Friday, December 12, 2014

The weekly read

Communication in the Fukushima Crisis: How did the officials, scientists and media perform?
Oceanus Magazine
May 9, 2013

On March 11, 2013, a catastrophic earthquake took place just east of Sendai, Japan. Not only did the temblor rock a heavily-populated area of the island nation, it also triggered a massive tsunami, Powerful waves more than 4 meters high battered the coastline of northern Japan, flooding the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear plant, knocking its vital cooling equipment offline.

Tsunami damage at the Fukushima-Daiichi power plant
This damage crippled the plant, leading to the largest nuclear accident since the Chernobyl incident of 1986, necessitating the evacuation of tens of thousands of residents from the affected areas.

The article written by David Pacchioli addresses the disconnect between the Tokyo Electric Power Company, the media and the government officials as to the severity of the incident, and how the first ten days after the start of the massive crisis were marked by confusion, distrust and fear. One of the greatest lessons learned was that failure to plan for such a crisis helped foment the confusion and fear, putting lives at risk.

Tom Iovino, Public Information Specialist
Pinellas County, Florida

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