More than 5 months have passed since the March 11 Great Earthquake and subsequent tsunami. More than 15,600 people have lost their lives and more than 4,700 people are still missing. Even though the number of refugees is decreasing, more than 87,000 people are in exile so-to-speak.
Survivors: Those who lost their family, their home and their job are still suffering from the loss. They also feel loss of their hometown or community. Some wiped-away cities/towns/villages have moved their municipal functions to safer cities. Some people have left thier hometown while the others stay to rebuild their places. Elder people who moved into the provisional houses now find themselves lonely as it is difficult to find their old neighbors around. Some fathers/mothers need to relocate to get new jobs. Many children are separated from their school mates to live in safer places. The survivors definitely need mental care as well as physical neccessities.
Debris/Rubbish: Even though debris/rubbish have been cleared up from highways and roads, the majority of debris/rubbish is not cleared up and is still sitting or piled up. The volume is so enormous, so it would take many many years to clear up.
Industries: Majority of large corporations have recovered to normal production level. Many small factories, offices and shops are still trying hard to be back in business. Some have abandoned the hope and closed the business.
Agriculture side, the farmers need to treat rice fields flooded by sea-water. Ports, fishery facilities, etc. are being restored and fishermen are now out for fishing. Cultured fishery are not yet back in business.
Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant:
The earthquake and tsunami struck the plant, and the incoming electricity stopped and emergency generators were submerged in the tsunami. Without electricity, the system could not send out cooling water to reactors. Three (3) reactors had nuclear fuel meltdown, two (2) out of which had hydrogen explosion spreading radioactive substances into the air. With electricity, they restored the control rooms, and the provisional cooling water recycling and decontamination system is now in place. They hope to have the reactors under 100 degrees celcius by January 2012 for cold stop status.
Radiation: Strong radiation hinders the restoration work at several places within the plant. The radiation has caused various issues, evacuation of the inhabitants, contamination of the soil, water, cattle, vegitables, fruits, rumors, etc. In some places, surface soil must be removed from school yard and children are not allowed to play outside. Some cattle ate radiation-contaminated straws and the meat shows some radioactive figure. So cattle meat and some other food products must be tested for radioactivity before shipping for markets.
Electricity: Because of shut-down of some nuclear power plants and even some fossil fuel power plants, 15% electricity saving regulation is in force now in several areas in Japan, causing some difficulty in the industry. Nevertheless, so far we are successful in achieving this goal with many energy-saving ideas.
Economy: So far the earthquake and tsunami have done enormous damages to Japanese economy, but in general the economy is coming back. The harder hit now is historically high yen value, causing Japanese export industry more damage. Japanese industry will become more and more globally rooted to survive this crisis.