Continuing earthquakes in Kumamoto have moved a GPS observation station nearly one meter

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RocketNews 24 (by Preston Phro):

Strong earthquakes are expected to continue for another week.

The continuing earthquakes that have hit the island of Kyushu for the last four days have wrought significant destruction on the region and resulted in the loss of 41 lives. Beloved historic sites have seen extensive damage, and landslides and a small eruption from the volcano Mount Aso have only added to the disaster and anxiety in the area.

The severity of the earthquakes can be difficult to comprehend, but recent news stories show just how much they have changed the face of the land. According to NHK, one GPS observation point in Minimi Aso moved southwest 97 centimeters (38 inches). The same observation point rose 23 centimeters (about 9 inches). Another observation point moved east-northeast 75 centimeters (about 28.7 inches) and fell 20 centimeters (about 7.87 inches).

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The tremors and aftershocks have yet to stop and NHK reports that over 400 have been detected between the first earthquake on April 14 and noon on April 17. Japan’s meteorological agency expects strong tremors to continue for some time and have called for vigilance in the area, indicating that the earthquakes with a seismic activity of “weak 6” may continue for around another week. Currently, 11 people have been reported missing.

In addition to the earthquakes striking Japan, a massive earthquake has also hit Ecuador, resulting in the deaths of 28 people.

Nepal’s landmarks, before and after the earthquake

Trailokya Mohan Narayan Temple, Katmandu

2014

Before: Trailokya Mohan Narayan Temple, Katmandu
April 25, 2015
Before: Trailokya Mohan Narayan Temple, Katmandu
Volunteers helped to remove the debris of a three-story temple.

Vatsala Shikhara Temple, Bhaktapur

July 2014

Before: Vatsala Shikhara Temple, Bhaktapur

April 26, 2015

Before: Vatsala Shikhara Temple, Bhaktapur

After the earthquake, people occupied the square in front of a collapsed temple in Bhaktapur, eight miles east of Katmandu.

Dharahara Tower, Katmandu

July 15, 2013

Before: Dharahara Tower, Katmandu

April 25, 2015

Before: Dharahara Tower, Katmandu

A nine-story structure built in 1832 on orders from the queen. It was made of bricks more than a foot thick, and had recently been reopened to the public. Sightseers could climb a narrow spiral staircase to a viewing platform about 200 feet above the city.

Maju Deval, Katmandu

July 2014

Before: Maju Deval, Katmandu

April 25, 2015

Before: Maju Deval, Katmandu

This temple, built in 1690, is a Unesco World Heritage Site.

150+ whales found beached in Ibaraki, similar to what happened before 2011 Tohoku earthquake

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RocketNews 24:

A little over four years ago, a week before the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, 50 melon-headed whales were found beached in Ibaraki Prefecture, only about 100 kilometers (62 miles) from the earthquake’s epicenter.

Now the same omen of bad things to come has happened again. On April 9, about 150 melon-headed whales were found beached in Ibaraki Prefecture. As emergency teams race to save the whales, one thought is sitting in the back of their minds: is this foreshadowing another giant earthquake?

On April 9, more than 150 melon-headed whales (a type of dolphin) were found beached across a stretch of four kilometers (2.5 miles) of shoreline in Hokotashi City, Ibaraki Prefecture. Most of the whales were in critical condition, though the Ibaraki coast guard has been busy returning those still alive to the ocean. The ones that were too weak to be returned were euthanized.

The reason behind the mass beaching is still unknown, but it is suspected to be due to underwater tremors. Since melon-headed whales tend to prefer deeper waters, they would be more sensitive to plate/tectonic changes than other undersea mammals.

This has people worrying about another earthquake on the same or even higher level as the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. There is a theory that beached whales are often a sign of undersea tremors, and the severity of the incoming earthquake can be estimated by how many whales are beached. The coast guard reported that while every year some amount of whales are found beached on the shoreline, this incident is by far the most that they have ever encountered.

The city where the beaching took place, Hokotashi City, has started to take emergency measures against the predicted earthquake and tsunami. It is unclear whether the surrounding areas are preparing as well, but they should seriously consider it. To all our readers in the area, be safe and stay alert for any warnings!

Yahoo! Japan to make disaster relief donation for every person who searches for 3.11 on March 11

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RocketNews 24:

Four years on, the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear crisis that befell Japan’s Tohoku region on March 11, 2011 have very little effect on the day-to-day lives of most people in the country. The rolling blackouts have stopped. Batteries and bottled water are once again readily available. Trains are running, and whole cities aren’t spending hours walking home from work or school.

But while a return to normalcy is a desirable, and ultimately necessary, part of recovery, it’s also important to remember what happened. To stem the forgetfulness that often accompanies the later stages of coping with tragedy, on March 11 Yahoo! Japan will be making a donation to the Tohoku recovery efforts for every person that searches for “3.11” through the company’s search engine.

The Internet provider and portal conducted an identical initiative last year, supplying a total of 25,683,250 yen (approximately US $216,00) to charitable organizations. This year, Yahoo! will be making its donation to the Tohoku Recovery Support Organization (Toholu Fukkou Shien Dantai in Japanese).

A 10-yen donation will be made for each user who searches for “3.11” between midnight and 11:59 p.m. on March 11. To reiterate, the donation is made per user, not per search. Once you’ve searched once, you’ve done your job, so there’s nothing to be gained by repeating the search over and over again.

Instead, Yahoo! would prefer you took the time to read through some of the results that come up, in keeping with the program’s aim of creating a moment in which to think about the places and people’s lives which were so abruptly changed in 2011. The company also plans to release a video with interviews of people from the disaster-struck towns of Ishinomaki, Yamadamachi, and Soma, which are located in Miyazaki, Iwate, and Fukushima Prefectures, respectively. Yahoo! will also be creating a visualization of 3.11-releated searches, similar to the one from 2014

▼ Aside from jishin/地震 (“earthquake”), dengonban/伝言板 (“message board”), yoshin/余震 (aftershock), gienkin/義援金 (“donation”), and gasorin/ガソリン (“gasoline”) are all prominently featured.

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Yahoo! Japan’s search box can be found here.

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Prince William meets tsunami survivors in Miyagi

Japan Times:

Britain’s Prince William stood atop a hill Sunday in Miyagi Prefecture, stretched below him barren land known as the “Bay of Destruction,” where a tsunami swept ashore four years ago.

On the last leg of his four-day visit to Japan, William laid a bouquet near a shrine gate that overlooks the bay to commemorate the victims. Of the nearly 19,000 people who died in the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, nearly 3,300 were residents of the coastal town of Ishinomaki. About 22,000 lost their homes.

The tragedy of Ishinomaki has been repeated across the shoreline, where communities are still trying to rebuild, mourning lost lives and worried about the future, as the younger generation leaves in droves. Thousands of people are still living in temporary housing and many are dependent on aid for food and clothing.

William, who earlier visited more lively and modern spots in Tokyo, had insisted that his first ever trip to Japan include the tsunami-stricken region.

Teruko Sekiguchi, a 42-year-old housewife and Ishinomaki resident, waited for the prince’s arrival on top of the hill in the cold rain for more than hour. She was touched he would come all the way out to the disaster region.

He is gorgeous. You can feel his kindness,” she said.

When the tsunami hit, Sekiguchi fled to a nearby junior high school and waited for a week, feeling miserable, not even knowing whether her husband, a schoolteacher, had survived. When he finally came to find her, she was so overjoyed she just cried and couldn’t even walk toward him, she recalled. Although the area below the hill, previously filled with small homes, has been cleaned of debris, no one will live there again. Plans are still being studied to turn it into a park.

It’s like the area has been finally cleaned up enough into a white canvas so we can start painting on it,” said Kimio Abe, who heads his own company installing heating and air conditioning.

Abe was also among the crowd of about 80 people waiting on hilltop for the prince. Abe’s home, near the hill, was also half destroyed by the tsunami, but he fixed it up and still lives in one room with his wife.

Earlier in the day, William visited a local newspaper, which had produced handwritten newsletters right after the tsunami to keep communication going.

William wanted to know what the journalists had done, what the rescue operations was like, as well as the personal background of Hiroyuki Takeuchi, a journalist at the Ishinomaki Hibi newspaper.

It remains with you forever. You remember where you were. It must have been unbelievably terrifying for you and all the others,” William told Takeuchi.

Akemi Solloway, founder of the London-based Aid for Japan, which supports tsunami orphans, said William’s visit will not only provide a morale boost for the residents, but also reassurance that their plight has not been forgotten and renewed international awareness of their daily struggles.

William later went to another tsunami-hit coastal town, Onagawa, welcomed by a traditional lion dance to the cheerful music of wooden flutes and drums.

At a shopping area that sold local goods by storekeepers trying to turn their lives around, he rang a bell that survived the tsunami, called the “Chime of Hope.”

The prince met a couple whose children died in the tsunami. He offered them his sympathy and said that he, too, had lost a member of his family in a tragic way, NHK reported. Local children presented him with a paper crane at Hiyoriyama Park in Ishinomaki.

William returned by bullet train to Tokyo and later Sunday left on a visit to Beijing.

William will leave Japan for China on Sunday night.

A Bathing Ape x Kiehl’s 2015 Tohoku Charity Project

A Bathing Ape collaborates with Kiehl’s to produce a limited edition moisturizing cream. The product itself is the “Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream,” the skincare line’s top-selling lotion, featuring a special BAPE Camo label. 100% of the revenue generated will be donated to the NPO Corporation, which stands to support the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake by planting cherry blossom trees in the Tōhoku district of Japan.

You can purchase the A Bathing Ape x Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream at Kiehl’s on February 6 in two sizes: a 49 g jar for $32 USD and a 123 g jar for $56 USD.