Japan - On a Slow Path to Recovery
Earthquakes and their after-shocks followed by a tsunamis are more frequent after 3.11.2011. Japan is situated over a number of converging tectonic plates, which are very thick (about 70Kms) and moves few centimeters every year. Every earthquake happens due to the shifting and distortion of the plates below the surface. Scientists are trying to understand the pattern and dimensions of earthquakes, so that more accurate predictions can be made before any disaster caused by these earthquakes.
Since the 3.11 Higashi-Kanto earthquake of Japan, there have been approximately 500 after-shocks felt, some of these after-shocks are as powerful as 7.0 magnitude level. The Meteorological Agency of Japan has been sending frequent warnings about future earthquakes and tsunami's. The tsunami announcement clearly warns about 2nd and 3rd waves, which will be more powerful than the first wave.
In the recent horrific earthquake and tsunami, Tohoku, the northeastern part of Japan was hardest hit, with some areas completely evacuated, leaving them ghost-towns. The residents have taken refuge in safer areas, with hopes of returning becoming doubtful.
After exactly four-months, recovery is slow, measuring the patience of the residents. A brief monsoon is over and the daily temperature is rising to maximum 37c degrees, with more decay and a rise in the insect population expected. The most recent quake of 7.3 magnitude was recorded on Sunday, July 10, when once again sirens were heard with tsunami warnings.
Over at the Fukushima reactor premises, smooth operation of the treatment system is still in trial and error stage. Tokyo Electric is supposed to recycle water in order to cool the damage reactors of the plant, but here and there some glitches are preventing a smooth cool down. There is concern whether the melted fuel should be buried deep down below earth's surface, or taken to another remote location. The importance of the highly readioactive material's removal can not be understated. Without that, the sacrifices of the already evacuated residents will continue to be unbearable.
With the efforts of the government, some progress is being made, with more expected as the piles of debris are removed clearing and roads are repaired.
Japan is becoming more anxious about the future of nuclear energy, and what will be the best way to replace it. Still, the answers to this and Japan's rehabilitation remain unsolved. There is not enough being done by the government to calm down the nation on any front, when this road of seeking “replacement of energy sources” and “rehabilitation of the residents of Fukushima” will come to a satisfying end.