Posts Tagged ‘stay or leave’

Hi Everyone,

Thank you so much for all your messages. We’ve had several close friends and family tell us that they think we should leave, but we are going to stay put unless things change quite a bit. I have decided to start posting here instead of (in addition to?) sending messages to everyone because that is what a blog is for. I started it for a grad course I am taking at the U of Toronto but it has come in handy for one news article I wrote about Egypt (links are on the left) and for updating everyone on our situation here. You can post a comment on the bottom if you like.

A number of family members and friends are very worried about us and are asking us to leave. We have investigated the situation in great detail and here is our report. We are 1000 km. correction: 750 km. from the nuclear plants that are having a problem now. That’s about the same distance from Saint John (where my family lives) to Toronto. I asked a scientist at my university if we could expect to get any radiation here in Kitami, and he said no. If you look at 3-Mile Island and Chernobyl, the dangerous radiation extended for a distance of 12-13 miles, and in both of those cases there was a huge meltdown, which so far has been avoided here. According to the article below, people within an 18-mile radius are being asked to stay indoors, altho the US has recommended that the radius be increased to 50 miles.

Radioactivity disperses over distance, and we usually get winds coming from the north and from the west here, almost never from the south. The chances of any radioactivity showing up here at all are very small. The 75% chance of another earthquake was for the first couple days after the earthquake, so March 12-13. There still is a chance of another big earthquake, but it will not be anywhere near here. We checked the dangerous places on maps (see below for one example) before we moved here. We are on solid ground! No moving plates beneath us here. Also we are far from the sea so no chance at all of a tsunami. We prepared well!

This general article Where Things Stand explains the causes of the problems at the nuclear power plants and how they are dealing with them. I’d like to make the point that even if there were a complete meltdown, we would not be exposed to radiation at our 1000 km. distance from the plants. Now if we were in Tokyo, I would be evacuating now. We didn’t move to Tokyo on purpose because of its location close to three shifting continental plates. Scientists predict that when “the big one”, the massive earthquake that it 30 years overdue now, it will be close to Tokyo. That is one reason why we are living in the Canadian-like wilderness of Hokkaido. We live in a small city surrounded by agricultural fields and woods. We are very happy here and do not want to leave unless there is a clear and present danger. Right now, we have no evidence of danger to us here. So we are staying put, at least for the near future.

Please do not worry about us, life continues in Kitami as if there had not been an earthquake. It’s hard for us to realize that 1000 km. correction: 750 km. away there is a disaster situation, like it is hard for you to realize the same thing in your safe homes far away. If the danger becomes greater, we will surely go. For example, if large amounts of radiation were released into the atmosphere, we would likely leave because of the possibility of food contamination. We are monitoring the situation constantly, from early morning until after midnight.

On a different topic completely, today is Tristan’s birthday! He is 5 years old today, and we’ll have a birthday party with balloons and presents and pizza and a homemade chocolate cake Brandon and I made yesterday.

Bye for now, and big hugs to you all,

Love Jen xoxo

Map of tectonic plates under Japan

Map of tectonic plates under Japan. We are on the northeast of the northern-most island, on one tectonic plate only. Click on the map for a bigger version.