Cayman’s Japanese residents feel frustration, shock

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    Events like a magnitude-8.9 earthquake and the
    possibility of multiple nuclear meltdowns have a way of making one feel
    helpless.

    Just ask Tamaki Nagahama.

    The St. Matthew’s Veterinary School student is finishing
    her final school term in Cayman half a world away from family and friends in
    Japan. Friends are providing minute-by-minute online updates about quakes,
    aftershocks
    and tsunamis.

    “You feel bad just living a normal life, watching this
    suffering,” Ms Nagahama, 26, told the Caymanian Compass on Saturday. “It is
    frustrating.” An explosion at a nuclear power plant on Japan’s devastated coast
    destroyed a building Saturday and raised fears of leaking radiation, or even a
    meltdown, barely more than a day after the catastrophic magnitude-8.9
    earthquake and subsequent tsunami. Officials insisted there was no significant
    radioactive leak after the explosion. Two other reactors automatically shut
    down and lost cooling functions necessary to keep fuel rods working properly
    due to power outage from the quake.

    The quake registered as the largest in Japan’s recorded
    history just after it struck
    around 3pm Friday.

    “It is like watching the movie Deep Impact,” said local
    funds administrator Minori Honda, who has a home in the Tokyo suburbs but lives
    and works in Cayman. “I can’t believe it’s really happening.

    “I called my mom [Friday] morning,” he said. “My families

    are OK.”Ms Nagahama, whose family lives on Japan’s western coast in Kobe, said
    everyone was also fine there. She had heard from most of her friends in Tokyo
    by Saturday.

    She was 11 years old when the massive 1995 earthquake
    struck Kobe and remembers the devastation caused. But Friday’s quake spawned
    waves up to 23 feet high that moved as far as six miles inland, far worse than
    anything caused in the ’95 quake. “It’s such bad timing,” she said. “It was the
    middle of the day, with lots of people around. It’s really scary.”

    The nuclear crisis intensified Sunday as authorities
    raced to combat the threat of multiple reactor meltdowns, and more than 170,000
    people evacuated the quake- and tsunami-savaged northeastern coast where fears
    spread over possible radioactive contamination.

    Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said Sunday that a
    hydrogen explosion could occur at Unit 3 of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear
    complex.

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    Devastation in Japan following the earthquake and tsunami is of particular concern to Japanese residents in Cayman, who awaited updates from family and friends over the weekend.
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    1 COMMENT

    1. FIRST, MY PRAYER GOES OUT TO THE PEOPLE OF JAPAN!

      NOW FOR THE HEADLINE – I CAN SEE IT NOW:

      CAYMAN ISLANDS GOVERNMENT STOPS THE HURRICANE HILTON PROJECT AFTER PROTESTORS TAKE TO THE STREETS ABOUT GOVERNMENT SPENDING TOO MUCH!

      2 YEARS LATER

      HEADLINE: CAYMANIANS IN THE CAYMAN BRAC SEEKING SHELTER AFTER BEING HIT BY A MASSIVE TSUNAMI – CLAIMS NOT ENOUGH SPACE TO HOUSE THE SURVIVORS!

      God Forbid such would happen to the Cayman Islands, but when I see how people can be so ignorant about it being too expensive to fight organized crime or putting measures in place to protect us from hurricanes… I just have to laugh to myself.

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