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2011 News Releases




Situation worsens after triple disasters hit Japan

Date : 14 / 03 / 2011
Author : Jim Linton - VK3PC

Damage following the worst earthquake in 140 years and a tsumani that wiped away part of north-east Japan, comes news of power outages caused by major trouble at a nuclear power station. Ken Yamamoto JA1CJP reports that according to police information as of 10am local time on March 14, the death toll is 1,627 and the reported missing person count is 1,720. "It is only the official count and the number is still expected to increase. Thousands of bodies are reported to have been found on the coast of the tsunami suffered area," he said. A Miyagi prefecture source says that the death toll will be in the order of ten thousands in that prefecture alone.

The 8.9 on the Richter scale quake hit off north-eastern Sendai durning the late afternoon on Friday March 11, and triggered a ten-metre tsunami. At the request of Central Emergency Communication Committee, Ken JA1CJP, the IARU Regional 3 Secretary, said the JARL is operating its HQ station JA1RL in Tokyo, and regional HQ stations. Earlier it was reported that JA1RL was using 7 MHz SSB, 144 MHz SSB/FM and 430 MHz SSB/FM. He said, "Many other radio amateurs are thanked for providing information and exchanging support to the rescue and disaster relief operations. Those who can operate in the affected areas are providing a lifeline for rescue teams and those at local shelters. Some stations are operating with car batteries and others with engine generators."

Ken JA1CJP said, "Another problem is the nuclear power plant where the water supply system failure caused overheating of the nuclear fuel bar. That causes some radioactive gas release from the plant and people have been evacuated from the surrounding area."

The earthquake also damaged electric power generation plants fuelled by oil or natural gas, resulting in a shortage of electricity. Tokyo Electric Power Company plans to stop supplying power to certain parts of its service area on rotation basis to cut power consumption. This shortage of power may also stop or restrict the operation of the train systems around Tokyo.

- Jim Linton, VK3PC, Chairman IARU Region 3 Disaster Communications Committee.

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