was the one where a fire broke out earlier this morning, Tepco said.


  283. tra
    March 15, 2011 at 8:39 pm

    And now numerous news sources saying that all workers have now been evacuated from the site due to rising radiation levels.

    It’s not clear if that’s a temporary pull out to deal with what is expected to be a short-term spike in radiation, or what.

    It was hard enough to imagine how just a few dozen workers were trying to keep a lid on all four malfunctioning reactor units, all at the same time. But it’s even harder to see how they’re going to be able to keep things “under control” (whatever that means at this point) without any staff on site to do anything.

    I’m not sure exactly what’s happening, but I think it’s fair to say that things are not going well at the moment.

  284. tra
    March 15, 2011 at 8:50 pm

    The evacuation of the remaining workers was confirmed by a spokesman for the Japanese government:

    0320: Staff have now been evacuated from Fukushima because of a spike in radiation levels, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano told a news conference.


    The situation is looking very grave indeed.

  285. Plain Jane
    March 15, 2011 at 8:50 pm

    I heard tonight that Japan has asked President Obama to send experts to assess the situation and offer suggestions. The situation is dire. It’s incomprehensible how they are able to cope with such overwhelming horror.

  286. skippy
    March 16, 2011 at 11:37 am

    Kym Kemp’s Redheaded Blackbelt site is following developments tirelessly. She has a New York Times link, found below, and worthwhile viewing to understand the utter devastation. Yours truly did– and very shocked.

    Kym writes: “If you don’t look at anything else, take
    a look at this before and after shot(s) of the Fukushima nuclear power site (and surrounding areas)”.

    (Drag your cursor in the middle of each picture from side to side to interactively engage the before/after feature. These pictures tell a thousand words. Thanks, Kym)

  287. September 7, 2012 at 4:01 am

    Wonderful issues altogether, you just gained a logo new reader. What may you suggest about your post that you just made some days in the past? Any sure?

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