Extraordinary “Cloud Tsunami” Surges in Over Sydney

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Richard Hirst

A bizarre meteorological event hit the coast of New South Wales, Australia over the weekend. Dubbed a “cloud tsunami” on Twitter, this massive wave in the sky measured several kilometers long and swept over the city of Sydney, bringing with it powerful thunderstorms, heavy rains, and forceful winds that required the Australian Bureau of Meteorology to issue a warning for the surrounding area. Continue reading »

Abandoned Tsunami Ghost Ship Sinks off Alaskan Coast

The long voyage of the fuel-laden Japanese ghost ship is over as it sank 6,000 feet deep in the Gulf of Alaska on 5 April, 2012. The ghost ship is reportedly one of the 1.5 million tonnes of debris the Japanese government estimates was dragged out to sea during the 2011 Tsunami. The ship was believed to have been carrying more than 9,000 litres of diesel fuel and was sunk by the region’s Coast Guards180 miles west of the Southeast Alaskan coast. The open firing was carried out to eliminate any threat to navigation in the area. The Ryou-Un Maru reportedly stayed afloat for a number of hours before ultimately sinking.

U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Anacapa crew douses the adrift Japanese vessel “Ryou-Un Maru” with water after a gunnery exercise, 180 miles (about 290 km) west of the Southeast Alaskan coast April 5, 2012. (Reuters) Continue reading »

Japan, One Year After the March 11 Tsunami: A Revisit

A whirlpool caused by the March 11, 2011 tsunami is seen near Oarai City, Ibaraki prefecture, in this image taken March 11, 2011 (L), with the same area being shown on March 3, 2012, in this combination photo. (REUTERS/KYODO) Continue reading »

Japan Marks First Anniversary of Tōhoku Quake and Tsunami

Japan is set to observe the first anniversary of the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck the Asian country last year. The country will be hoping to mark the occasion, 11 March, with pride in reconstruction efforts so far and hope for the future. The country was struck by a 9.0 magnitude earthquake (off the coast of Tōhoku), which resulted in a tsunami that claimed approximately 20,000 lives and destroyed countless homes and residences.


A combination photograph shows the same location at a fishing port in Kamaishi, Iwate prefecture on two different dates, April 11, 2011 (top) and February 18, 2012. The top photograph shows vehicles driving past the Asia Symphony cargo ship, swept ashore by the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami, the bottom photograph shows the same location almost a year later. (REUTERS/Toru Hanai) Continue reading »

Woman from Iconic Tsunami Photo Reunited With Family

Born in the city of Ishinomaki, Yuko Sugimoto lost her husband and child when the 9.0 magnitude earthquake completely destroyed the place. The photograph, which was taken on March 13, 2011, showed Sugimoto looking in the direction of the kindergarten where her 4-year-old son Raito used to go. The kindergarten was partly submerged and surrounded by piles of debris.

It was only when she found her husband that both began the hunt for their lost child. They found their child the very next day. He and some other children had been rescued by the military from the roof of the kindergarten the morning after the tsunami.

It has been a year since the devastating earthquake and although much of the debris in the region has been removed by restoration operations, life for Sugimoto and her family has still not returned to normal. The house they built four years ago was submerged nearly upto its second floor and they lost most of their belongings. What remains is a 31-year-mortgage of around 25 million yen ($310,000) they still have to pay.


A woman looks at the damage caused by a tsunami and an earthquake in Ishimaki City, Miyagi Prefecture, after the magnitude 8.9 earthquake struck the area March 13, 2011. (Reuters) Continue reading »

How the Japanese Cleared up Debris after Quake and Tsunami

It has been hardly six months since the killer quake and tsunami devastated Japan on March 11, 2011. But the Japanese spirit made things different in this short span of time – the country has been praised for its efforts to clear up debris.

Wrecks cluttered across the coastal regions of the country following the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and the massive tsunami which the quake triggered. Pictures of a huge ship resting on a roof flashed across the Web and other media, depicting enormity of nature’s fury on March 11.

Japan is striving to recover from the aftermath of the disaster, including nuclear radiation releases around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, but the country has surely made a strong progress in cleaning up the debris.

This combination photo shows the fishing port of Ishinomaki, Miyagi prefecture, after the massive earthquake and tsunami taken on March 12, 2011 (top), June 6, 2011 (middle), and September 5, 2011 (bottom). (REUTERS/KYODO Kyodo) Continue reading »

Cute Robot Seals Comforts Elderly Tsunami Survivors in Japan

Satsuko Yatsuzaka (84) holds a therapeutic robot named Paro at the Suisyoen retirement home. (Reuters)

It’s cuddly, cute and responds to your affection. Following a two-month evacuation from their home, residents are embracing a small white robotic seal. Reuters reports that the furry friends are being treated as pets by the residents, many of whom are dealing with memories of the quake. The residents currently have two Paro seals, which they’ve named “Love” and “Peace.”

Animals are often used for therapy for the elderly, and aside from its anti-bacterial coat the seals give the elderly residents the same companionship that a pet gives. Continue reading »

Photo of the Day: Ship swept away in tsunami remains in debris-covered residential area in Japan

In this combo of two photos, a ship swept away by tsunami sits amid debris-covered residential area March 12, 2011, left, while the ship stays in the same position in the area getting cleaned up June 3, 2011 in Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture, northeastern Japan. Japan marks three months since the March 11 earthquake and tsunami Saturday, June 11. (Kyodo News via AP) Click to zoom.

How One Japanese Village Defied the Tsunami

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The man on the picture is Kotaku Wamura, who died in 1997 at age 88.

Until March 11, 2011, – he did not live, but it turned out to show the big tsunami a big “fuck”: being from 1945 to 1987 the mayor of the Fudai town, Iwate Prefecture, northeastern Japan, he has invested more than $ 30 million in building a protective wall height of 16 meters, which saved the lives of more than 3000 people. Nearby villages have decided that 10 meters is enough, and were washed away into the ocean. Continue reading »

Biggest Japan earthquake and tsunami in 100 years

Buildings on fire dot a vast wall of mud littered with boats and debris moving fast across farmland in northern Japan. Houses, cars and a train can be seen in the path of the tsunami. Continue reading »