Regarding the Pacific CrisisFor anyone who's unaware, an 8.9 magnitude earthquake struck Sendai in Miyagi prefecture in northern Japan. More than fifty aftershocks have hit as well, at this point, most of them registering at 6.0 magnitude, which is significant as well. Hundreds have been killed by the original earthquake, the aftershocks, the rampant fires, and the 30-foot tsunami that followed. Then that tsunami rolled out to Hawaii and the Pacific west coast.
To those of you who have been affected, I just want to say my heart is out with you all and that I hope help will come your way as soon as possible.
A Pacific Crisis Fundraiser will soon be held so designers will be able to donate items to help in whatever way we can. More information on this as I get it. And of course, Blue Blood will participate.
As of this writing, there are five nuclear reactors compromised on the east coast of Japan. (Though I should note, before anyone panics and thinks "OMG Chernyobyl again!" go and read this. The problem with Chernyobyl was the heated-graphite system, which was inherently flawed and extraordinarily toxic, as later generations have discovered. All of Japan's nuclear reactors operate on water converted to steam to power generator turbines. This is not the same thing.) One has already been shut down, though the core is still hot, which may or may not be part of the five listed. But those five power large sections of Japan. So add to the rampant shaking, fires, and threats from tsunamis, the potential of fire and rescue personnel, hospitals, schools, and rescue centers being without power.
Areas that are being warned, because the original earthquake epicenter was so devastating, are widely varied: Russia and Indonesia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Costa Rica and Hawaii. On top of that, keep in mind the tsunami that hit Hawaii hit six hours ago--so there very well could be, and likely will be, more trouble on the way.
Open up your pocketbooks, people--I think it's going to be like this throughout 2011, one disaster after another. I am not minimizing the tragedy in any way, but we are definitely in the change times.
I'll keep you posted when I hear more.
(And for any cat fans worried? Maru is okay.)
(UPDATES: Tokyo Disneyland was hit hard. No one could leave the park until entrances were excavated. The cast on hand took over crowd control and gathered everyone, fed them breakfast, and kept them calm. They were allowed to leave in small groups, which were orderly, and there was no panic. The first priority was keeping everyone safe. Full kudos to Tokyo Disneyland.)