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8.9 Earthquake in Japan, Tsunami Warning to Russia, Taiwan and South East Asia



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An earthquake of 8.9 magnitude hit Japan today. It is the biggest earthquake in Japan in past 140 years and the magnitude of the earthquake is 7th largest ever recorded in the world, sparking off  10 meter high tsunami wave that swept everything on its way. Until now there is a report of death of at least one person.

Public broadcaster NHK said, sparked fires and the wall of water, prompting warnings to people to move to higher ground in coastal areas.

Buildings were shook and an oil refinery near Tokyo was on fire. Japan almost completely imports the fuel for living. Some people identified black smoke over an industrial area in Yokohama’s Isogo area. Read  Impact on Economy after Japanese Earthquake, Tsunami

Japan has shut down its nuclear and oil refineries to prevent any further damage. There is no report of leakage of nuclear radiation till now. Latest reports say Japan has declared state of emergency for five nuclear reactors at two power plants after the units lost cooling ability due to the consequences of the earthquake. Reports are coming that US is providing nuclear reactor coolant to Japan.

Meanwhile America’s has expanded its warning to entire pacific coastal region. The tsunami refreshed the terrifying memories of 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami which caused a lot of destruction in the region.

Update: The report from the local media said the toll has exceeded upto 1000. There are probable chances of these numbers to increase. Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan said “The earthquake has caused major damage in broad areas in northern Japan,” while he was addressing the news conference.

If you are worried for the safety of your friend or relative who is in Japan right now and if he or she is not picking up your calls or replying to your messages consider using the below tool to find his or her status.
If you are in Japan and have information about your friend or relative then use the second option to give information so that his relatives or friends can track him. If you are a webmaster kindly include this Person Finder tool on your website to help your visitors.


Update 2: Almost all power stations on the Pacific East Coast of Japan, north of Chiba prefecture (just southeast of Tokyo) have been shut down including all Japan Railways service East and North of Shizuoka Prefecture. Public transport in Tokyo is totally suspended. Tsunami went off scale upto 7.3 meters at the port of Souma in Fukushima Prefecture. Reports says there have been 3 aftershocks greater in magnitude in Richter Scale and six more all between magnitude 6.0 and magnitude 6.9 so far. It is believed that more such shocks are expected but now in small magnitudes.

We pray for the people who are affected by the Tsunami and the Earthquake.

List of major earthquakes in history

Pos.↓ Date↓ Location↓ Name↓ Magnitude↓
1 May 22, 1960 Valdivia, Chile 1960 Valdivia earthquake 9.5
2 March 27, 1964 Prince William Sound, USA 1964 Alaska earthquake 9.2
3 December 26, 2004 Sumatra, Indonesia 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake 9.1
4 November 4, 1952 Kamchatka, Russia (then USSR) Kamchatka earthquakes 9.0
5 August 13, 1868 Arica, Chile (then Peru) 1868 Arica earthquake 9.0
6 January 26, 1700 Cascadia subduction zone, Canada and USA 1700 Cascadia earthquake 9.0
7 March 11, 2011 Tōhoku region, Japan 2011 Sendai earthquake 8.9

Also Read: 
International Response:
United Nations, International Atomic Energy Agency, United States, United Kingdom, India, China, Canada, Germany has expressed their interest in  helping Japan and the people of Japan who are affected by the earthquake and tsunami. 

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Sanskar Shrivastava is the founder of international students' journal, The World Reporter. Passionate about dynamic occurrence in geopolitics, Sanskar has been studying and analyzing geopolitcal events from early life. At present, Sanskar is a student at the Russian Centre of Science and Culture and will be moving to Duke University.

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A New Normal?: What We Need To Take Away From the Cape Town Water Crisis

Manak Suri



The Cape Town water crisis is still very much in the news and there is a lot that needs to be learnt from what has been happening in the city where 4 million people are actively struggling to push backward Day Zero: the day when the city runs out of its water resources and water supply is shut all across the city. If you have been keeping up with the story, you’d probably know that Day Zero was set by the city’s authorities to occur early in April. With a combination of supervised action and good fortune, recent estimates have pushed the date by nearly two months, with Day Zero now set to occur some time in early June. However, it is still too early to celebrate for the citizens of Cape Town since the dams that account for the availability of water to the city are still at alarmingly low levels, with analysts wondering whether the increased scarcity of the essential natural resource should be treated as a new normal for the region or not. The mere thought of the same spells an apocalyptic warning for mankind, for it has been known for quite some time that the crisis being faced by Capetonians is not unique and soon the citizens of many major cities across the globe could be facing the same, albeit with differing levels of severity.

A Game of Numbers: What the Future Holds

We are made to learn in the earlier years of our schooling that water makes up nearly 70% of the earth’s surface but only 3% of it is freshwater, that is, water that we can drink. Couple that with the population boom witnessed over decades in developed and developing countries all over the world and you have statistics which suggest that a quarter of the largest 500 cities in the world are dealing with issues related to scarcity of water. Moreover, a warning has been issued by the United Nations World Water Development Report that by the year 2030 the global demand for drinking water would exceed the global supply by roughly 40% due to a combination of climate change, growth in population, and actions of humans: a daunting figure at the very least. Even today, more than one eighth of the human population lack access to safe drinking water, and on top of that another 2.7 billion people find water to be scarce at least one month of the year. Where this puts us 12 years down the line is by all standards a circumstance not pretty, and what this means for the cities touted to be next in line after Cape Town is pretty clear: save water as if your life depends on it, because it does, as put forth by former mayor of Cape Town Helen Zille on tackling the issue in her city.

The Next Cape Town: An Inevitability?

11 major cities have been identified as being the most likely to be affected by water crises, if any in the near future. The list also includes the south Indian city of Bangalore. Bangalore, known as technological hub or the silicon plateau of India, has often been touted as the country’s IT capital, and that is precisely why it is now so high up in the list of cities struggling to manage its water supply. Rapid property developments in the city along with the huge influx of people to fill up these spaces have put up immense pressure on the city’s antiquated plumbing and sewer systems. The whole system is so ineffective that it has been estimated through a national report itself that the city loses half of its water meant for drinking as waste. Rampant pollution over the years has just added to the huge challenge. Of all the lakes in the city, none are clean enough to be used for drinking or even bathing, and water from most of the lakes can be at best only used for industrial cooling and irrigation.

The list contains a total of 4 Asian cities out of 11 including Bangalore. The remaining three are also the capital cities of three of the largest Asian countries in terms of population: Beijing; the capital of China, Tokyo; the Japanese capital, and Jakarta; capital of Indonesia. While China is inhabited by nearly 20% of the world’s population, it is home to only 7% of the world’s reserves of fresh water. Like Bangalore, Beijing also suffers from high levels of water pollution which has attracted the attention of the Chinese government over the past few years. The remainder of the list includes the cities of Sao Paulo in Brazil, the Egyptian capital Cairo, the Russian capital of Moscow, Istanbul in Turkey, Mexico City, Miami: the only city from the US to make the list, and surprisingly even London, the capital of the United Kingdom. London receives an annual rainfall of only about 600mm and is dependent for most of its supply of water on the rivers Thames and Lea. It is estimated to face supply problems by the year 2025, and by the year 2040, London is on track to face serious supply shortages.

You Don’t Have to Wait, You Have to Start

The threats of water shortages are not new when you consider for how long the warnings have been in place, in the same places for all this while. Even if this is all new to you right now, there are lessons that have to be learnt from what is happening around us and it is the need of the hour to be aware and to be responsible for your actions and for those of others around you. We shouldn’t have to wait till the going gets as bad as it did in Cape Town when we can do better. The power to control/minimise the effects of water shortages is within you, and through your example and your actions it is extended to others around you. Take it upon yourself to be the person to lead the change, attaching all the more power to yourself as well.

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The Technology Helping to Control Air Pollution in the 21st Century



From Warsaw to Beijing and from Johannesburg to London, air pollution is an all-important issue. In this article we’re going to discuss what is being done about it, specifically looking at the technology and techniques involved. These range from pollution control systems like wet and dry scrubbers to the use of greener technology such as electric cars.

Wet Scrubbing

Specialist environmental engineering and contracting firms such as ERG are leading the way in controlling air pollution, utilising a variety of methods to tackle the problem at its source. Just one of the techniques they use is wet scrubbing, which remove pollutants from a gas stream by bringing the pollutants into contact with a reactive liquid solution. This is used with success for cleaning:

  • Air;
  • Fuel gas;
  • Toxic or corrosive gases;
  • Dust particles.

The scrubbing solution can range from water, which is used for dust, to any number of reagents that target chemical compounds which could go on to pollute the atmosphere.

Dry Scrubbing

This is a cleaning process which does not saturate the gas stream with moisture, but rather uses solid material. Dry scrubbing is usually divided into two categories, representing the most common techniques used:

1)    Dry sorbent injectors (DSIs), which add alkaline material such as soda ash or hydrated lime into the gas stream to react with the acidic polluting material;

2)    Spray dryer absorbers (SDAs), which add the gases to be scrubbed into a dryer (also known as an absorbing tower), where they come into contact with an alkaline slurry that has been finely atomised.

Electrostatic Precipitation

This is the process in which particulate collection devices remove particles from the air, or another gas, using the power of an induced electrostatic charge. Electrostatic precipitators are considered to be very efficient when it comes to the consumption of electricity, as they only target the particles to be removed.

Electric Vehicles

Unlike the other methods on this list, electric cars do not actively remove air impurities. Rather, they deal with the prevention of pollution. In contrast to cars relying on internal combustion engines, these do not create harmful exhaust emissions such as:

  • Lead;
  • Ozone;
  • Carbon monoxide;
  • Particulates such as soot;
  • Hydrocarbons;
  • Nitrogen.

We have looked at three methods of removing pollution from the air, along with one method of prevention. When it comes to technology, these represent the tip of the iceberg, but they should give a good introduction when it comes to how we are working to combat this worldwide issue.

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Day Zero: A Desperate Warning from Cape Town to the World

Manak Suri



The unpreparedness of the human race has slowly but steadily come to the surface over the previous decade when it comes to ensuring our own survival and more importantly, that of the following generations. Before we even attempt to realize the impacts of climate change that are thrown into the faces of some community who then serve as the unfortunate examples of what’s going to happen, another repercussion pops up into the frame at the cost of another unsuspecting community, a country, or even a city. The city of Cape Town in South Africa serves as the most recent of those examples, and the crisis in the city bodes an ultimatum like never before to other thriving cities on the planet: mend your ways or follow suit.

“Day Zero”: as dire as it sounds

The event currently underway in Cape Town could be aptly described as probably its worst drought in nearly a century, one that has seen its people and authorities struggle to obtain water in the wake of depleting natural sources in order to sustain even their daily hygiene rituals. The city is quickly closing in on what has been dubbed as “Day Zero“: the day when the city will run out of its water. When that happens, it would be the first occurrence of such an event for a major global city. “Day Zero”, originally estimated to occur on April 22, was more recently moved up to April 12 with Cape Town’s 4 million strong population finding it difficult to adjust to the demands of reduced consumption.

A point of no return, is it?

The authorities, including city mayor Patricia de Lille have urged citizens to restrict their usage to 50 litres per person a day with effect from February 1 to accommodate the shortage and help prevent the situation take a turn for the worse. However, most citizens have been ignorant of these warnings in the past month and have irresponsibly consumed more than 87 litres per day, the restricted amount in place till the end of January. “It is quite unbelievable that a majority of people do not seem to care and are sending all of us headlong towards Day Zero” she said, adding, “We have reached a point of no return.”

Despite the comments of the mayor, it can be safely mentioned that many people of the city are realizing the weight of the crisis, and have begun to get creative with the different ways in which they can collect and reuse water in order to restrict their consumption to the stipulated limit and escape hefty fines. Long queues to purchase bottled water for household consumption in supermarkets has also become a common sight over the weeks.

Former mayor Helen Zille, who will also direct the disaster management response on the arrival of Day Zero has sounded hopeful, going so far as to say that Day Zero can be avoided should everyone realize the implications and make a concerted effort towards conserving water. “That is not difficult if we all put our minds to it in our homes and in our workplaces,” she said of the situation. Ms. Zille, along with other officials have provided tips to the people for saving water and getting the maximum use out of the water that they use: turning off the taps of toilet cisterns and using the grey water from washing in the toilets instead and showering less often. “No one should be showering more than twice a week at this stage. You need to save water as if your life depends on it because it does” were her words.

Not a crisis out of thin air

The crisis that the people in Cape Town are facing is not sudden by any standards. In fact, first warnings against the occurring were given out in the 1990s which were largely ignored. One main factor identified behind the crisis and its scale is the city’s population of about 4 million individuals, which has seen a high rate of growth over the years and is still growing strongly. Coupled with the drought that the population is currently facing, the strain on the resources for water has increased. South Africa hasn’t received sufficient rainfall for three years now. The drought in turn arises from climate change and the El Nino effect. There are six dams that supply water to the city and are currently 25.8 per cent full. The figure stood at 85% in 2014 and 38.4% a year ago.

What the dawn of Day Zero would mean for the people of Cape Town

On the dawn of Day Zero, Capetonians would be allowed just 25 litres of water per person a day, or roughly 7 gallons. To put that into perspective, you can take the average amount of water that Americans use: 80 to 100 gallons. A single flush of a toilet amounts to 2 gallons, and a 90 second shower could use up 4 gallons. To keep the restrictions in check,  most taps in the city would be switched off and residents will have to get their daily share of water from any one of 200 allocated points in the city. Plans are also being made to store emergency water in military installations. The sooner the city head towards Day Zero, the sooner Capetonians will need to prepare for a new lifestyle, one that is significantly astray from that of entitlement that we all are living in right now. The crisis in Cape Town is a crystal clear warning to us, and one that will likely be not be given the consideration it is due.

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