A lone Japanese house floats far out to sea, off the coast of Sendai. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Dylan McCord
EARTHQUAKE AND TSUNAMI IN JAPAN
As the world knows, a huge earthquake of magnitude 8.9 or 9.0 and devastating tsunami hit Japan on Friday afternoon, with impacts centering in the vicinity of Sendai.
Preliminary estimates of the death toll are surpassing 10,000 (Reuters). "Tens of thousands for sure" (NHK). Thousands of deaths are confirmed so far across Japan, and a larger number of people are missing.
"Many areas of the town are simply gone" in Sendai (CNN) and other communities. Major tsunami damage is reported for a length of 500 km (over 300 miles) along the northeastern Japan coastline. To date, though losses due directly to earthquake shaking appear to be significant, the losses from tsunami inundation appear to be very much greater.
Communications are largely down and roads are blocked by debris in much of the disaster area. Water, food, and transportation fuel are in short supply. Nearly all train lines remain shut down in the broad disaster area, and all Shinkansen service northeast from Tokyo was suspended. Japan Rail announced limited national service on Monday.
More than 440,000 people were confirmed to be in some 2,400 evacuation shelters (NHK) across northeastern Japan, but the actual number may be much higher. Nights are cold and heating is in short supply in shelters. Rain and snow has started in the disaster area.
People are also still waiting for rescue outdoors, and in many isolated locations, as many smaller communities and parts of larger communities remain isolated by flooding, debris, and road damage. Thirty-two bridges are currently reported damaged, and 66 landslides are reported (NHK). Widespread debris is even hampering helicopter rescues. As of Monday morning, 24,000 residents were identified as stranded in 80 isolated locations (NHK). >>>
The accumulation of hydrogen vented from the reactor #3 containment vessel caused an explosion on Monday, tearing open the containment building. Image courtesy NTV/NNN
Triple Three Mile Island in Progress
by Kevin Matthews
A major compound nuclear accident has accompanied the natural disaster in Japan, with the engineering and public health situation still unfolding rapidly.
The ongoing crisis at four or more reactor units is already at the level of the famous Three Mile Island nuclear accident in the U.S., times three or more. According to Reuters, this perspective was supported by the French nuclear agency (ASN) on Monday.
The crisis in Japan is not well under control, and the situation still threatens to get worse. >>>
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Imagine you are renovating a building and your structural engineer wants to add new elements to deal with the possibility of drift. He says that, among other things, drift can cause nonstructural damage to piping and finishes. Drift refers to which of the following:
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Asphalt emulsions are often used on below-grade basement foundations. Will this coating give you a damp-proof or a waterproof application? In general, what is the fundamental difference between a damp-proof and waterproof application?
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