Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Some Helpline Numbers: the Japan Tsunami and Nuclear Plant Explosion

This forward came through a well-meaning friend. It's about Japan and the explosion in the nuclear plant in Fukushima. It goes thus:

"There was a nuclear blast 4:30pm Sunday in Fukushima Japan. If it rains today or in the next few days, do not go under the rain. If you get caught out, use an umbrella or raincoat, even if it's only a drizzle. Radioactive particles, which may cause burns, alopecia or even cancer, may be in the rain."

What has happened in Japan is unfortunate and a natural calamity that could happen to any country. Even India. We always think of natural calamities as not affecting us. But it does. Japan has gone through a lot of disasters and earthquakes in its history. The Japanese people are a hardy lot who know how to deal with them. Are we? This article states that looting and arson is unknown to Japan:

"Looting simply does not take place in Japan. I'm not even sure if there's a word for it that is as clear in its implications as when we hear 'looting,'" said Gregory Pflugfelder, director of the Donald Keene Center of Japanese Culture at Columbia University.Japanese have "a sense of being first and foremost responsible to the community," he said.

This blog has written about how nuclear energy is not safe at all. A nuclear plant is like a place where an atomic explosion takes place inside steel bunkers and is cooled by water so that the radiation doesn't escape. So, anything could happen. If there's an earthquake or a tsunami we have nowhere to go, nowhere to hide. Sorry for this plug but I couldn't avoid it.

I saw videos of the tsunami, I saw homes floating in the black water, I saw vehicles of all shapes in all possible angles. I saw people - a tolerant and stoical people - go through their ordeal with patience. Sitting here, I can only pray and give some helpline telephone numbers:

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) helpline for anyone affected by the Japanese disaster: 020 7008 0000.

British embassy in Tokyo: 81 3 5211 1100; Osaka Consulate: +81 6 6120 5600

Tokyo English Life Line (TELL): Tel: 03-5774-0992 www.telljp.com

For donating to Medicins Sans Frontiers go here.

1 comment:

Mohan gandhi said...

You are such a pleasure to read! Well written article and keep up the work. Super likes.

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