WBEZ | earthquake http://www.wbez.org/tags/earthquake Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en 4 things the Japanese earthquake taught the Midwest http://www.wbez.org/blog/bez/2012-03-12/4-things-japanese-earthquake-taught-midwest-97210 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2012-March/2012-03-12/Mt Fuji_Micki Maynard.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2012-March/2012-03-12/Mt Fuji_Micki Maynard.jpg" style="width: 630px; height: 473px;" title="Japan's Mt. Fuji, as seen from the bullet train. (Changing Gears/Micki Maynard)"></p><p>A year ago, people in the Midwest were taking stock of the damage that the <a href="http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/international/countriesandterritories/japan/index.html?scp=1&amp;sq=japanese%20earthquake&amp;st=cse">massive earthquake and tsunami </a>had done to Japan. And, while the region affected by the earthquake is starting its long recovery, everyone here has learned some permanent lessons.</p><p><strong>1) We are all connected.</strong> To borrow a phrase from the<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQ6ficvJODQ"> Symphony of Science</a>, the earthquake on the coast of Japan reminded us of how closely linked everyone is on earth. The earthquake disrupted parts and vehicle production for automakers overseas and in the United States for months — and had a significant impact on the Midwest.</p><p>In the Midwest, our Niala Boodhoo found that<a href="http://www.changinggears.info/2011/03/21/japans-economic-ripples-and-the-midwest/"> 160,000 people</a> in the Great Lakes states worked directly for Japanese based companies. She reported on the impact for <a href="http://www.npr.org/2011/03/21/134716680/midwest-firms-brace-for-japans-economic-ripples"><em>Morning Edition</em>. </a></p><p>All across the region, companies, charities and even <a href="http://www.changinggears.info/2011/04/19/chicago-chefs-gather-for-japan/">chefs </a>stepped forward to help people affected by the disasters in Japan, sending everything from portable toilets to gas tanks and of course, cash. At <a href="http://www.takashichicago.com/">Takashi</a> in Chicago, an all-star team of restaurant owners from around the city stepped up to cook a meal whose proceeds benefited the American Red Cross.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>2) Recovery is not instantaneous. </strong>We live in a world of the 24-hour news cycle, where word of events happening in one place can be beamed around the world within seconds via Twitter and Facebook. But the comeback for Japanese companies has been a step-by-step process.</p><p>One example is the automobile industry, which is vitally important to our region. Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Mitsubishi and Subaru all have factories and employees in our states.</p><p>In March 2011, the same month as the earthquake, Japanese automakers held 40 percent of American sales, according to statistics from Autodata, Inc. By June, with parts and vehicle deliveries disrupted, that fell to 30 percent of the market.</p><p>Last month, Japanese automakers held 37.8 percent, their highest share since the earthquake, but they are not yet back to where they were.</p><p><strong>3) Diversify your production base. </strong>Over the past year, Japan’s currency has been at an all time high against the U.S. dollar. That, plus the disruptions caused by the earthquake, is causing a number of auto companies to hasten the<a href="http://www.changinggears.info/www.forbes.com/sites/michelinemaynard/2012/02/20/while-detroit-gets-the-spotlight-foreign-carmakers-quietly-rev-production-plans/"> shift of production</a> from Japan to the United States.</p><p>Toyota <a href="http://www.changinggears.info/2012/02/20/after-laying-low-toyota-is-back-on-a-production-march/">told journalists</a>&nbsp;in Toronto last month that it is looking at shifting Lexus and Prius production east from Japan, due to the super-strong yen.</p><p>That’s on top of a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.changinggears.info/2012/02/08/indiana-gets-a-400-million-infusion-from-toyota/">$400 million expansion</a>&nbsp;that’s taking place at Toyota’s Princeton, Ind., plant, which will become its only global location for the Highlander, a sport utility vehicle. And, Toyota’s new plant in Blue Springs, Miss., which opened&nbsp;<a href="http://www.changinggears.info/2011/11/17/will-a-midwestern-town-ever-get-another-foreign-car-plant/">in November</a>, is already up to its full component of 2,000 workers.</p><p>Honda is expanding in Ohio, where it’s building a new engine and transmission family. It also will build the NSX sports car, which returns in 2015 for the first time in a decade, at a new facility in Marysville.</p><p><strong>4) Know your nukes. </strong>The weeks-long crisis at Japan’s nuclear power plants caused many Midwesterners to realize that our region also relies in part&nbsp;<a href="http://www.changinggears.info/2011/03/14/our-region-nuclear-power-and-japan/">on nuclear energy.&nbsp;</a>There are 24 nuclear power plants around the Great Lakes, including 11 reactors in Illinois.</p><p>Michigan has four, Wisconsin has three and Ohio has two. There are none in Indiana.&nbsp;Meanwhile, the U.S. Energy Information Administration offers an in-depth look at each state’s nuclear power status. Here are their entries for&nbsp;<a href="http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/nuclear/state_profiles/michigan/mi.html">Michigan</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/nuclear/state_profiles/illinois/il.html">Illinois</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/nuclear/state_profiles/ohio/oh.html">Ohio</a>, and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/nuclear/state_profiles/wisconsin/wi.html">Wisconsin</a>.</p></p> Mon, 12 Mar 2012 14:53:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/bez/2012-03-12/4-things-japanese-earthquake-taught-midwest-97210 A sushi master's temporary restaurant in Kesennuma, Japan http://www.wbez.org/blog/louisa-chu/2012-01-31/sushi-masters-temporary-restaurant-kesennuma-japan-95994 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2012-January/2012-01-31/shrimp_0.JPG" alt="" /><p><p><img alt="" class="caption" grape="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2012-January/2012-01-31/shrimp_0.JPG" style="width: 600px; height: 448px; " title=""></p><p>To get to Kesennuma these days, Japan's biggest port town about two hours by bullet train northwest of Tokyo, I had to take a taxi yesterday an hour to the coast.</p><p>It's cold and snowing here, with only a few inches on the ground, but a total whiteout. There used to be a local train that connected, the driver said, but sections of track are missing, washed away by the tsunami triggered by 3/11, as the earthquake is known among the Japanese. The missing tracks show up as dotted lines on the GPS that guides driver-san on the two-lane twisty mountain road, but he knows it well, having ferried volunteers in for the past year or so.</p><p>He asks if he can ask me where I'm from, and when I tell him Chicago, he says, "Chicago Cubs!" He's been a lifelong fan of the "Major Leagues" and closely follows all the Japanese players. I ask him what they eat here at games and he says he's not sure, maybe "American-style" popcorn.</p><p>When we arrive, I finally see crumpled storefronts missing all their windows, filled with debris. I ask driver-san to wait while I dig into my duffel, then give him one the small cans of Garrett's popcorn I've brought as customary gifts. I explain it's filled with Chicago Mix, cheese and caramel. He made the characteristic Japanese sound that registers surprise, like Scooby-Doo, then smiled broadly and bowed deeply before heading the hour back.</p><p>I had a few minutes before heading out to dinner, at my first sushi restaurant in Japan. But it wasn't at the original famous Asahi, but their brand new temporary restaurant opened Christmas Eve 2011.</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2012-January/2012-01-31/restaurant exterior_0.JPG" style="width: 600px; height: 448px; " title="the exterior of the 'pop-up' restaurant"></p><p>Fifty-one local shopkeepers are finally back in business, in rows of pre-fab buildings. They're rent free for two years, which is how long officials say it will take to rebuild the town. The shopkeepers think five years.</p><p>The sushi master starts with mild, silky local flounder and over two hours we chat about the food. One course is the fabled "grape shrimp" which is so rare it's called "the phantom ship", and never makes it down to Tsukiji. I was just there yesterday morning but that seems like a long time ago already. It's the finest sushi we serve in this shop, he said. It's incredibly sweet, crisp, and creamy. In two small bites, as he's sliced it in half, it captures the depth of the sea.</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2012-January/2012-01-31/anago_0.JPG" style="width: 300px; height: 224px; " title="anago"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2012-January/2012-01-31/anago sauce_0.JPG" style="width: 300px; height: 224px; " title="anago sauce"></p><p>With the anago he describes how the thick brown salty-sweet sauce is made by adding ingredients over the remaining sauce in the pot every time. His original base was 45 years old, but the pot washed out to sea. Luckily he has another restaurant in the train station town, so he borrowed some base from there.&nbsp;</p><p>Kesennuma was hit not only by the earthquake and tsunami, but a huge fire too. Wrecked fishing vessels spilled fuel in the harbor, burning for four days. The water is still now, but at only a sidewalk width away and nearly level with the road, it's feels ominously close.</p><p>The chef was at the dentist when the quake hit. He'd just finished and was waiting to pay. They said he could leave; there was no need to pay. His house is on high land and all of his family and staff were safe. He chose his house for its view, as he's a painter too. Two salvaged paintings hang in the temporary space. He says his hobby saved their lives.</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2012-January/2012-01-31/knife_0.JPG" style="width: 600px; height: 448px; " title="the found knife"></p><p>Kesennuma counts about 1,000 dead and 400 missing from 74,000 residents. During clean up the chef said he saw something shiny under the dirt. It was his knife, buried where he normally stood. He says it was an order from heaven to continue working. He said with the dentist, his high house, and the knife, "I think I'm a very lucky guy."</p></p> Tue, 31 Jan 2012 15:50:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/louisa-chu/2012-01-31/sushi-masters-temporary-restaurant-kesennuma-japan-95994 Earthquake rattles Mexico City http://www.wbez.org/story/earthquake-rattles-mexico-city-94804 <p><p>A 6.7-magnitude earthquake struck in Mexico's western Guerrero state Saturday night, shaking buildings and causing some panic just over 100 miles away in the nation's capital. There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.</p><p>The U.S. Geological Service estimated the quake's magnitude at 6.7, after an initial reading of 6.8. A quake of that magnitude is capable of causing severe damage.</p><p>The USGS said the quake occurred 40.3 miles (64.9 kilometers) deep and was centered about 26 miles (42 kilometers) southwest of Iguala in Guerrero. That is 103 miles (166 kilometers) south-southwest of Mexico City.</p><p>High-rises swayed in the center of Mexico City, and shoppers were temporarily herded out of some shopping centers.</p><p>Mexico City's mayor, Marcelo Ebrard, reported by Twitter that no major damage had been reported although there were some power failures in parts of the city.</p><p>People in one part of the capital's upscale Condesa neighborhood ran out of their houses and gathered in the streets, hugging each other while some shook and began to cry.</p><p>On one street, a group of women joined hands in a circle, closed their eyes and began to pray.</p><p>"Please God, help us and let everything be OK," said one. "It's OK. It's OK. Everything is OK."</p></p> Sun, 11 Dec 2011 02:57:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/earthquake-rattles-mexico-city-94804 Quake death toll reaches 272 in Turkey http://www.wbez.org/content/quake-death-toll-reaches-272-turkey <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-October/2011-10-24/quake.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><img alt="People rescue two women trapped under debris in Van eastern Turkey after a power" class="caption" height="361" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2011-October/2011-10-24/quake-crop.jpg" title="People rescue two women trapped under debris in Van eastern Turkey after a powerful 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck Sunday. (AP)" width="630"></p><p>ERCIS, Turkey — Five people were pulled out alive Monday from the rubble in eastern Turkey after a 7.2-magnitude quake leveled buildings and killed some 272 people. Four of them were rescued after one managed to call for help with his cell phone.</p><p>Dozens of people were trapped in mounds of concrete, twisted steel and construction debris after hundreds of buildings in two cities and mud-brick homes in nearby villages pancaked or partially collapsed in Sunday's earthquake.</p><p>Worst-hit was Ercis — an eastern city of 75,000 close to the Iranian border that lies in one of Turkey's most earthquake-prone zones — where about 80 multistory buildings collapsed.</p><p>Yalcin Akay was dug out from a collapsed six-story building with a leg injury after he called a police emergency line on his phone and described his location, the state-run Anatolia news agency reported. Three others, including two children, were also rescued from the same building in Ercis 20 hours after the quake struck, officials said.</p><p>Later, a 21-year-old woman, Tugba Altinkaynak, was rescued after being trapped beneath rubble for some 27-hours. There was no immediate information on her condition. Her father, Nevzat, said she was at a family lunch with 12 other relatives when the temblor hit. Four of them were pulled out alive earlier.</p><p>As over 200 aftershocks rocked the area, rescuers searched mounds of debris for the missing and tearful families members waited anxiously nearby. Cranes and other heavy equipment lifted slabs of concrete, allowing residents to dig for the missing with shovels. Generator-powered floodlights ran all night so the rescues could continue.</p><p>Aid groups scrambled to set up tents, field hospitals and kitchens to help the thousands left homeless or too afraid to re-enter their homes. Many exhausted residents spent the night outside, lighting fires to keep warm.</p><p>"We stayed outdoors all night, I could not sleep at all, my children, especially the little one, was terrified," said Serpil Bilici of her six-year-old daughter, Rabia. "I grabbed her and rushed out when the quake hit, we were all screaming."</p><p>The bustling, larger city of Van, about 55 miles (90 kilometers) south of Ercis, also sustained substantial damage, but Interior Minister Idris Naim Sahin said search efforts there were winding down.</p><p>Sahin expected the death toll in Ercis to rise, but not as much as initially feared. He told reporters rescue teams were searching for survivors in the ruins of 47 buildings where dozens could be trapped, including a cafe.</p><p>"There could be around 100 people (in the rubble)," Sahin said. "But we are not talking about thousands."</p><p>Authorities said the earthquake has left 272 dead and some 1,100 injured. Ten of the victims were students learning about the Quran at a religious school that collapsed.</p><p>Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who inspected the area late Sunday, said "close to all" the mud-brick homes in surrounding villages had collapsed in the temblor that also rattled parts of Iran and Armenia.</p><p>In Ercis, a team specializing in mine disaster rescues combed through what once was a student dormitory.</p><p>"Four or five (apartments) have been leveled," team member Mustafa Bilgin said. "University students are said to be living here. We don't know how many of them are still inside."</p><p>Dozens of people huddled around the building, silently watching the rescue work. A woman who lost her parents sat on the ground sobbing near another crumpled building.</p><p>The terrifying moments of the powerful temblor still haunted many.</p><p>"I was in the street and saw the buildings sway," Hasan Ceylan, 48, surveying the wreckage of his three businesses, including a grocery store and a veterinary clinic.</p><p>Abubekir Acar, 42, was sipping tea with friends as the quake leveled a nearby coffee house.</p><p>"We did not understand what was going on, the buildings around us, the coffee house all went down so quickly," he said. "For a while, we could not see anything — everywhere was covered in dust. Then, we heard screams and pulled out anyone we could reach."</p><p>More than 2,000 teams with a dozen sniffer dogs were involved in search-and-rescue and aid efforts.</p><p>Several countries offered assistance but Erdogan said Turkey was able to cope for the time being. Azerbaijan, Iran and Bulgaria still sent aid, he said.</p><p>Among those offering help were Israel, Greece and Armenia. The offer from Israel came despite a rift in relations following a 2010 Israeli navy raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla that left nine Turks dead. Greece, which has a deep dispute with Turkey over the divided island of Cyprus, also offered to send a special earthquake rescue team.</p><p>Armenian President Serge Sarkisian proposed helping during talks in Moscow with Russian leader Dmitry Medvedev, and the two leaders called their Turkish counterpart, Abdullah Gul, Anatolia reported. Turkey and Armenia have no diplomatic ties due to tensions over the Ottoman-era mass killings of Armenians and the conflict in the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh.</p><p>Leaders around the world conveyed their condolences and offered assistance.</p><p>"We stand shoulder to shoulder with our Turkish ally in this difficult time, and are ready to assist," President Barack Obama said.</p><p>Turkey lies in one of the world's most active seismic zones and is crossed by numerous fault lines. In 1999, two earthquakes with a magnitude of more than 7 struck northwestern Turkey, killing about 18,000 people.</p><p>Istanbul, the country's largest city with more than 12 million people, lies in northwestern Turkey near a major fault line, and experts say tens of thousands could be killed if a major quake struck there</p></p> Mon, 24 Oct 2011 16:24:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/content/quake-death-toll-reaches-272-turkey Global Activism: Local librarian helps rebuild libraries in Haiti http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-04-14/global-activism-local-librarian-helps-rebuild-libraries-haiti-85187 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-April/2011-04-14/tentlibraryCROP.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Each Thursday on <a href="http://www.wbez.org/globalactivism" target="_blank"><em>Global Activism</em></a> we hear about an individual who’s decided to work to make the world a better place.</p><p>Deborah Lazar is a librarian at New Trier High School.&nbsp; She's been involved with New Trier’s <a href="http://www.newtrier.k12.il.us/haitiproject.aspx" target="_blank">Haiti Project</a>, which has been supporting the St. Joseph School in Petit Goave, Haiti. The school was completely destroyed along with many other buildings during the earthquake that hit the country in January 2010. Deborah has also started another project, <a href="http://www.rebuildhaitilibraries.org/haitilibraries/Welcome.html" target="_blank">Rebuilding Haiti, Rebuilding Dreams</a>, to help reconstruct the libraries that were damaged in the quake, including the library in Petit Goave.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Video of the earthquake damage to the National Library of Haiti:</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/1oSmqqJUfcc" title="YouTube video player" width="480" frameborder="0" height="390"></iframe></p></p> Thu, 14 Apr 2011 16:14:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-04-14/global-activism-local-librarian-helps-rebuild-libraries-haiti-85187 Mission #65: From all of us to the people of Japan http://www.wbez.org/blog/mission-amy-kr/2011-03-21/mission-65-all-us-people-japan-84029 <p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>This week's mission begins with this 1-minute video:</p><p><iframe height="249" frameborder="0" width="460" allowfullscreen="" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/1y1dL3f9zqk" title="YouTube video player"></iframe></p><p>Thanks to our handy smartphone cameras, this mission is pretty &quot;1,2,3 simple&quot; I think. (Of course you're welcome to use a &quot;real&quot; camera if you'd like :)</p><p><strong>Please send your photo by Friday</strong>. &nbsp;</p><p>And before you go, I've got a sort of &quot;side mission&quot; this week as well.</p><p>I receive many inquiries about how to break into the publishing business, or how to make videos, or would I mind looking at a manuscript, etc. &nbsp;I try my best to answer and help as often as I can. This led me to the following &quot;side mission&quot; idea:</p><p>This Friday, March 25th, I am going to set aside 2 hours to answer your questions either via phone or skype. Each session will be 10 minutes and cost $50 dollars with&nbsp;<strong>100% of the proceeds going to the Red Cross Japan Relief effort. &nbsp;</strong></p><p>If you (or anyone you know) was planning on making a donation anyway AND would like my two cents on the topic of your choice, let me know.</p><p>(That's actually pretty funny:&nbsp; For $50 bucks, you can get my two cents :)</p><p>I will be conducting these calls/video chats Friday between <strong>10-12 CST.</strong> &nbsp;</p><p>Email missamykr at yahoo.com&nbsp;</p><p>ever yours,</p><p>amy</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 21 Mar 2011 16:35:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/mission-amy-kr/2011-03-21/mission-65-all-us-people-japan-84029 Flight 882: Returning Chicagoans reflect on experiences during Japan's earthquake http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-03-18/flight-882-returning-chicagoans-reflect-experiences-during-japans-earthq <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-March/2011-03-18/AP110312114280.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Today marks the one week anniversary of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami. This past week, Chicago media swarmed O&rsquo;Hare airport to grab interviews and sound bites from people returning from Japan. The first flight (United 882) arrived from Tokyo on Saturday March 12th.&nbsp;</p> <p>Three passengers from that flight avoided the flashing bulbs and video cameras to reunite with their families. Erica McNamara, Elizabeth Gomez and Bob Blackburn were all part of the Rotary International Group Study Exchange that took Chicagoans to Tokyo for a full month. Their last day in Tokyo was Friday March 11th, the day of the earthquake.</p> <p>They experienced the quake from their hotel, and they traveled back to Chicago the next day. &nbsp;All three have spent this week acclimating themselves back into the daily grind - returning to their homes, their jobs and their lives - miles away from Tokyo Japan.</p><p>Now that the travelers have had time to reflect on the events of last Friday, they&rsquo;ve opened up to tell their stories.</p><p><em>This piece was produced by WBEZ&rsquo;s Justin Kaufmann</em></p></p> Fri, 18 Mar 2011 13:16:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-03-18/flight-882-returning-chicagoans-reflect-experiences-during-japans-earthq Meltdown feared as water runs out at Japanese nuclear plant http://www.wbez.org/story/earthquake/meltdown-feared-water-runs-out-japanese-nuclear-plant <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-March/2011-03-16/Japan rescue nuke_Getty.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>The chief of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission says all the water is gone from one of the spent fuel pools at Japan's most troubled nuclear plant. This means there's nothing to stop the fuel rods from getting hotter and ultimately melting down. The outer shell of the rods could also ignite with enough force to propel the radioactive fuel inside over a wide area.</p><p>Gregory Jaczko did not say Wednesday how the information was obtained, but the NRC and U.S. Department of Energy both have experts on site at the Fukushima Dai-ichi complex of six reactors. He says officials believe radiation levels are extremely high, and that could affect workers' ability to stop temperatures from escalating.</p><p><strong>New power line could solve the crisis</strong></p><p>Meanwhile, the operator of Japan's tsunami-crippled nuclear plant says it has almost completed a new power line that could restore electricity to the complex and solve the crisis that has threatened a meltdown. Tokyo Electric Power Co. spokesman Naoki Tsunoda said early Thursday the power line to Fukushima Dai-ichi is almost complete. Officials plan to try it &quot;as soon as possible&quot; but he could not say when.</p><p>The new line would revive electric-powered pumps, allowing the company to maintain a steady water supply to troubled reactors and spent fuel storage ponds, keeping them cool.</p><p>The nuclear crisis has triggered international alarm and partly overshadowed the human tragedy caused by Friday's earthquake and tsunami that pulverized Japan's northeastern coastline.</p><p><strong>U.S. parts with Japan on safety zone recommendations</strong></p><p>The White House is now recommending that U.S. citizens stay 50 miles away from a stricken nuclear plant, not the 20-mile radius recommended by the Japanese. The order comes after President Barack Obama met Wednesday with top advisers and the chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.</p><p>As late as Tuesday, the U.S. had not issued its own recommendations, advising citizens instead to follow the recommendations of the Japanese. White House spokesman Jay Carney says the move does not signal a lack of confidence in Japan. He says the NRC is using its own data and making its recommendation on how it would handle the incident if it happened in the U.S.</p><p>Carney says the White House consulted with the Japanese government before making the recommendation.</p><p><strong>U.S. EPA adds more radiation meters along the West Coast</strong></p><p>Federal environmental regulators say they are adding more radiation monitors in the western United States and Pacific territories as concerns rise over exposure from damaged nuclear plants in Japan. The Environmental Protection Agency already monitors radiation throughout the area as part of its RadNet system, which measures levels in air, drinking water, milk and rain.</p><p>But the additional monitors are in response to the ongoing nuclear crisis in Japan, where emergency workers are attempting to cool overheated reactors damaged by last week's magnitude-9.0 earthquake and tsunami.&nbsp; The EPA says data from the monitors are available on its website for coastal states, Hawaii, Guam and American Samoa.</p><p>Officials with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission say they do not expect harmful radiation levels to reach the U.S. from Japan.</p><p><strong>Worsening nuclear crisis rattles financial markets</strong></p><p>Fears that a nuclear reactor in Japan may be in the midst of a partial meltdown shook U.S. financial markets on Wednesday.</p><p>Stock indexes lost 2 percent and gave up nearly all of their gains for the year.&nbsp; All 10 company groups that make up the Standard &amp; Poor's 500 index fell.</p><p>The Dow Jones industrial average fell 242 points, or 2 percent, to 11,613. It was the biggest drop for the index since August 11.</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 16 Mar 2011 21:26:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/earthquake/meltdown-feared-water-runs-out-japanese-nuclear-plant Travel to Japan slows after quake http://www.wbez.org/story/earthquake/travel-japan-slows-after-quake <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-March/2011-03-16/IMG_0814.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Demand for travel to Japan has dropped off since the earthquake. And there are new fears today about a possible nuclear disaster near the capital city. But that didn't stop some passengers at O'Hare International Airport from boarding a plane to Tokyo this afternoon.<br /><br />There was a steady stream of travelers coming from Japan at O'Hare. But travel going the other way was more like a trickle.<br /><br />Dennis Crawford was one of the people headed to Japan today. He's in the U.S. Navy, and he was anxious to help with the cleanup, and to see his friends and fiance.</p><p>&quot;She's scared and it's hard, it's very hard, but we just keep going, that's all you can do,&quot; he said.<br /><br />His father, also named Dennis, came to see him off.</p><p>&quot;I have my doubts, but God will be with him, and that's all he has over there. I can't be there,&quot;&nbsp;he said. &quot;God will take care of him. And he knows what he's doing, so he's a pretty good boy.&quot;<br /><br />United and Continental Airlines say there's been a &quot;measurable&quot; decrease in travel from the U.S. to Japan.<br />&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 16 Mar 2011 21:23:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/earthquake/travel-japan-slows-after-quake Joyful greetings at airport for families reunited after Japanese earthquake http://www.wbez.org/story/earthquake/joyful-greetings-airport-families-reunited-after-japanese-earthquake <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-March/2011-03-16/Nick Nowak and Pamela Stewart.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>O'Hare International Airport's is the scene of joyful homecomings as people return from Japan. Pamela Stewart and her family carried a homemade welcome sign as they waited for her son, Nick Nowak, to arrive.&nbsp;He's 26, and was teaching English in Japan to elementary school children when the quake hit. &quot;It's just overwhelming,&quot; Pamela Stewart said. &quot;I am grateful that he is alive and he is well, and I can't wait to see him.&quot; Her husband, Brad, said, &quot;It's been brutal, more so for her because that's her little baby. Anybody that has kids knows, the eight hours we didn't know if he was alive was, that was crazy, I don't wish that on anybody. </p><p>Nowak was teaching and living in the Southern Ibaraki prefecture, which is located about 150 miles from the hardest hit areas in Northeast Japan. Nowak said he's still in shock, and is also worried about friends in Japan. He was considering recontracting with the company who sent him to Japan to teach, but &ldquo;this kind of threw everything away for the time being. Upon arrival, Nowak himself said, &quot;It's nice not having earthquakes, because I was really getting sick and tired of them. The aftershocks just really would not stop. So it's nice to be on stable ground for once.&quot;</p><p>Melissa Popoff is originally from Texas, but was living in Japan with her two young children while her husband was stationed in the Kanagawa Prefecture, about 200 miles from the site impacts. She explained that she was actually preparing to leave Japan, but after the earthquake created major instablities at the Daiichi power plant, her husband told her to go back to the U.S. out of concern for potential radiation exposure. He is scheduled to stay in Japan until June, &ldquo;And I think part of me isn&rsquo;t really going to be here fully until my husband gets back,&rdquo; he noted.</p><p>But some residents of Japan, like Yuho Kokubu are arriving in the U.S. uncertain they should have left in the first place. No matter their different experiences, Nowak, Popoff, and Kokubu all said that they had no idea the extent to which the earthquake, resulting tsunami, and damage to the Daiichi plant had devastated Japan until they returned to the United States. &ldquo;I stayed calm for my kids, but deep down inside, I didn&rsquo;t even know what to expect&hellip;until I got on the internet and started reading everything,&quot; explained Popoff.</p></p> Wed, 16 Mar 2011 11:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/earthquake/joyful-greetings-airport-families-reunited-after-japanese-earthquake