It has been a while since I wrote anything about the earthquake and pretty much it has disappeared from the news but I have had a few people asking for updates since they are hearing nothing in their neck of the woods.
Where we are, life is pretty much back to normal, we still get small tremors, I find it more un-nerving when we haven't had one for a couple of days, how weird is that? The shops are stocked with everything, I think the limited bottle water supplies have been lifted too. Companies are still cutting back on electricity use, when I went into town last week most of the shops had reduced the number of lights they are using. Sogo, the big department store had only one set of escalators working. The banks/post office have reduced the number of working ATM's which, for us is a real pain due to our mortgage having to be paid into a specific bank, we just have to figure out another way to do it. Of course, up north there are still hundreds of people in shelters or tent villages some lucky enough to win a lottery are in free temporary housing but they still have to pay their utility bills!
The rainy season had officially started - 2 weeks earlier than usual, I hope that doesn't mean the summer heat will be early too. Summer I here is awful, hot and humid and I really don't cope with it well at the best of times but then I read this report, it is about the schools in Fukushima near the nuclear plant, what made me feel sick to my stomach was that the children will be stuck inside the school building with sealed windows and no aircon (schools in Japan rarely have aircon). That and the fact that the Japanese government have raised the safety level of radiation for children twenty times higher than before which, to put it into perspective is the same as the international standard for adult nuclear power plant workers! Not good.
TEPCO have been in the news, I haven't been following in detail but the general gist seems to be that they didn't report accurately what was going on and there are several whistle-blowing employees who have handed in reports about TEPCO's handling of the situation from awful and unsafe work conditions to not being provided with the correct safety gear. I suppose the good thing from all this is that it has made the every day folk think about their power resources and it is forcing the government to look seriously at alternative way to produce power.
On a more positive note Socks For Japan have put up a post talking about their relief efforts and why they have wound down their collections. In the post there are links for voluntary organisations that you can get involved with and photos of the living conditions that many people are now using.
Finally, Quakebook will soon be available as a bilingual print book,
it is available for pre-order at Amazon-jp
If you know of any other quake related articles or stories please share them in the comments section.