Requiem for Resolute Bay

This is photographer Dave Brosha‘s panegyric in praise of Resolute Bay in photographs and music. Here’s a tribute to the people of the North, from one of their own.

My heart’s in a million pieces right now. Good people that I know have been taken in this tragedy. A beautiful community that I used to call home is devastated.

To the great folks at First Air, the families of those taken on Flight 6550, and the people of Resolute Bay.

Dave Brosha

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Resolute Bay Crash

Resolute Bay memorial photographed by JP Newell

Resolute Bay memorial photographed by JP Newell

First Air C-GNWN by Gilbert Hechema

First Air C-GNWN by Gilbert Hechema

In the North, any tragedy is a shared tragedy, and yesterday, we shared the terrible news that First Air C-GNWN 737-210C had crashed on approach to the airport at the hamlet of Resolute Bay. For a community of only 250, this loss is nearly unimaginable.

Fortunately for the survivors, the Canadian Armed Forces were conducting exercises in the area, practicing for emergency rescues, and they were on the scene quickly, lending whatever assistance they could. For twelve people, including a little girl, it wasn’t enough. For three others, including that little girl’s sister, it probably made the difference between life and death.

http://twitter.com/#!/taudla/status/105111623332659200

http://twitter.com/#!/taudla/status/105104163112894465

The wounded have been medivac’d to Iqaluit: two flight attendants and the little girl. Operation Nanook, the training operation, has been suspended. The Governor General, who is traveling in the North, issued the following statement:

Sharon and I are deeply saddened by the catastrophe that occurred in Resolute Bay, where an airplane crashed earlier this afternoon.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by this tragic event.

Earlier today, I had the opportunity to visit many of the Operation NANOOK military units.

I was able to witness first hand the professionalism and dedication of our Canadian Forces and civilian organizations as they responded quickly and effectively to this catastrophe.

Here is a list of accidents at the Resolute Bay airport, but it’s incomplete: I can find references to a Lancaster crash on Flickr, but there’s nothing here about it. Here is the first shot of the crash: as you can see, the plane fell significantly short of the runway, crashing in the low, rolling hills on the approach. There was a very low cloud ceiling (fog) at the time of the crash, just about 1pm. Investigators have recovered the black boxes from the plane, and will be releasing the results in due course. So far no causes have been officially suggested; as with any aircraft, the plane had a history of mechanical issues and repairs, but nothing in the recent history as far as is known would seem to have indicated a potential issue.

Resolute Bay Crash by Nicolas Laffont

Resolute Bay Crash by Nicolas Laffont

There is a Facebook group set up to express condolences, and tomorrow there will be a memorial. First Air has suspended all flights out of Yellowknife, and the second floor of the Yellowknife airport has been cordoned off; First Air staff are apparently receiving grief counselling, and a Catholic priest has visited the airport.

There are more specific details, including the condition of the wreckage, on this CP post on the Huffington Post. The most up-to-date information is on Twitter, and to spare the feelings of the friends and families, most people are exercising restraint in what they post.

Japanese Earthquake Map

Japanese Earthquake Map to March 12th

Japanese Earthquake Map to March 12th

And the only reason this isn’t worse is, the power is out all over Northern Japan, so they haven’t gotten the latest data yet.

Hawaiian Earthquakes!

Hawaiian Earthquake Epicenter

Hawaiian Earthquake Epicenter

First Japanese Earthquakes (two in two days) and a ten foot metre tsunami; now, six Hawaiian earthquakes in the course of an hour. These ones were located just south of the Big Island, and at a maximum of 4.5 they aren’t too bad (I’ve been through that, and it was like the entire house went over the railway tracks on a bike, nothing major) but six???

AND MEANWHILE

People in Waikiki are being evacuated because of the expected tsunami from Japan. The airport is closed. And my friend in Hawaii is calmly emailing me over some abstruse WordPress embedding code.

I’ve tried the gigya shortcode in about every configuration I can come up with and I can get the player, but not the video itself. Their embed code is strange compared to others. Have you tried vodpod?

Panos is the undisputed gigya guru, so you might post in the forums. I don’t see a contact form on his blog.

Funny they had warning sirens at 8pm here, but I did not hear them. I did hear the ones about 9:20pm though.

I felt “compelled” to go grocery shopping this afternoon. I could have waited a few more days, but it was a strong urging. Glad I did now.

And we just had a 4.5 earthquake followed shortly after by a 3.3.

Fasten your seatbelts.

Aloha

TO which my response is an understandable:

You mean you JUST had one? Just now?

And the calm reply:

Yup, just a few minutes before I sent the previous emails, we had two earthquakes.

Aloha

And my un-calm reply:

Jesus Christ GET OFF THE INTERNET! Step away from power sources, dude! Priorities! You have to live long enough to have me over for merlot!

Although now I need a Martini!

UPDATE: oh wait, there’s more!

I’m up on the hill and safe. I’m off grid on solar and we had a bright sunny day so I have plenty of juice. My hand crank/solar radio is right here tuned to a radio station that plays a song and then does an update, then plays another song, then another update.

Wave heights for Kona, down the hill from me, are expected at a meter high, but they could be 5 to 15 minutes in length so they could push a good ways inland…

Ten earthquakes in the last hour +/-. Most 1 to 2.

When Kilauea was cranked up earlier this week we were getting 25 or so per day. Most barely felt where I am.

Aloha

Yeah. Make that Martini a double. How am I supposed to sleep when my friends are calmly prepared for the Apocalypse. I bet he could take the Four Horsemen single-handed, and recycle the evidence.

Additionally: stuck in Twitter jail because I’ve tweeted too much this past hour about the Japanese quake and tsunami. Thanks, impersonal, automated ceiling on server loads.

Seriously, has anyone seen a woman answering to “Whore of Babylon?” BE PREPARED.

 

You may be measured and found wanting

You may be measured and found wanting


7.9 Earthquake hits Japan UPDATE 8.8 UPDATE 8.9

Japan Earthquake fireball

Japan Earthquake fireball

While official reports only list one five 32 deaths at the moment, as you can see the toll from today’s earthquake and tsunami is bound to be a great deal higher, sadly. Estimates are in the thousands, but with widespread power outages, information is sketchy. Phone and SMS service are intermittent in many areas, and there are blackouts in a wide area.

Japan Earthquake Tokyo Fires

Japan Earthquake Tokyo Fires

I will be updating this post as long as I’m awake, so try refreshing every fifteen minutes or so. I’ll be up another hour I guess. Sorry, done for the night. There are resource links in the post for updates.

Japanese 7.9 Earthquake epicenter

Japanese 7.9 Earthquake epicenter

Twenty minutes ago Japan, still recovering from yesterday’s 7.2 quake, was hit with another: this one a 7.9 UPDATE 8.8 8.9 fully large enough to be called The Big One, on the Richter scale, severe by any measure. There is a warning along the coast for 10-foot metre tsunami waves, but as the epicenter was east of the landmass, the affected regions should be highly localized, unlike the tsunami in Thailand a few years ago. As you can see from the map below, the next landmass to the east is Canada. UPDATE: there are two tsunami waves, and one was measured at 33 feet.

Japanese Earthquake world map

Japanese Earthquake world map

Honshu is Japan’s larges island, directly west of the epicenter: as you can see from the map above, there have been 38 registered quakes in the immediate region in the last 24 hours. The two large red squares are yesterday’s 7.2 and today’s 7.9, and the red line is a fault line. Today’s quake did damage in Tokyo, halfway down the island, while the earthquake was towards the northern tip

Sandra Barron has uploaded a picture of her kitchen after the quake:

Japanese Earthquake kitchen

Japanese Earthquake kitchen

And two more moving updates:

and

Now THAT is thinking ahead.

And, finally, a report from the somewhat-mainstream media:

Here is footage of a family evacuating their home in Sendai, showing how hard it hit them. What’s most astonishing to me is how incredibly long it lasts, as well as how quickly they get out of the house. But why are they the only ones outside?

 

From the tweets of Steve Herman, we know that:

  • The tsunami has hit, and it is serious. Buildings in Iwate-ken have been swept out to sea. The Philippines has been put on tsunami alert. Predicted zones of affect: Iwate, Miyagi, Fukushima, Chiba, Ibaraki.
  • Planes have been grounded and trains stopped across Northern Japan.
  • There are fires in Chiba, Tokyo and Yokohama.
  • The epicenter was only 10km off Miyagi
  • There have been landslides which have buried some people in the northern regions.

At times like these, a good reporter with the instincts of a great editor makes all the difference.

Steve Herman

@W7VOA ÜT: 37.562444,126.975594
Voice of America (VOA) Bureau Chief/Correspondent, based in Seoul, mainly covering NE Asia (Korean peninsula & Japan).
Don’t follow this blog for updates. Follow Steve Herman. He is a great reporter.
There are reportedly two tsunami waves, and one was measured at 33 feet. Estimated to be ten feet when it hits Hawaii (see the next post).
Here is video of the oil refinery blowing up. By the way, one of the nuclear power plants is on fire, too.
Japan Earthquake oil refinery fire

Japan Earthquake oil refinery fire

You can see a livestream of the events in Japanese or Al Jazeera also has good coverage. Here is CNN’s Livestream as well.

Japanese Earthquake crack in Tokyo

Japanese Earthquake crack in Tokyo

Here is video of the tsunami and consequent landslides.

and a map showing expected arrival times of the tsunami. Remember, the farther from the epicenter, the less intense the wave is likely to be. Current swells are reported at 3/4 meter, implying a 10 foot wave in Hawaii, although that remains to be seen. Hotel visitors in Waikiki are being told to move to the 5th or higher floor and wait for instructions. The west coast of North America is on tsunami alert, but that doesn’t mean it WILL hit (the last one was three inches!) just that we should be wary.

 

Japan Earthquake tsunami travel times

Japan Earthquake tsunami travel times

And here is absolutely unbelievable footage of a huge whirlpool that formed in the port of Uzumaki about two hours after the quake. If you look closely, you can see that there is a boat caught in there, absolutely unable to escape. I can only hope there are no people on board.

And if you’ve been Following me on Twitter (and I appreciate it) know that I didn’t go dark voluntarily. Twitter put me in Twitter Jail for tweeting too many times. I may not be able to get back on tonight, and besides, my laptop is literally overheating, I’ve got five livestream tabs open, two youtubes, so much going on. And my brain is just about as fried.

Good night, everyone. Take care of each other.