An anonymous worker at Japan's Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant has written dozens of blog posts describing the ups and downs of his experience as one of the lead robot operators at the crippled facility.
Since the earthquake hit, S.H. wrote one or more posts on a daily basis. Early last month, however, after word of the blog began circulating among Japanese Twitter users and bloggers, all posts related to the robot work were deleted (the blog included posts on other topics as well). Not long after, the entire blog disappeared. It's unclear whether TEPCO or S.H.'s supervisors demanded that the material be removed. Efforts to reach S.H. were unsuccessful. [...]
Below are portions excerpted from nearly 50 robot-related posts that S.H. published on his blog, covering a period from late April to early July 2011. This translation attempts to remain as close to the original text as possible, as well as preserve the author's style and tone.
"When that earthquake hits, it's going to shake for a long time," says Corcoran. "Three to five minutes or more. You're going to feel lucky to survive. Then guess what. You rode out the quake? Congratulations. Now you have 15 minutes to get above 50 feet of elevation. Fifteen minutes. [...]"
This startling evidence made seismologists sit up and take notice. Clearly, the Cascadia subduction zone had ruptured in a megaquake in 1700, down-dropping the Northwest coast several feet in elevation and unleashing a killer tsunami.
Of course, the magic number could be 500 years, or (gulp) 244. For the past decade, Chris Goldfinger has been pulling samples from landslide zones off the Oregon coast. By interpreting the cross-sections, he found a record of 19 full-rip nines in the past 10,000 years -- a rate of about one every 500 years. He also discovered 22 CSZ quakes measuring 8.0 to 8.5. That means the CSZ has caused 41 major quakes in the past 10,000 years, or one every 244 years.
So what we have now is a 740-mile section of the world's most seismically active zone, the Ring of Fire, that has been building up elastic strain for 311 years. The North American plate, by some estimates, is now springloaded to leap more than 57 feet west and drop three to six feet in elevation at the coast.
Good to see Doktor Avalanche is still getting work.
And if you get the reference, know that I mean that in the best possible way.