Monday, December 5, 2011

Fukushima Earthquake: Nukeblog Timeline

Eric Talmadge and Mari Yamaguchi of AP wrote: “When Unit 2 began to shake, Hiroyuki Kohno's first hunch was that something was wrong with the turbines. He paused for a moment, then went back to logging the day's radioactivity readings. He expected it to pass. Until the shakes became jolts. As sirens wailed, he ran to an open space, away from the walls, and raced down a long corridor with two colleagues. Parts of the ceiling fell around them. Outside, he found more pandemonium. "People were shouting about a tsunami," he said. "At that point, I really thought I might die." [Source: Eric Talmadge and Mari Yamaguchi, Associated Press, July 2, 2011]

“About 755 workers, including TEPCO employees and subcontractors, were on the premises. Yuji Sato was on break in a lounge in a small building about 60 feet (20 meters) from Unit 1, when the quake hit. He had worked all morning on the turbines. The quake broke the air conditioner and knocked the TV in the lounge off its stand. When the shaking stopped, Sato went outside. Concrete buildings had been heavily damaged, some walls reduced to rubble.” [Ibid]

“He and about 100 colleagues streamed up the hill behind the reactors. They walked. "None of us were all that afraid. Japan is a nation of earthquakes. We are used to them," Sato said. His brother-in-law, pump technician Yuta Tadano, was already up the hill in a second-story office at the time of the quake. A thin young man with pierced ears and long bangs, he worked for subcontractor Tokyo Energy and Systems Inc. Tadano wanted to go home to check on his wife, Akane, and 4-month-old son, Shoma. His boss said he expected them back at work on Monday. With the utter devastation outside the gate, the normally 20-minute drive home took four hours.” [Ibid]

Nishi dodges 200 ton crane hook in earthquake

INTERVIEW: Japanese worker inside stricken reactor recalls quake
By Terril Jones, Reuters March 26, 2011

Hiroyuki Nishi narrowly escaped death the day the monster earthquake struck Japan two weeks ago when a 200-ton hook on a crane came crashing down a mere two meters (6 feet) from him during the convulsions. 
Nishi, 31, works for a contractor that did construction jobs around the nuclear power plant and inside its six reactors. On March 11, he was inside the reactor building directing a ceiling-mounted heavy-duty crane, moving scaffolding material to be taken outside. 

"I felt things shaking, and then it went crazy," Nishi recalled in an interview. "I was shouting, Stop! Stop!" Then the lights went out, leaving about 200 workers inside the reactor in near-darkness since the structure has no windows.
A small red emergency light started blinking. "Then some kind of white smoke or steam appeared and everyone started choking," Nishi said. "We all covered our mouths and ran for the door." But the door leading outside was locked, shut down automatically during the temblor to contain any leakage. The workers were stuck. "People were shouting 'Get out, get out!'" Nishi said. "Everyone was screaming." Pandemonium reigned for about 10 minutes with the workers shouting and pleading to be allowed out, but supervisory TEPCO employees appealed for calm, saying that each worker must be tested for radiation exposure.

As they finally got to Minamisoma, it became clear that Nishi's colleague's home couldn't be standing. His wife, 7-month-old son and parents making it out seemed remote. Nishi dropped his friend off and went to his own home. It was partially collapsed and in a shambles from the earthquake, but the tsunami had stopped 100 meters (yards) short of the house, which was four km (2.5 miles) inland. No one seemed to be home. Loudspeakers in town told people to head to evacuation centers; the closest one was at Kashima Middle School, the same junior high school Nishi had attended. Nishi made his way there, and at around 7:30 that night he arrived at the school — and found his family there, intact, including his mother. "I saw my wife, and I was just so, so happy," he said, audibly choking up. "I let loose with my emotions. I kissed my kids' faces all over; I touched their faces everywhere. I kept telling them, 'I'm so happy you're alive.' There were lots of tears." The next day Nishi went to his home and found he could squeeze in the door. He hurriedly collected a few items: warm clothes, instant noodles, bottled water.

No comments:

Post a Comment