Friday, March 25, 2011

Japan Earthquake Victims: Erosion of Trust in Institutions? DIY.

Notes left behind by Japanese evacuees looking for loved ones inside a shelter in the earthquake and tsunami-destroyed town of Rikuzentakata, Japan on March 21. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)
Japan has proven to be resilient when it comes to surviving and reversing natural disasters, because it has a culture and mentality that facilitates rebounds and recovery, especially regarding earthquakes. However, this earth-changing quake may render Japanese efforts, less effective, in the long run, mainly because of the enormity of the catastrophe, the invisible threat of radiation, and most importantly, the lack of trust in the institutions with all of the crucial information needed to navigate this calamitous event.
"Japan is in a highly active tectonic zone where the Eurasian, Philippine Sea, Okhotsk and Pacific Plates converge. The unexpectedly strong quake took place where the Pacific Plate sinks under the Okhotsk Plate (subduction). In the affected region, the submerging Pacific Plate is very old and heavy and is sinking into the Earth’s core at a relatively high speed of 8 to 10 centimeters per year."
The western mainstream media's  coverage of Japan's post-earthquake and post-tsunami activity is already fading into the background, and was/is not giving a fully accurate picture.  On top of that, supposedly, Japan's "bureaucracy-media complex" is even worse, according to freelance journalist Takashi Uesugi, even though, since 2009, the Japanese press has become more aggressive after the end of 54 years of Liberal Democratic Party rule that shattered many of the cozy relationships between the ruling elite and the big media outlets.

So, what do you do when you can't trust the official word, or the accuracy of official radioactivity measurements. Well, DIY.  Create a croudsourced map of Geiger counter readings that contains a distributed network of 215 Geiger counter.

A photograph is seen in the rubble of a destroyed house in Otsuchi, Japan, on March 22. (Reuters/Damir Sagolj)
A car sits on headstones in a cemetery in Higashimatsushima City, Miyagi Prefecture, on March 22. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)
Tayo Kitamura, 40, touches the covered body of her mother Kuniko Kitamura, 69, after Japanese firemen discovered the dead woman inside the ruins of her home in Onagawa, northeastern Japan, on March 19. (AP Photo/Shuji Kajiyama)
Family members and relatives transfer the bones of Masaichi Oyama, who was killed by the tsunami, by chopsticks into an urn during a cremation ceremony on March 24 in Kurihara , Japan. The family lost three family members from the earthquake and tsunami. Under Japanese Buddhist practice, a cremation is the expected traditional way of dealing with the dead, but now with the death toll so high, crematoriums are overwhelmed and there is a shortage of fuel to burn them. Local municipalities are forced to dig mass graves as a temporary solution. (Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)
A traditional Japanese sandal, worn with formal kimono dress, lies in the rubble in the earthquake and tsunami destroyed town of Onagawa, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan on Sunday, March 20. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)
A house rests upside down in an open field along the coast near Yamamoto, Miyagi Prefecture, northeastern Japan, on Friday, March 25. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)
A person walks under snow through the town of Yamada, Iwate Prefecture, northern Japan, on March 23. (AP Photo/Yomiuri Shimbun, Tetsuya Kikumasa)

Links:

Know your nukes: understanding radiation risks in Japan


Unique Japan tsunami footage boon to scientists

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