Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Earthquake Update, March 16

The Mainichi Newspaper reports today that white smoke has been seen rising from Fukushima's Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Facility Unit 3. There is a strong likelihood that highly radioactive vapor has been released.

Flames have been observed off and on this morning at Unit 4.

The facility has been deemed too dangerous for workers, and TEPCO has ordered an evacuation.

Last-ditch efforts are being considered by the plant operator, including using helicopters to drop flame retardant and water on the crippled facility.

People in Tokyo are hoarding food and emergency supplies.

Some multinational corporations in Tokyo are flying people home or sending them to offices in other parts of Japan hundreds of kilometers away.

The number of confirmed dead or missing has been raised to more than 11,000.

No one appears to be in charge.

Update 1: this is required reading.  

Update 2: The attempt to dump water by helicopter on Unit 3, which is believed to lack sufficient water in its spent fuel pool, was abandoned after radiation levels proved too high.

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