So it's a good thing for me; but with the huge devastation in Japan I just feel awful about feeling good.
Then I start to feel guilty because I didn't have this much emotion invested in any other recent natural disasters (Indonesia, Haiti). But I don't know anything about those other places and I know a lot about Japan.
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Of course the death toll is rising. The tsunami hit in a matter of minutes after the quake--half an hour at most--and it inundated hundreds of miles of coastline. There are thousands dead--probably tens of thousands--from that alone. It doesn't include people who had crap fall on them, nor does it include other fatalities.
Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 was told from one person's viewpoint; she only saw a little slice of the devastation. And that was for an earthquake half the power of this one.
...at least, I think so. They don't use the Richter scale any longer, but it was logarithmic: 2.0 on the Richter scale was twice the power of 1.0, and 3.0 was twice the power of 2.0, so 3.0 was four times the power of 1.0. I don't know if the new scale is the same way; but I seem to recall that it is. (9.0 is 256 times as powerful as 1.0. Yeesh.)
(Japan's scale works differently and goes to 7; this one's a 7 on their scale.)
One neat thing I managed was to find the location, on Google Earth, of the most-often-played video of the tsunami hitting the coast of Japan. I had Fox News on the blab slab and went to 3D view on GE, and compared the lay of the land to what I was seeing--and sure enough there it was.
Seems like the main town is Ipponmatsu, and it had about 4,500 people living there. It's all been washed out to sea, of course, by the tsunami. *sigh*
Across the river, to the south, is Natori, which looks like a small city, population 73,000. That may be the city everyone identified as Kurihara. That makes more sense, considering that Kurihara is 25 miles inland.
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That's about all I've got. Things like gas prices and politics seem too trivial right now.