16 days passed

Friends,

The national police department of Japan reported March 26th about the number of killed by the earthquake and tsunami as 10,489 and also reported that 16,621 are not yet found. Thus the total number of lost people is expected to be 27,000 or more.

We sincerely appreciate all of your encouraging messages and sympathies for this tragic and difficult time for us.

 

I am starting to dump what I had in the past

 

14: 46 March 11, 2011

 

The controlled shutdown on telephone line to avoid the congestion was taken place. Any 3G voice and fixed line voice were totally shutdown. In Japan’s regulation 3G antenna has to be equipped with emergency power equipment. Therefore, even the area with electric power shutdown, carrier signal was up. After a couple of hours, when the all voice phone kept silent, a call was received at a customer relation business office. The call was from an office of self-defense forces. The circuit switch obviously was under control giving priority to emergency related institutes.

Twitter and emails worked from the very first moment for most of the people who use the mobile Internet. The devices were battery-equipped and 3G data packet were working without any suspensions of operation. Finding family’s and friend’s tweets were the first action for most of the people. This was the fastest way in the history for a person in a disaster area to confirm family member’s safety. For those who were not familiar with data communication such as SNSs and emails, including my mother who were left at a conference facility at the time of the earthquake, unfortunately lost their way to confirm safety of family members for more than 24 hours. After eighteen hours, my mother found a way to call home by the occasional recovered fixed line phone. We do have a special rule for public phone to become free of use when disaster time. This system invoked for the first time since 1995 when the Kobe earthquake time, but unfortunately, the number of installation of public phones drastically been decreased because of wide deployment of mobile phones.

Thanks for the Internet, a packet switching network and its successful deployment to cover to connect a lot of people, even for this emergency occasion.

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A Message to IETFers

Dear IETF friends,

 

The national police department of Japan reported on March 26th regarding the number of killed people by the earthquake and tsunami as 10,489 and also reported that 16,621 people are not yet found. Thus the total number of lost people is expected to be 27,000 or more. This is certainly a tragedy.

 

IETFers, we sincerely appreciate all of your encouraging messages and sympathies for this tragic and difficult time for us. Also, you are giving us a tremendous amount of support and donations to help the damaged area and the people there. We, as the Internet engineers in Japan have been working with you friends from the IETF community and the products of your industries to deliver the maximum help.

 

As I reported in <http://msg.wide.ad.jp/> and elsewhere the Internet helped people from the first moment to confirm the safety of family members and friends even when electric power had failed and voice phones were strictly controlled.

 

The Internet community in Japan has been working to open the data generated from the official sources properly to everyone. An example can be seen as <http://eq.wide.ad.jp/index_en.html>.

 

Note that we want to address the lack of information for non-Japanese language speakers especially those located in Japan.

Unfortunately, the initial situation of the nuclear power plants were like ‘Jaws’ situation; some did not agree to open the information to the public promptly. We certainly would like to contribute to the open access of the critical information for the diversity of people around the world.

 

We are having a rotational scheduled regional power down in Tokyo and its connecting prefectures. This situation is not expected to be better soon, rather, even worse when summer comes. The life of us here is very hard, especially to keep the servers and disks up and running for services of the Internet during the power failure period.

 

Some of us from Japan might have to cancel our participation in the IETF this time, like myself. But we certainly wish the best discussion for the IETF process. We continue to work for recovering from this tragic disaster as experts of the technologies IETF has developed.

Thanks for the Internet, a packet switching network and its successful deployment to cover the maximum population even for this disaster occasion, and thank all of you IETFers again for your sympathies and friendship to Japan.

 

Sincerely,

Jun Murai

Founder, WIDE Project

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About the Magnitude 9.0 earthquake in Japan

by Jun Murai, the founder

Thank you for many warm messages to all of us in Japan including to myself.
Two days have passed. In Tokyo I still feel many strong afterquakes.
In addition to them, some other serious risks still are in progress such as the nuclear power plant damages.

The Earthquake and Tunami:

It was certainly the biggest one in Japan’s history. Japan is ‘thhe earthquake country’. We pride ourselves in good preparation against earthquakes, from the point of view of architecture design and regulations, and from the point of view of disaster drill as a part of our education system and readiness at home. Therefore, the houses, buildings and constructions such as highways were relatively safe.

But the Tsunami of this size was not expected. It caused the most of the damages and loss of lives.

People:

Official report at this point (3:00 UTC/ 12:00JST March 13) says that people found dead are 689 and 639 missing. But some of the regions in the northern areas are completely isolated. Therefore several reports of visual findings of 200-300 dead bodies have not been counted into the official announcement. We are expecting thousands or far more number of losses at the end.

Tens of thousands of disaster victims have evacuated to safe places such as school gyms and public halls. It is in many cases difficult to deliver food and water to them because the transportation lifelines will not be recovered for some time. But please note that their urgent need at this moment is reliable information on the safety of their family.

Communication and the Internet:

When the first earthquake of M9.0 (the original Magnitude announced was M8.8 but they modified it officially) happened at 5:46 UTC/14:46 JST, I was in Hiyoshi campus of KEIO Univ. in Yokohama city. Soon all the electric power in the city went down in Kanagawa area (therefore, no signal lights in the street). The fixed line phone and mobile became busy.

I found that most of the 3G data connectivity have been working even though their 3G voice communication was not available (probably because of the controlled restrictions by the operators).

Therefore, the means of communication for those people to confirm their family’s safety, which as I mentioned is what they most wanted, were provided by emails, twitter and SNSes through 3G data communication. Other information of the earthquake also been accessed by WEB.

I have received many emails afterwards, saying ‘thanks to the Internet’ in the face of this situation. Some of the Japanese mobile phones are equipped with terrestrial TV broadcast receiver in a device. This function called ‘one-segment TV’ has been said as ‘unnecessary function’ to make Japanese mobile market isolated, but this time it worked very nicely to get the TV news broadcasting with the power failure status.

From Monday:

Electric companies will start operation of three hour regional rotation of scheduled power down to cruise the power around to damaged areas. Out network operation will use UPS and other emergency power equipments to minimize the down time.

To friends:

Thank you very much again for the warm messages from all over the world. The messages and friendship have encouraged all of us enormously at this time of predicament. We will do our best to make an as soon recovery as possible from this disaster, working together with students, researchers, industries and governments.

With sincere appreciations,

March 13th, 2011
Jun Murai
Dean and Professor, faculty of Environment an Information KEIO University
Founder, WIDE project

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