Overnight Briefing & General Reality Check - Mar 14, 2011
March 14, 2011
The Japan Tsunami:
In Japan, we've gone from massive earthquake to massive destruction to massive rescue effort.
The 8.9 magnitude earthquake which struck off the northeast coast of Japan Friday afternoon, set off a massive tsunami that has killed thousands, left many thousands more missing and injured, and triggered a nuclear crisis of potentially terrifying consequence. (Maiman)
The epicenter of the earthquake, the worst to hit Japan in more than a century, was 80 miles off the coast of Japan's northeastern Miyagi Prefecture, "a mostly rural but still densely populated part of Honshu, Japan's largest island," and struck at a depth of six miles.
But it was so powerful it reportedly moved Japan's coast eight feet and shifted the Earth on its axis by nearly four inches. Aftershocks were recorded on the Richter scale in the sevens and tsunami warnings were issued throughout nearly the entire Pacific Rim: Russia, Taiwan, Hawaii, Indonesia, the Marshall Islands, Papua New Guinea, and Australia, as well as the western coasts of the United States, Mexico, Central America and South America.
Most of the damage in Japan was in the northeast. Initial death tolls jumped from several hundred to several thousand. One coastal town is missing 10-thousand of its residents, and some of the hardest-hit areas have still not been reached by rescue crews. The U-S is sending helicopters as well as an aircraft carrier equipped to serve as a hospital. Meanwhile, Japanese officials have dispatched 100-thousand troops, half of Japan's active military force, to respond to the humanitarian crisis.
Tokyo was largely spared from damage, but 2 million people were left without power in the capital, rail transit was shut down and flights were cancelled at the city's main airport. It was a Friday afternoon. People ended their work week by walking home. It took them hours to get there. For the moment, Tokyo and much of the country is dealing with rolling blackouts. (Maiman)
Where to send help:
Eight U-S Navy warships and the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force humanitarian assistance teams are already on the way or arriving as we speak. The Japanese are calling the Marines' effort "Operation Tomodachi" for the word "friendship."
If you would like to contribute:
--The American Red Cross is supporting the Japanese Red Cross. Those who want to help can go to www.redcross.org and donate to Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami. People can also text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation to help those affected by the earthquake in Japan and tsunami throughout the Pacific.
--Doctors Without Borders.
CNN ratings shot up more than 400 percent Friday, thanks to the devastating earthquake and resulting tsunamis in Japan. As far as records, that Earthquake /Tsunami combo is in first place for CNN.com video streaming, followed by the day after PRESIDENT OBAMA's November 2008 election and the Chilean miner rescue.
Sucking the life out of the wire services:
CHARLIE SHEEN is once again a big story, as he announced a two-city mini-tour --Detroit and Chicago-- by Twitter on Thursday night that sold out Friday in just 18 minutes --a Ticketmaster record. Charlie's official website says $1 from every ticket sold to "Charlie Sheen LIVE: My Violent Torpedo of Truth" will go to the Red Cross to help victims from the earthquake in Japan.
Meanwhile, although they haven't been announced, the word is that Charlie will be adding cities in the near future. Charlie got back on Twitter to gloat: "Fastball; Detroit/Chicago sold out in minutes... Thanks to Sheen's Cadre..! #WINNING c"
Then, Charlie's house was raided by police looking for firearms because they were investigating a report that Charlie had threatened to harm himself.
Also not true:
the rampant internet rumors over the weekend that Charlie was dead. Duh! Those are viruses which are spreading through Facebook. *Do Not Click* on them.
And, in an interview with PopEater, Charlie said that with all legal drama swirling around the custody of his twin boys, he doesn't want any more children. Of course, he already has five, so it's not like he's giving up a lot there.
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