All the bad signs
Japan is into the second week of the tsunami disaster and nuclear plant meltdown. The situation is grave but how grave? There were reports and reports and updates and updates. The Japanese on the ground are feeling uneasy. Many are openly questioning the reports coming out from their govt. What is the situation today? Last night I heard Naoto Kan saying that he would be visiting the site next week. This is the first time a senior govt official is talking about a visit to the disaster site. What does it say? For one whole week, with all the assurances that the nuclear fallout is still safe, no govt officials dare to visit the actual site of the disaster. Maybe I am wrong and they did visit the site but not reported. And the victims were accusing the govt of neglect and leaving them to die. Japan is a super efficient govt. Not just talk only. They have proven it in many ways. Why are the aids not reaching the stricken people after so many days? Bad transportation, bad coordination, bad weather, not enough helpers? None of these is valid. The Japanese are the best equipped and best organised. Even in India and China, helicopters will be flying around to drop aids to the victims. Maybe all the helicopters are used in dropping water on the nuclear plants. Is the situation that bad that it is better to leave the affected people on their own, to die as the victims are claiming? Could it be that these people are like lepers, already hit by radio activity and better to leave them there than to risk good people going after bad people? The Americans are helping, but no troops on the ground. They are keeping at a safe distance of 80 km. What does this tell? Is there a message saying nothing nearer than 80 km is safe? Then the exodus of foreigners and those who are able to do so. Embassies and MNCs are telling their staff to get out of Tokyo. Another bad indicator that there is more to it than meets the eyes. Finally, yesterday the threat level using the International Nuclear and Radioactivity Event Scale (INES) was raised from 4 to 5 with 7 as the highest. And the cooling of the 6 nuclear reactors are still work in progress, with one leaking water as fast as water being pumped in, and some still in threatening state. The signs are bad and saying a lot of bad things that were not reported. A sure sign of things are getting better is to see govt officials and the Americans on the ground itself. The UN nuclear envoy also avoided visiting the site. And there is no surge of volunteers rushing to save the victims by the highly nationalistic Japanese and their samurai spirit. Obviously things are bad. How bad?