How to follow the earthquake in Japan and the Pacific tsunami.
(Note: Today’s 5×8 is being updated with additional links and resources. Check back. I’ll be posting videos below the fold as they become available. Click the link at the bottom of the page.)
1) THE TSUNAMI TRAIL
Of course, the only story that really matters at the moment is the tsunami that is sweeping across the Pacific and the tremendous earthquake that his Japan overnight. It was the biggest earthquake — 8.9 –on record ever to strike Japan. The graphic above shows the prediction of where the tsunami is hitting (updates here). There are cities in Japan with populations of 70,000 that have reportedly been destroyed.
Here are some links to help you follow the situation:
Live video from the BBC and a live blog. No need to refresh the page. Also a good explanation of why the quake was so big.
Plenty of real-time graphics on the quake and its damage
10:31 a.m. – Here’s a live video feed of a social media talk show with people communicating and calling in via Skype.
This is a TV station in Hawaii providing a live feed of its broadcast. The tsunami was expected there shortly after 7 this morning.
NHK is the main news service in Japan. You’ll have no luck getting through on their Web site, but MSNBC is providing a feed. The big concern at the moment appears to be a nuclear power plant.
This page has just been set up to gather news and emergency response resources.
MPR has put together a list on Twitter to follow sites following the situation.
Live coverage from the Pacific
Google has set up a place to ask for or seek information about people in Japan.
Live streaming video of the beach. In the darkness, there’s not much to see other than the whitecaps.
Live coverage (as this update is written around 10:20) of waves in the Bay area.
Some video from Japan: First, the tsunami overtaking an airport (from Russia Today)
This video from NHK in Japan shows the tsunami sweeping across farmland…
Here’s the current USGS map of earthquakes greater than 4.5 that have been occurred in the last few hours:
Here’s a list of when the tsunami will strike the coastal U.S. locations. And here’s the latest information from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.
The Los Angeles Times has assembled some incredible photographs of the damage in Japan. The NY Times is attempting the same thing here but with much smaller images. The Atlantic’s In Focus blog also has some unbelivable photographs. The Daily Mail has some here. And the New York Times has a section where readers from Japan are filing their own experiences.
If you have any relatives in affected areas and have been in contact with them, please let me know.
2) FLEEING THE AMERICAN DREAM
There was a sad moment in last evening’s interview on Marketplace with Caitlin Shetterly and her husband, Dan Davis. Things were going pretty well for both of them in 2007, and then it all fell apart. Stop me if you’ve heard this story before. Like so many Americans, the Great Recession ended their American dream.
Caitlin told Ky Ryssdal she no longer believes that hard work gets you anywhere in America, anymore.
So they left California and, broke, traveled across the country back to their ancestral land in Maine, writing a book about what they learned: The American Dream is dead, but there’s still some decency:
I mean, I wrote about driving across this country and how beautiful it was, both ways. But also, America reached out to us, and that was what was so moving, is that after that first piece aired on NPR, there were the people who were not nice and who said things that were very hurtful to Dan. I mean, ‘What a wimp,’ ‘You never should have married such a wimp loser guy,’ or something. But people across this country, good people, reached out to us. They offered us homes. Somebody did offer us land. They offered us plane tickets. They offered us their homes to sleep in for the night. They offered us food. Americans are good.
Today’s discussion point: Do you believe that hard work can get you somewhere?
Somewhat related: Strongly recommending a fine read at Idea Peepshow, profiling John Gaterud, who chased a dream to Janesville, Wisconsin.
3) GALLAGHER’S CONDITION
The comedian Gallagher collapsed last night while performing at a roadhouse in Rochester. The Rochester Post Bulletin has the story and images. Gallagher collapsed while lifting the sledge hammer that is part of his signature “Sledge-O-Matic” sketch, the paper reports.
4)RESEARCHING THE BRACKETS
Nate Silver, the stats guru, is beginning the task of tackling the coming NCAA basketball tournament. His installment today looks at the “overachievers,” the teams everybody wants to go all the way, but never do.
5) GEORGIA TO MAINE IN FOUR MINUTES
Before I came to Minnesota — 19 years ago next week — I lived a half mile from the Appalachian Trail in the Berkshires of Massachusetts. Occasionally, I’d stop and talk with some of its walkers, as the trail joined a road into a small town, where hikers would pick up packages of supplies mailed to them. Those conversations made me want to hike from Georgia to Maine — or at least a couple of feet of it through Sheffield, Massachusetts — but, alas, it was not meant to be.
No matter, this new video allows me to do it in four minutes.
It’s the work of filmmaker Kevin Gallagher, who took 24 pictures each day over months of hiking.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s bid to strip most public employees of most collective bargaining rights is moving forward. What will be the lasting impact of the Wisconsin union standoff?
WHAT WE’RE DOING
These were the plans as of late yesterday afternoon. I’m guessing most of these will be blown out to make way for disaster coverage.
Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) – First hour: Secretary of Defense Robert Gates visited Afghanistan this week and noted significant gains in the fight against the Taliban. But one critic says the war in Afghanistan is harnessed to a strategy that is bound to fail.
Second hour: Author Wesley Stace is better known to music fans as John Wesley Harding. He joins Midmorning to talk about his new novel and the difference between writing songs and writing novels.
Midday (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.) – First hour: NPR ombudsman Alicia Shepard takes questions about journalism at the network in the wake of recent problems there.
Second hour: The BBC’s global call-in program World Have Your Say is live from Cairo. They’ll have the latest on the uprisings in the region and the conflict in Libya.
Science Friday (1-3 p.m.) – First hour: What space missions should we prioritize in the next decade?
Second hour: A look at why nearly half of American adults say they rarely get a good night’s sleep during the week.
MORE VIDEOS FROM JAPAN AND THE PACIFIC
10:16 a.m. — Aerial footage of the destruction in Japan (from NHK)
10:13 a.m. – What the quake looked/felt/sounded like in the CNN newsroom in Japan:
8:52 a.m. – KARE has reached a Minnesota woman in Japan:
8:40 a.m. – From NHK