Posted by: jkirkby8712 | March 15, 2011

Sunday, 13th March 2011 – turmoil and tragedy continues in Japan

As I noted overnight, sleep did not come peacefully, and after waking again, soon after 4.30am, I gave up trying to sleep, and decided to make an early start at the radio station – not due on air until 7am, but I was broadcasting  by 6.15am, and quite happy to be doing so. 

An interesting welcome to the studio  –  lined up on the balcony of the entrance way, for four magpies!  I wondered if they were thinking that I was the presenters who follow me, at 9am, and often feed the birds. However, I think they were there enjoyed another feast  –  as I attempted to unlock the door, I was ‘engulfed’ by a huge swarm of insects, which overnight, in the humid conditions, had been attracted to the external security lights. While I didn’t particularly enjoy having this multitude of different shaped and sized moths and other insects trying to attach themselves to my face, head and general body, I was more concerned about stopping them from coming into the building with me. I think I was relatively successful, although it was obvious that the last people here on air last night, had left the front doors open whilst here – to presumably get some air into the building – and in the process, allowed quite a lot of insects inside. So the passageway was already occupied on the ceiling, windows and walls with sundry flying creatures/ Thankfully, numbers in the actual studio, the door to which I kept well closed during my stay, were relatively small, although that could have been worsened, because of the open window – again, someone on air yesterday, had opened the studio window, and as so often happens, neglected to close it upon finishing!

Anyway, despite having to ‘chase away’ from the equipment, the occasional flying bug, I enjoyed the extended program I presented this morning – during the extra earlier period, I played a series of extracts from one of the past concerts put on by my favourite suburban orchestra  – the Heidelberg Symphony Orchestra.

Back home, I remained as quiet as possible in order to allow Susie a reasonable sleep before she had to get up for another shift at Big W. Last Sunday, they had rung in the morning, asking her to go in early – she did not want that today, and I was under ‘instructions’ to say she was ‘out’ if we had any early morning calls!!  Shortly before 3pm, Susie left for work [3 hour shift] –  just as a major rain storm hit  – I’m hoping that it will be over in 3 hours, because at 6pm, she hits the highway again for the drive back to Bendigo. As it is, she is probably going to get drenched getting from her car to  her work place – not good, as she still seems to have that cold that has been bugging her for the past week, Getting wet, and working in that condition for 3 hours will not help!  Just glad she is not on the highway now – the rain is coming down in torrents, and the patio outside the front door is already flooding , as is the ground around the house.  I find myself worrying at this time each week, as Susie heads off – the return trips do not stress me as much – mainly because I’m not sure when she is on the road!

At 7.15pm, I’m wondering how far from Bendigo, Susie has to go. I wouldn’t hear from her tonight, and knew a message of enquiry from me would most likely be not appreciated.  So I simply assumed silence meant no problems on the road, etc. Certainly, down this way, the weather had calmed down a little, and driving conditions up north would be a little better by now.

 Meanwhile,  the eldest, James is playing in a weekend poker tournament  at the Crown Casino – out of some 434 hopeful starters, the last I read from him was that he was still in – the last 18 – playing for about $56,000! He invited me to go down to the Casino and watch, but I suggested such an action might jinx him!!!  Is that for real, was my thought?  I would later learn that James finished in 11th position, and for that privilege, earned himself  $2,605, not a bad return for a weekend’s ‘work’. These days, I need nearly 3 weeks to earn the equivalent. His regular updates while engaged in a tournament reveal a high knowledge of what he is doing with full details of a statistical analysis of the main players, and his progressive position in the competition.

A continuation of the tragic scenes on the TV from Japan tonight – now they are being realistic – instead of talking about death tolls in the hundreds, and with at least 10,000 missing from one coastal city alone, it is been accepted that the death toll could reach figures of that level!! It’s depressing, to say the least. Decided to switch off the news for an hour, and watch a program on the history of Scotland – think it’s a repeat, but that’s okay. It fits in with my current family history research. The following is an example of the many reports coming out of Japan at present.

More than 200 bodies have been found at a new site in northeast Japan, where an earthquake and tsunami caused massive destruction, police say.  “We have received a preliminary report that more than 200 bodies were found in the city of Higashimatsushima,” a National Police Agency spokesman said, adding that local police are starting to collect the bodies. Hundreds of other residents in the city’s Nobiru district are unaccounted for, the Sankei Shimbun and other newspapers said. Police in the city of Sendai said yesterday at least 200 and up to 300 bodies had been found on the shoreline there. Earlier today, the National Police Agency said in a statement the confirmed death toll from Friday’s twin disasters is 688, with 642 missing and 1570 injured.  That figure did not include the bodies found at Sendai and Higashimatsushima. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano has said it was believed more than 1000 people had died nationwide.   Amid a mass rescue effort there were grim updates indicating severe loss of life along the hard-hit east coast of Honshu island, where the monster waves destroyed or damaged more than 12,250 homes and other buildings.  At least 2400 houses were flooded by the tsunami, while more than 100 houses had been burned, police said, adding that there were 60 landslides.  Broadcaster NHK reported that around 10,000 people – roughly half its population – are unaccounted for in the Japanese port town of Minamisanriku in quake-hit Miyagi prefecture.                                                       AFP

In other reports overnight, a Japanese  man who was swept 15km out to sea by Japan’s deadly tsunami was plucked to safety today after being spotted clinging to a piece of wreckage, officials said;   an Australian woman evacuated from near Japan’s stricken Fukushima reactor will be medically evaluated for radiation exposure when she returns home;   Japan’s Meteorological Agency says it has upgraded the magnitude oftheearthquake to beyond a scale of 9; while  Japan’s top government spokesman Yukio Edano said Sunday that radioactive meltdowns may have occurred in two reactors of the quake-hit Fukushima nuclear plant.. The Government says they are sure they can bring a crippled nuclear reactor under control, but experts say it may already be too late.

Cricket scores from today’s World Cup games saw: 

Match 30: New Zealand 6 for 358 defeated Canada 9 for 261 [Group A game at Mumbai]

Match 31 involved the Australians – I watched the closing stages of the Aussie innings which left a  big score for their opponents, Kenya,  to chase – at that point, I switched the TV off, and was asleep rather quickly!!  Result – Australia 6 for 324 defeated Kenya 6 for 264. The Australians should not have been too pleased with the outcome despite the win  –  our bowling proved unable to get the Kenyan team out, something that should not have been a difficulty!

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