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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Japan Earthquake and Devastation, Supermoon and Holi



The month of march is full of happenings, some good and some not so good. Well, for me it was a good beginning as I got the opportunity to celebrate three important days - Dentist day, my birthday, and international woman's day on the 6th, 7th and 8th march consecutively. The celebrations came to an abrupt end, however, with the onset of my son's exams. At the same time, the students of the tenth and twelfth standard got busy with their CBSE board exams.

Then suddenly we were all shocked out of our wits when a massive earthquake of the magnitude of 8.9 hit the northern parts of Japan to cause havoc in the city. The earthquake was followed by many aftershocks not allowing the people to relax from the panic and shock that they had received. In many parts, the ground split open, there was mass destruction of property and also fires broke out injuring people. One could hardly come to terms with all these happenings when there was a tsunami warning in the coastal parts of Japan. A massive tsunami washed away people's homes, destroyed their land, property, swept away all the cars and vehicles and only added to the misery of the people and destruction all around. Even the main airport in Sendai was not spared as the tsunami hit the airstrip forcing all the passengers to rush to the roof of the building where they were stranded for hours. There were huge blackouts all over the city as power plants were shut down. People couldn't contact each other, and therefore news of survivors was difficult to get. See Photos of Sendai airport: Sendai Airport: Before & After The Tsunami

To further add to all their woes, the nuclear plants also gave way as they melted down with the heat, causing dangerous levels of radiation leaks and forcing the people to evacuate the place close to these reactors. Well, we hope and pray for the people of Japan, to come through these tough times, to get strength to rebuild their homes and the city from scratch. Google has a crisis response webpage for the people : Google Crisis Response - 2011 Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami .

Reading cafe has embeded a "Person Finder"at the top of the page to help the people of Japan. So if anyone has any information to share about anyone or would like to find someone, you can use this gadget. This can also be embedded in any website or blog, so if you have one, go ahead and paste the code. This is the least we can do. Of course, everyone is now trying to do their bit to help the people of Japan in any way they can and that includes donations. Here is some useful information on how you can donate:

Donate to Japan | How to Send Tsunami Relief to Japan, Hawaii

List of InterAction members who are accepting donations for earthquake and tsunami relief.

 
Japan Earthquake And Tsunami - 50 Stunning Pictures : These pictures will give you an idea of the amount of destruction that occurred along with heavy casualties.


 Supermoon:-  The other unusual phenomenon that is about to be seen is the "Supermoon" which will be seen on the 19th of March, and it will be a full moon. The supermoon is so named because it is closest to the earth at the time and so it appears larger than normal. This day is also being celebrated as "Holi" in most parts of India, marking the beginning of spring. But, apparently, the whole thing is just an illusion according to this article that explains the phenomenon of the Supermoon and why it happens. "The Moon orbits the Earth in an elliptical orbit, meaning that it is not always the same distance from the Earth. The closest the Moon ever gets to Earth (called perigee) is 364,000km, and the furthest is ever gets (Apogee) is around 406,000km (these figures vary, and in fact this Full Moon on March 19, 2011 will see a slightly closer approach of 357,000km)." Read more hereThe Supermoon Illusion.

Holi:  

19th of march is being celebrated as the colorful festival of Holi in most parts of India.  "Holi - the festival of colors - is undoubtedly the most fun-filled and boisterous of Hindu festival. It's an occasion that brings in unadulterated joy and mirth, fun and play, music and dance, and, of course, lots of bright colors!" Read more about the festival of Holi here: Holi - Hindu Festival of Colors.