14th March - Today's News: Tsunami Devastation - Over 10,000 Dead

Well there's not a lot of good news out of Japan today. But I'd like to start the round of news by recommending this blog, from an English women in Tokyo:

Mitaka station has some trains running but all the shops there are closed including the bakery and .... Starbucks! So this is really a national emergency now. However Mr Donuts had all their donut varieties in stock. The video store was open. So was the bank and there was no queue for the cash machines. Some restaurants were closed, others open. The bike shop was open so I got my bike tyres pumped to the max for a quick getaway. (Prime Minister Kan was right, this IS just like the Second World War. The French are evacuating. Brits and Americans have been advised to stay put.) Back at home, the rubbish was collected and the postman delivered yet another academic journal.
In the northeast of Japan though:

Japan begins to dig for dead amid nuclear crisis

Japan rescuers struggle to reach survivors as aftershocks continue

Using Google Earth, ABC have put together a serious of aerial photographs showing the Japan earthquake: before and after. And perhaps for the first time, there is a wealth of first hand video footage of a major disaster available on the internet - much of it frankly quite terrifying.

Footage of moment tsunami hit

Tsunami wave sweeps inland

Quake survivors return to devastated Minamisanriku port

Events like this are no longer just stories that happen to foreign people in a far foreign land. They happen right here, right now, in our own living rooms in every place on Earth.

There's been a second explosion at Japan nuclear plant - certainly some radiation has leaked, but probably not yet enough to kill half the population of the USA, where some folk are already panicking (well, okay, some folk who frequent certain conspiracy forums are panicking!)

But one piece of good news as survivor rescued from roof out at sea

Meanwhile, probably unrelated to the earthquake, volcano in southern Japan erupts again.

But is Japan's tsunami linked to climate change? No, but that hasn't stopped one or two unscrupulous anti-science bloggers from misquoting out of context those who have mentioned, quite rightly, that climate change can and does cause earthquakes and volcanic activity. As anyone who was around during the climate changes 12,000 years ago when Sundaland was innundated - or indeed has studied the post glacial deposits in Alaska - will tell you. Indeed, the biggest tsunami ever to have hit Britain (which incidently has been estimated at 10m high, just like that in Japan) may have caused by climate change - as rising sea levels and warming waters destabilied methane hydrate deposits off the Norwegian coast leading to the Storegga Slide. Oops, Delingpole shows his ignorance again. Well there's a surprise.

Back here in Britain, it was an odd weekend of contrasts with temperatures in the teens and feeling very springlike in the sunshine in Evesham, yet some of the heaviest snowfall in years in Fort William as Arctic blast dumps a foot of snow and causes travel chaos across Scotland

Activity of mud volcanoes in Azerbaijan increased sharply

It seems there were chilly times for Chinese dinosaurs - hence, perhaps, all their feathers?

In Durban, South Africa, teens struck by lightning in storm

Break in rain lifts the gloom for survivors of Cyclone Yasi but in Kimberley, flash flood leaves Warmun like a war zone.

And in the US, rain swollen East Coast waterways slowly recede


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