JAPAN

You never know where you are going to run into people. One day you are chatting over the internet and then next day you are standing side by side covering one of the worst disasters in recent memory. While I have covered Haiti, the Southeast Asian Tsunami, Katrina and now Japan, this one was the most tedious because of the unknown. We saw and experienced worse in all the other locations, but in Japan, we just didn’t know what to expect and this erred on the side of caution. We got about 70 miles or so from the reactors in an area I like to call the edge of the disaster zone…our places were hit hard, but not like around the nuclear plants. Meantime, I had the great pleasure of working with a friend here in the BullPen and also one who has followed our foxnews.com blogs since early on. YEP…LDG. Here are a couple of pics for you.

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76 Responses to “JAPAN”

  1. Dale Hornsby Says:

    Adam…. Great coverage of the tragedy in Japan. Thanks for your hard work.

  2. WOW….love the picture.

  3. Our prayers continue for the people of Japan. Great pictures. Thanks.

  4. K. C. - Fresno, Ca. Says:

    WOW – Nice to meet you LDG

    Thanks for helping with the devastating story happening in Japan.

    Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with you and yours.

    Adam – great job as always

  5. susan corral Says:

    WOW~~~ How did I not know this picture of the both of you, would not be you two?

    Yes, the wise man with the youth…..teacher~~~ and yet, so reserved as the Japanese do, to stand behind you… practicing humility.. as he always calls you, “our host.”

    Great shot!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Great shot!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Soooooooooooo glad you two met…

    Now Adam.. as smart as you are, were you able to keep up with LDG’s brilliance? Or did you fake it like I try to do? Years later…

    This picture made my day… totally….

    Adam showed his interest for his friends via blog….and once again Adam proved he is never above us… and LDG, I am sure, was of valuable assistance to Adam because we all know here, LDG is brilliant.

    GREAT PICTURE~~~~ I LOVE IT!!!!

    Hugs from Arizona…

  6. susan corral Says:

    scratch me saying LDG stood behind you..more like to the side of you..
    (LDG is always so modest and humble..)

    great picture~~~ you both look wonderful~~~ Two handsome men… with brilliant minds.. πŸ™‚

  7. susan corral Says:

    and this is why you are both loved !!!!

    by your friends here on the blog..

    two good guys who hooked up in the worse of times… but a great picture was shared here~~~ πŸ™‚

  8. @Adam Housley

    Again, a pleasure to have done what I could. I would have loved to have had the chance to get you out to some more of the historical sites (for both your reports and your own interest).

    @All

    Ok, story time.

    It’s easy to look like a good guide in your backyard, folks. If we’d diverted course on our run over to visit a JGSDF aviation base, in a 20 minute drive I could have taken the whole crew home for lunch.

    That picture of the two of us… taken at the end of about 24hours no-sleep for Housley and crew… and the late afternoon sun directly in front of us… and we both took off our sunglasses…

    The secret hero of the adventure was the Saturday Night Clerk at Route Inn Hotel Shimodate. Over on the coast side of Ibaraki Prefecture, where the team was setting up for their live shots in the Oh-Dark-Hundred hours of the night, there were simply no hotel rooms to be found. Either they were occupied or they were damaged. Zip Zero Nada not even space in the stables. So the hunt was on for a place close enough to drive to but not impacted directly by the disaster. Many calls and call-backs later, the Night Clerk at this modest sized business hotel in a fairly countryside area comes up with two… maybe, possibly, not until afternoon… maybe three… double rooms. He took the reservation on say-so alone, and made it happen when no one else could.

    And, for those of you with a sense of irony… the same hotel company at their downtown Mito location was the first place the team found by their own resources, but got no help and eventually got the “get off our lawn” treatment from the management.

    Biggest surprise, at least for me, was the road-bridge damage. Like said in the thread topic, we were well outside the ZoME (Zone of Major Effect) and besides the tsunami damage that made such good liveshot locations, there were lots of places where roads and bridges simply no longer met… and if you were driving along even fairly carefully, you could suddenly find yourself taking a foot or so drop… or facing a curb-like bump in the road. Emergency management had been out during the night and had found most of them, and sandbagged them so one could still drive, but heaven help your teeth if you found one they hadn’t gotten to yet… and go buy new shocks if you were driving anything less than a 4×4.

  9. Side Topic:

    For those of you news junkies out there… the cost of doing international reporting on the fly:

    http://www.thewrap.com/media/article/libya-japans-tsunami-broadcasters-struggle-pay-coverage-25869?page=0,0

  10. LDG,

    As usual, thanks for the info. I do learn so much from you.

  11. @Sylvia

    Most welcome. I try to help.

    @Susan

    (missed all of your comments earlier; my regrets)

    You silly. You make it sound like I’m playing the lead in an episode of Mito Koumon or something… which, now that I think of it, is usually set and filmed in the area we were working… but at no time did we get to do the whole fight scene ending (of every episode!) where we get to reveal… er… wait… you’ve likely never seen or heard of the show. It’s kind of the Japanese “Gunsmoke”, a period drama so popular it is on its 37th season or so now.

  12. susan corral Says:

    LDG–

    you are soooooooooooo cute!! I love your stories~~~ and how you connect the dots for everything…

    thank you for sharing one of the adventures you had with dear Adam!!!!

    xoxoxxooxo

  13. Again, most welcome.

    Here’s another brief story, of the “small world” kind:

    When we went over to JGSDF Kita Utsunomiya army aviation base, it was a cold call… drive up to the gate and just ask if the guard could introduce the FOXNews crew to the base Public Affairs Officer (PAO). Went well enough and shortly the PAO, with a translator, came out to talk to the crew, and specifically the Producer. After a short while, this left our good host and me standing off to one side and waiting. From inside the post, a mid-rank officer we hadn’t met came out and walked over to introduce himself… in English… seems when he was younger, he spent part of one year in San Francisco studying American English. He was still pretty good at it, too. When he found out Housley was from Northern California, they hit it off and had a great chat. Small world, huh?

  14. LDG,
    Great story. It is a small world. Now what would it take for you and Adam to show up in Cincy?

    By the way, the Reds open the season tomorrow and it is in the 30’s today. We even had snow flurries. Not exactly baseball weather!

  15. Thanks to LDG for all the stories, I have enjoyed reading all the info you have shared. Fourteen years ago my niece spent the summer in Japan and I forwarded the photojournalist’s link to her and she really appreciated it.

  16. @Sylvia

    I’d say, with baseball season opening, you’ve a better chance of getting our good host to come visit than usual. Me? I’m going to say unlikely on work… could plan a vacation that way one year, though.

    @Barb

    aa, that’s a coincidence: I moved here in 1997. I’m very glad that she appreciated the photos (and I know you love photography too).

    As to stories and such, most welcome indeed.

    An old friend commonly said to me that “There are only three reasons for doing much of anything: For Love; For Money; or For Story Value.” Maybe he had a point there…

  17. G’morning All

    Here’s your Monday happy news:
    http://english.kyodonews.jp/news/2011/04/83055.html

  18. I really like good news. It’s been a bad news morning here.

    First we find out that some kids smashed mail boxes on our street. Kids were caught. We need to get a new box and wood post.

    Then we discovered we have a water leak between the house and the water meter and have to have a plumbing company dig up our front yard!!! What an expensive mess we will be dealing with once we get the plumbers to show up!

  19. @Sylvia

    argh! That doesn’t sound good at all… except for the “were caught” part. Wonder if the Postal Inspectors will jump into the case; vandalizing a mail box falls under the Federal statutes protecting the mails in the U.S.

    Here’s hoping it all cleans up and repairs quickly.

  20. LDG,
    Our local police (we are in the burbs of Cincy) never mentioned anything about Postal Inspectors. The officer said that since the kids were minors the parents would have to pay for damages. The police caught the kids in the act of smashing a neighbor’s mail box and I don’t know if that is proof the same kids did all the damage on the street.

  21. @Sylvia

    Caught in the act, even once? Call it in. USPS doesn’t find such amusing *at all*.

    http://www.usps.com/communications/newsroom/localnews/mi/2010/mi_2010_0715.htm

    Being a minor is not an excuse. It may mitigate any penalty or prevent a lifelong criminal record, that’s all.

    Damages, yes, damages caused by a minor are the financial responsibility of the legal guardian.

    Oh, and just in case such concerns you… the USPS treats mailboxes as Federal property, not yours or any other private person’s. They would be pursuing the case on their own claim, not that of any home owner (like you). The person reporting the vandalism is functionally anonymous.

  22. Thanks for that info LDG. I didn’t realize that house curbside mail boxes were considered federal property.

  23. @Sylvia

    Most welcome. Hope it helps make things right for you.

    re “didn’t realize” ~ In what seems like long ago, they used to stamp the warning in the metal of all ‘approved’ post boxes. I’ve no clue whether the manufacturers still do, though.

    And now back to our regularly scheduled thread topic…

  24. Adam Housley Says:

    LDG-

    Love all the info and the insight into the behind the scenes stuff. Glad Susan and Sylvia ask all the questions also. We are about due for some other check-ins….who will be next? Wait till you guys see our story coming on Wednesday.

    Adam

  25. Adam,

    Isn’t there a wedding coming up soon? And I don’t mean the one in England!

  26. @Adam Housley

    Seeing on your Twitter feed you spent the day enroute to the new story… flying Southwest? You like convertibles or something?
    ((grin))

    Looking forward to the upcoming reports.

  27. @Sylvia

    IIRC, mid May. Sadly, my invitation seems to have been delayed in the International Mail or I’d check for you. (( <– is joking ))

  28. doggiesallover Says:

    I’m just catching a chance to catch up. ?-what a sentence. I’m tired and grouchy. It’s been a very long 3 weeks.
    LDG, what a nice sureprise to see your picture! You do photogaph very well!
    I’m hoping things will settle down for a little while, now, at least. Need some breathing room and my soul needs to catch up with my body. (No, not the Kia.) That is wrong on so many levels-
    My Soul is just sitting there, on the side of the road, waiting on a wrecker.
    I didn’t got to church, and now my Soul is missing!
    And my favorite,
    Follow me to Motown…

  29. @doggies

    Thank you, Ma’am. Here’s hoping you get some of that rest now.

    @Adam Housley

    Just caught your live feed on FOXNews Live from Mountain Pass. Good job on a very complex topic (says the guy trained as a mining process engineer, way back when) and your interview with the Chief Technology Officer for MolyCorp made it better. Bravo. Susan is going to love seeing this report… her father was a mining geologist.

    Oh, and I noticed they were shoveling out while you were reporting. Any chance of seeing a ‘lift’ (mining by explosives) while you are out there? Big Booms and watching a couple acres of rock jump is always a fun experience…

  30. K. C. - Fresno, Ca. Says:

    Good morning all

    Doggies – get some well needed and deserved rest.

    Sylvia – read about your mail box experience. Hope you get everything straightened out.
    Our mail boxes are built into the walls of our house – so when the mailperson comes and delivers us mail it lands on our kitchen counter. I love it – so convenient

  31. *** @All ***

    Here we go again: 2332hrs local time 7.4 magnitude ‘quake up along the coast near Sendai… same area that got slammed on 03/11… tsunami watch all up and down that coast; tsunami warning at Sendai and the northern part of the Fukushima coast. Maximum effect of the quake reported to be Intensity 6+, but no 7’s.

    We got shook for Intensity 4 here… almost 1 minute of shaking.

    Will post a link to JMet’s report as it comes up.

  32. LDG,
    I can’t believe this!!! When will this stop? My heart goes out to all the people in Japan.

  33. @Sylvia

    Thank you. You must be so tired of hearing about such. (It’s getting a bit tiresome to experience as well.)

    @All

    Spot reports are:

    tsunami prediction is *soon* and about 1 meter (3+ feet) in height.

    first damage report has electric power out in central Sendai city, particularly at City Hall which is also the relief effort HQ.

  34. (more)

    TouDen (aka TEPCO; the power company) reports regarding Fukushima Daiichi:

    ηΎζ™‚η‚Ήγ§γ―η•°εΈΈγŒγ‚γ£γŸγ¨γ„γ†ε ±ε‘Šγ―γͺい

    “At this time, no abnormalities are reported.” ~ I’d edit that to “further abnormalities”, as there is nothing normal about what they are having to deal with at that reactor station right now… but apparently nothing worse.

    (quote from Yomiuri Newspaper online; Japanese)
    http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/national/news/20110408-OYT1T00002.htm?from=main2

  35. Video from Miyagi Television, via NNN24 news:

    http://www.news24.jp/articles/2011/04/08/07180350.html

    player for the video is the little youtube-like screen to the left of the story text. You’ll see a 15 second commercial for a candy bar, then the ~1 minute report… and see all the furniture and bookcases crashing around the Miyagi TV local studio. They got the full 6+ effect there.

  36. Reports have it that another of our big power stations was knocked off-line, albeit likely only temporarily.

    The Touhoku Motorway (the only major “Interstate” highway running from down here near Toukyou all the way up north through the ‘quake zone) is shut down again. Damn. We just got that reopened all the way and it’s an important relief corridor.

  37. LDG,
    That would have freaked me out!!!
    But I did like the candy commercial.

  38. @Sylvia

    Oh good, you could see it! Yeah, that’s a cute little CM, isn’t it?

  39. I don’t know Japanese but the commercial seemed cute.

  40. Tsunami Warning lifted now. No significant wave action.

  41. @Sylvia

    re: cute ~ yeah. We do cute pretty well.
    “If you want more, you’ll have to go *there*.”

  42. And… FOXNews (channeling the AP) is in the game on this story:

    http://www.foxnews.com/world/2011/04/07/tsunami-alert-issued-large-quake-strikes-northeastern-japans-coast/

    Good report, that.

  43. Raw Magnitude of the ‘quake downgraded to 7.1 by both Japan Met and USGS.

  44. NN24 has one more item now:

    The Touhoku main line train shut down (automatically; during the quake) and is still down… 34 passengers on a train near Hanamaki had to walk out as their train stopped between stations.

    Otherwise:

    It seems that the direct effects have played out. There may be more significant damage reports to come, but nothing in the way of collapsed buildings or landslides or major fires has been reported.

    Looks like we got lucky this time.

  45. LDG,

    You deserve some good luck. Have you thought about moving some place safer…like San Francisco?

  46. doggiesallover Says:

    LOL, Sylvia!
    Glad, LDG, SO glad you’re OK. And thanks for letting us know.
    But why is this still being called an aftershock? I know I could look it up, but I’m in such a hurry…I’ll be back and come here first thing. If you don’t have time now, not a problem. It’s just perplexing, to me. What would it take to make it a “new” earthquake???

  47. @Sylvia

    hehhehheh… San Francisco safer… did I mention I went to Uni in San Jose (in the Silicon Valley just south of SF) and later was working in the area during the big 1989 quake there? (I’m not really a NorCal person like our good host is, but I can fake it.) Not going to convince me that living anywhere is particularly safe, anyway…

    @doggies

    Most welcome and thank you.

    re: “aftershock?” ~ the short form is that the geologists and seismologists have a system of relating which plates and faults moved in any given earthquake, and can reasonably attribute any given movement to either (1) built-up stresses… that would be a “new” earthquake, or (2) secondary releases of stresses that happened from a previous movement… an “aftershock”. Oh, there is a (3), shocks not related to tectonic stresses, but other than nuclear weapon tests and volcano explosions, there’s not much significant in that department.

    Hope that helps.

  48. I’m not sure if I’m a “new earthquake” or an “aftershock” but I do get stressed out! Between dealing with my stuborn elderly Mom and things that seem to go kaput with the house I seem to live with stress.
    And did I mention that “Worry” is my middle name? LOL
    Thank goodness Larry is easy going and calm!

  49. Sylvia… LOL

    LDG…. I heard about the earthquake on my way home and am glad that you are ok. I guess that everything that could have been damaged was already damaged to some extent. Hopefully the road will open again soon.

  50. doggiesallover Says:

    Thank you so much, LDG! OK, that makes sense.
    Sylvia, worrying is my job. It’s what I do best. And no one will convince me it’s in vain ALL the time, lol. But I do know that the nuclear thingy sure feels like a family resemblance.
    I’m finally home-for a while, anyway. Never know when I’ll be called back.

  51. LDG,
    I just got up and saw on my computer that there was another quake. Is that true or is my computer showing me old news? If so, I feel like it is like the movie Groundhog’s Day.

    Hope all are OK.

  52. @Sylvia

    sorry for the delay in reply; just got back in from rounds.

    Yes, several earthquakes of note this afternoon and evening, local time. Here’s the biggest, which hit 7.1 mag and was close on-shore and shallow:

    http://www.jma.go.jp/en/quake/20110411172016391-111716.html

    Several of the others were mid to high 5’s mag. We lost the major north-south highway and the northeast coastal highway again (rockfalls?). I’m not sure what all else went down, but I’ll let you know as I know.

    It hasn’t been much fun today. Happy one-month since the big one, ne?

  53. here’s the Mainichi Daily News (English) report:

    http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20110411p2g00m0dm088000c.html

    no word of casualties.

  54. here’s a longer version of what appears to be the original article, from the AP:

    http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D9MHEQ880&show_article=1

    (shame on MDN for not crediting them; they usually do.)

    Some quibbles as to the magnitude reported. I’m still seeing 7.1 from Japan Met, although I know USGS is revising the number to something… maybe in the 6’s…

    What ever, it was a hard hit. Again.

  55. LDG,
    So sorry for all you are going through. I just can’t imagine how everyone deals with this so calmly. I would be a basket case.

  56. calmly?

    Calmly?!?

    cALMlY!!!!?!?!?11?!!!

    er …eh hem…

    Sign me up for a spare basket, if you’ve got one.
    ((not entirely joking grin))

  57. I’m sure I can come up with a few spares!

  58. K. C. - Fresno, Ca. Says:

    LDG

    I sure wish all of that rockin and rollin will soon stop for all of you. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and yours.

  59. Clearly, what is required is the Polynesian solution:

    1) Identify which volcano-spirit is angry.

    2) Select appropriate candidate for volcano-marriage.

    3) Get lots of drums.

    4) Chant loudly and beat drums as needed while delivering said marriage candidate. cf. “waka-hini waka-ho; to volcano you must go!” (BOOM! Boom! boom! boom.)

    … hm.

    Wait a minute.

    That’s for volcanoes. (thank you Craig Shaw Gardner, for the above riff)

    Anyone know the drill for appeasing earthquakes?

  60. LDG
    Did you try googling it?

    My cure would be to relocate!

  61. @Sylvia

    “Did you try googling it?” ~ no. But based on your suggestion, I have done so now. Search = appeasing + earthquakes. Gets several results, surprisingly.

    Here’s my favorite, from a ‘blog entry at Nihonbunka (Japanese Culture) on the Shintou mythology of why Japan has earthquakes:

    http://www.nihonbunka.com/shinto/blog/archives/000245.html

    Seems one of the kami (divine spirit; “god” in a lesser sense) is not keeping up his work and as a result, the giant catfish that lives beneath the floating world is free to move… and its thrashing is felt as earthquakes…

    ((grin))

    really.

    ((bigger grin))

    Seems we need to get the divine spirit to use a giant rock (or his sword, or a giant gourd) to hold down the catfish.

    Well that settles that.

    Gee, you can find anything on Google, ne?

  62. LDG,

    I never liked the looks of catfish and now I have another reason to dislike the critters!

    Just thought of a positive result of so many quakes…you don’t have to go to an amusement park for thrill rides!

  63. @Sylvia

    Ya… whee…

    Still, there are limits even to that much fun. After a night of roughly one-significant-aftershock-an-hour, I am quite ready for this ride to stop.

  64. LDG,

    I’m sure you are. Sure hope you get relief soon.

  65. K. C. - Fresno, Ca. Says:

    LDG

    Just heard on Fox news that you had another “big”one. Your time, Tuesday around 8:30am, and one of the reactors is on fire. That is tomorrow for me here.

    This is becoming crazy for all of you folks there. My lord, when is this going to stop and give all of you some kind of normal life. (Do you remember what that is like??)

    It seems like you are getting aftershocks at a large number every day. How in the world do you handle the stress.

    Hope you have sent your home-builder a very nice thank you note regarding your very “secure and safe” home.

    Thinking of you and yours.

  66. LDG and Sylvia… Thanks for a very good laugh after coming home from work late this evening. I needed that. And I do hope that the earth stops shaking very very soon.

  67. @KC

    Two of the aftershocks have been quite large: the early one at 0808 hrs local was Mag 6.3

    http://www.jma.go.jp/en/quake/20110412081915391-120808.html

    and…

  68. (more)

    the one this afternoon at 1407hrs local was *also* Mag 6.3

    http://www.jma.go.jp/en/quake/20110412141747391-121407.html

    …and onshore shallow and close-by… and did some major rearranging of the rubble.

    More as I know more. Running around a bit right now.

  69. @Barb

    Heh, at this point laughter seems to be the right answer. Glad you enjoyed.

    (darn that catfish; gotta get me a bigger rock.)

  70. @KC re: fire

    It was in an electric battery rack, not in any of the actual reactors.

    The bigger news is the revised exposure and release data that puts this event within an order of a magnitude of Chernobyl (we are about 1/10 th of that) and that Japan Nuclear Safety and the IAEA agree to call this a category 7 event now.

    http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D9MHU3A00&show_article=1

    Oh, and our trains stopped and lights went out and roads were ordered shutdown and… all… twice, today (not right here; we didn’t lose power).

  71. Good Morning (evening) LDG.

    Hope the earth has stopped moving and you get some relief from the insanity of it all.

  72. K. C. - Fresno, Ca. Says:

    LDG

    Thanks for the info and glad to hear you are ok at your end.

    Good morning all –

  73. G’morning All

    Seems a bit quieter here for now, at least on the natural disaster front.

  74. The sound of silence can be very restful.

  75. Adam Housley Says:

    Sylvia…very true!

    LDG…I was thinking about you when I heard about the quakes/aftershocks. We have been in SF working on the Bryan Stow story. So sad. Hopefully fans and just people in general can be a bit more civil to each other….not just in sports..not just in the big leagues.

    I refuse to comment on the Volcano solution LDG….while you may think there is no connection, it is the ring of fire?? Right ??

    Glad Barb and K.C. enjoyed it tho! πŸ™‚

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