When it rains, it pours

As if the earthquake and tsunami alone had not been enough, Saturday offered new ways to terrorize the general public. The situation at the nuclear reactor in Fukushima, to which I made a quick allusion in the last post, deteriorated. The cooling systems had failed due to main power supply lines in the region being destroyed as well as backup power generators for reactors 1 to 3 being damaged by the Quake-Tsunami combination. At 15:36, there was a hydrogen explosion at reactor 1, causing the building housing to collapse and allowing international media to go properly mental with their reporting.

Qui ne sait rien, de rien ne doute.

In Tokyo, life went on as usual. The neighborhood was calm and nothing seemed out of the ordinary. I went grocery shopping in the afternoon and eventually visited the sentô next to my apartment later due to hot water being cut at home. Besides the TV in the sentô sauna running the same rolling news about the nuclear scare, people in Nukui behaved relatively indifferently towards the situation. I had the television on non-stop at home for the 18 hours I was awake as well as all internet news outlets I could get my hands on.

Meanwhile, reports in international and Finnish media became exaggerated to the point where it was impossible to say whether they were trying to cover the actual events at Fukushima or just hoping for the entire country to go up in flames. I have to admit that the government and so-called official reports were slow to come in the first few hours following the hydrogen explosion, but that does not exactly mean you can just make shit up. I was pretty close to writing a couple of politically incorrect e-mails to editors of Finnish newspapers but in the end I realized it wouldn’t amount to anything. They’re shit, and shit rarely listens. Although comparing Fukushima to Chernobyl can increase traffic, the basis for the comparison lies solely on the fact that both entities include the mysteriously menacing word “nuclear”.

As though the actual events were not frightening enough.

It was also the first time I personally experienced the difficulty of finding realistic reports of recent events that actually had happened in the pile of smut sometimes called online news. By the time I went to sleep, it seemed matters had become stable at the first reactor and the general situation was under control. We’ll see what the morrow brings.


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