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Old 03-13-2011, 04:26 PM   #61
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This article from Reuters anticipates that Japanese investors will repatriate many of their overseas investments ASAP, to help rebuilding. I think we can expect turbulence in the bond and equity markets tomorrow.

Japan brings money home to rebuild | Reuters
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Old 03-13-2011, 04:36 PM   #62
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This article from Reuters anticipates that Japanese investors will repatriate many of their overseas investments ASAP, to help rebuilding. I think we can expect turbulence in the bond and equity markets tomorrow.

Japan brings money home to rebuild | Reuters
Except the last sentence in the article is practically a "Never mind": The Kobe earthquake did not have all this stuff happen even though damages were $100 billion. This Sendai earthquake though surely has much high damage costs.

It also highlights that the Japanese should not invest only in Japan. To make the point: It is better to invest only in Sendai companies or globally?
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Old 03-13-2011, 04:38 PM   #63
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People are already saying the problems at the Japanese reactor are proving the design was inadequate. I don't see it that way. It has certainly shown where some improvements might be made (more redundancy in provision of core cooling) but has the containment been breached?
The design was fine for what was known in the late 1960s, in terms of seismic hazards, materials science, and so on. The design would not be fine now, because we've got another 40 years of science and engineering under our belts. We wouldn't build such a plant today, but that doesn't mean that the old plant is inherently unsafe.

What we are seeing today is an unprecedented disaster. It is a frightening thing.

I really wish that folks would not focus on problems at a power plant that pose little immediate or long term risk. There are a half million people who have had to flee their homes. Four passenger trains running in the coastal areas of Miyagi and Iwate prefectures are unaccounted for. Miyagi police report that a ship carrying more than 100 people was washed away.

Tsunami aid and relief: How you can help This Just In - CNN.com Blogs
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Old 03-13-2011, 04:47 PM   #64
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For all Japanese friends... as a suggestion and if you have not already done so....please see if you are able to get your hands on some iodine tablets or liquid iodine pharmaceutical grade. It will protect your thyroid...preventing or limiting any radiation uptake.
I imagine that if this were valid prophylactic advice, there would have been an official announcement by now.
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Disclaimer: Please talk to your doctor or medical personnel about this prior to taking... regarding dosing and timing.
... or indeed, regarding whether self-medication for an undetermined environmental threat is a good idea in any circumstances (clue: no).
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In the event you can not get your hands on any...eat as much fish and shell fish as possible as the iodine in it...will also help.
Well, you don't normally have to tell Japanese people to eat seafood... but if you thought that a nuclear reactor had leaked large amounts of radiation which had blown out to sea, would you really be looking to increase your consumption of food from that same sea?
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Old 03-13-2011, 05:02 PM   #65
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Japan will have 3-hour rolling daytime blackouts with so much electricity generating capacity offline.
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Old 03-13-2011, 05:08 PM   #66
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I imagine that if this were valid prophylactic advice, there would have been an official announcement by now.
Here you go:

Japan may hand out iodine near nuclear plants: IAEA

http://www.bt.cdc.gov/radiation/ki.asp

Wikipedia - Potassium iodide - Thyroid protection due to nuclear accidents and emergencies

World Health Organisation - Guidelines for Iodine Prophylaxis following Nuclear Accidents
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Old 03-13-2011, 05:09 PM   #67
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I imagine that if this were valid prophylactic advice, there would have been an official announcement by now.

... or indeed, regarding whether self-medication for an undetermined environmental threat is a good idea in any circumstances (clue: no).

Well, you don't normally have to tell Japanese people to eat seafood... but if you thought that a nuclear reactor had leaked large amounts of radiation which had blown out to sea, would you really be looking to increase your consumption of food from that same sea?
Well...the intention of my post ....was if possible...which it may not be...was to try to "have some iodine on hand"...."if needed". I said nothing about taking it or self medicating and believe I indicated...basically to do it under medical supervision.

Not sure I would want to wait for the government ...that is horrendously innundated...to dole it out...if needed.

Certainly no harm in being prepared...which is all my post intended.
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Old 03-13-2011, 05:09 PM   #68
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I imagine that if this were valid prophylactic advice, there would have been an official announcement by now.
The government is already distributing iodine tablets.
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Old 03-13-2011, 05:13 PM   #69
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The government is already distributing iodine tablets.
Good to know Meaddbh...because I know if I were there...I certainly would want them!
Glad the government is being proactive...on this.
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Old 03-13-2011, 05:39 PM   #70
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The images of the destruction and suffering are overwhelming. I keep thinking about people trapped. It's almost unbearable when you consider the reality of what's going on this very moment for so many people.

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Old 03-13-2011, 06:14 PM   #71
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Good to know Meaddbh...because I know if I were there...I certainly would want them!
Glad the government is being proactive...on this.
We keep some iodine in our emergency supply kit, along with food, water, bandages, medication, etc.
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Old 03-13-2011, 06:32 PM   #72
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We keep some iodine in our emergency supply kit, along with food, water, bandages, medication, etc.
Potassium Iodide pills are easy to buy in the US. Many websites offer them, but most won't ship to Europe.

After a lot of searching, I got mine from LEF Europe. Warning: potassium iodide pills don't last forever, they have an expiry date, so they're a recurrent expense.

The odds that I'll ever need them are very low. They're supposed to rarely be needed by adults over 40 years (low risk of thyroid cancer, increased risk of side effects). But I work close to several potential military and terrorist targets, so I keep some in my office and at home just in case.
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Old 03-13-2011, 06:36 PM   #73
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Well...the intention of my post ....was if possible...which it may not be...was to try to "have some iodine on hand"...."if needed". I said nothing about taking it or self medicating and believe I indicated...basically to do it under medical supervision.

Not sure I would want to wait for the government ...that is horrendously innundated...to dole it out...if needed.

Certainly no harm in being prepared...which is all my post intended.
Sorry if my reply was a bit snarky. I see too much "helpful health advice" on the Internet, much of it probably actively harmful. I'm glad to see that the authorities are on top of it (although I suspect their action is more about reassurance and "being seen to do something" than anything else).

In other news, I saw that Japan moved 8 feet.
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Old 03-13-2011, 07:58 PM   #74
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What we are seeing today is an unprecedented disaster. It is a frightening thing.
The casualty estimates keep climbing: this WashPo article says the number killed may exceed 20,000. Terrible.

A wealthy country with good preparedness and a society structured to deal with trauma, yet still the numbers and the hardship are sobering.

Geography means a lot.
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Old 03-13-2011, 08:20 PM   #75
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Things I've noticed:

1. Very few people in the images of the tsunami compared with images from Thailand. I guess it means that many moved to higher ground?? Or fewer people were in the streets to begin with??

2. Death toll in Thailand was 230,000, so I'm guessing that this toll will indeed exceed 20,000.

3. So many Japanese wear surgical masks, apparently when they have a cold, or don't want to catch one from others.

4. News reports grossly misrepresented what was happening in Northern California in the name of sensationalism. That's something I've noticed whenever I am near a news event.
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Old 03-13-2011, 09:06 PM   #76
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Things I've noticed:

1. Very few people in the images of the tsunami compared with images from Thailand. I guess it means that many moved to higher ground?? Or fewer people were in the streets to begin with??

2. Death toll in Thailand was 230,000, so I'm guessing that this toll will indeed exceed 20,000.
......
1) Maybe due to better preparedness/awareness. Don't they also have early warning systems in place and people had at least some time to try to run?

2) That 230,000 is the total for 2004. Thailand had < 10,000

As for the nuclear power stations: There is just too little info to tell what really happened inside. I get the impression though that they did not plan well for a tsunami since all their emergency diesels appear to have been damaged by seawater.
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Old 03-13-2011, 11:42 PM   #77
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Disaster planning proceeds iteratively, I would imagine it always will.

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Old 03-14-2011, 04:37 AM   #78
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The images of the destruction and suffering are overwhelming. I keep thinking about people trapped. It's almost unbearable when you consider the reality of what's going on this very moment for so many people.

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Old 03-14-2011, 08:37 AM   #79
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There is a 21 year old local college girl who had just arrived in Japan the day before the earthquake. She was on the 20th floor in her hotel room when it hit. Fortunately, she was in a well built hotel that didn't crumble and shes OK. According to her, flights out of Tokyo to the U.S. are running something like $6k if you can get one. Her return flight is for Friday so she is sitting tight. I imagine her parents have been pretty nervous.
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Old 03-14-2011, 09:03 AM   #80
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I was mesmerized by the helicopter footage of the advancing tsunami wave across the countryside. It looked so surreal. It didn't even look like water, just this black mass of cars, houses, boats, and debris, rapidly washing over the tidy countryside, consuming everything in its path. I tried to imagine what it must've been like for the people in the cars driving along the road helplessly, with nowhere to go (the road being parallel to the front of the advancing wave). Or the people in all those buildings, who may not have even seen it coming. Just horrific and surreal.
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