Tag Archives: Disaster Recovery

GREAT EAST JAPAN EARTHQUAKE & TSUNAMI REMEMBRANCE EVENT 

SEATTLE, WA – Tuesday, March 11th, 2014, marks the third anniversary of the magnitude 9.0 earthquake that hit the Tohoku region of Japan producing a massive tsunami that killed an estimated 18,000 people, caused $122B dollars of damage, and led to the eventual meltdown of three reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The environmental, social, and economic impacts of this historic disaster will be felt for decades.

To commemorate the on-going crisis and celebrate the resiliency of the Japanese people, Moontown Foundation and KING5 TVs Lori Matsukawa are hosting a special information session and screening of Canadian media activist and filmmaker Ian MacKenzie’s short film Reactor, a meditative, deliberate, quietly powerful half-hour glimpse into the uncharted new world of post-Fukushima Japan.

Choosing not to dwell on the magnitude 9.0 Tōhoku-Oki earthquake and tsunami nearly three years ago — and the subsequent nuclear catastrophe that has supplanted Chernobyl as the worst disaster of the Atomic Age — it’s about the response, as the initial shock fades and long-term repercussions and a new reality permeate the nation’s consciousness.

Reactor – Trailer from Ian MacKenzie on Vimeo.

Ultimately, it’s an exploration of humanity and what connects us all. Its beauty resides in its subtlety, in the equanimity and restraint exemplified by the Buddhism of its central character and emotional core, yogi/teacher/activist Michael Stone; there’s no tub-thumping (though drums are struck in a protest on the streets of Tokyo). MacKenzie lets the story tell itself, through articulate voices — a protestor, an academician, an activist — offering detail and context.

The most haunting words are softly, plaintively spoken by Hiroshima survivor Keiko Ogura, who says “I feel so sorry for Fukushima people” after describing the horror she witnessed as an 8-year-old — the flash of the atomic bomb’s detonation like “a thousand suns.” A final, intensely personal message of hope and call for action is tempered by the reality that a new government has reversed course and is doubling down on Japan’s nuclear future.

EVENT DETAILS:
Date: Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Time: 6-7PM, Reception; 7-9PM, Screening and Discussion
Admission: $25 Private Reception; $15 General Admission
Location: Wing Luke Museum, 719 South King St., Seattle, WA 98104
Tickets: Brown Paper Tickets 

Light appetizers and refreshments provided. Special musical guest Buckman Coe. Interpretive services upon request. Seating capacity limited.

About Ian Mackenzie
Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Ian Mackenzie is a video journalist, media activist, and documentary filmmaker. Mackenzie’s work has appeared in The New York Times, National Geographic TV, Canadian Broadcasting Channel, Adbusters, and film festivals around the world. He co-produced Velcrow Ripper’s feature documentary Occupy Love (2013). Sacred Economics (2012), produced in collaboration with author Charles Eisenstein, is one of his most popular web films. Ian’s short film, The Revolution Is Love (2011) was named one of the top 10 films chronicling the Occupy Movement of 2011. In 2010, he released One Week Job, an inspirational story about a guy who worked 52 jobs in 52 weeks to find his passion. The project received widespread attention from the New York Times and CNN. To learn more visit www.ianmack.com.

About Buckman Coe
Buckman Coe is a Yogi, Soul, Folk and Reggae Artist from Vancouver, British Columbia. With a background in Human Geography and Counseling Psychology, his lyrics show a keen understanding of human emotion; a concern for the Earth and his music reflects a Zen-like calm and inner peace. Coe favors bright, shimmering melodies in the style of Paul Simon and Neil Young. His voice is a gossamer falsetto that recalls the grace and elegance of the late Jeff Buckley. His lyrics eschew the simplistic rhyming couplets of much folk music for intricate and sometimes subversive passages that go much deeper than the easy-listening veneer of his melodies. To learn more visit www.buckmancoe.com.

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Rethinking the Way We Respond to Disasters

Most people give immediately after a crisis, in response to clear emotional appeals. Yet donors who allocate funds across the disaster life cycle have an opportunity to help insure that each dollar given reaches its full potential. This presentation discusses how individuals and organizations traditionally give during a crisis, and proposes several innovative approaches to promoting short- and long-term solutions to help communities prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters.

8 Years Ago Today

Courtesy of U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Hurricane Katrina: Courtesy of U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Hurricane Katrina was a natural disaster that some have described as biblical in scale and unprecedented as a human tragedy.

“The Storm,” as the locals call it, was the most destructive natural disaster in American history, laying waste to 90,000 square miles of land, an area the size of the United Kingdom.

Before The Storm

As the sheer size of Hurricane Katrina became clear, the National Weather Service’s New Orleans/Baton Rouge office issued an ominously worded emergency alert predicting that many areas throughout the Gulf Coast would be “uninhabitable for weeks” after “devastating damage” caused by Katrina.

Contraflow lane reversal, voluntary, and mandatory evacuations were issued for coastal Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama.  Approximately 1.2 million residents of the Gulf Coast heeded the evacuation orders, after hearing the following cryptic message, and fled their homes.

During The Storm

After making a brief initial landfall over Southeastern Louisiana, Hurricane Katrina made its final landfall near Louisiana/Mississippi state line, passing over the cities of Bay St. Louis and Waveland, Mississippi.

The Storm featured winds in excess of 120 mph and churned up a powerful 27-foot storm surge, which penetrated 6 miles inland, and in some areas up to 12 miles, along bays and rivers; killing close to 300 people and causing billions of dollars in damage to bridges, barges, boats, piers, houses and cars.  Thousands were left homeless, destitute, and entombed in mud.

Extreme weather photographers Mike Tice and Jim Reed captured harrowing video footage as the storm surge slammed in Gulfport, Mississippi and ripped through their hotel.

After The Storm

While the coastal Mississippi communities of Bay St. Louis, Biloxi, D’Iberville, Gulfport, Pass Christian, and Waveland Mississippi where completely washed off the map because of the massive storm surge, New Orleans was overwhelmed by flooding.

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff described the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina as “probably the worst catastrophe, or set of catastrophes,” in the country’s history, referring to the hurricane itself plus the flooding of New Orleans.

Katrina’s storm surge caused 53 different levee breaches in greater New Orleans, submerging eighty percent of the city.  The levee breaches and the subsequent flooding were responsible for killing over 700 people.

Survivors and evacuees reported seeing dead bodies lying in city streets and floating in flooded sections of the city well into October. The advanced state of decomposition of many corpses hindered efforts by coroners to identify many of the dead.

In the days following Katrina, residents in New Orleans who “rode out the storm,” resorted to looting stores in search of food, water, and medical supplies.  While others took advantage of the situation to loot non-essential items like televisions and tennis shoes.

All told, more than 1,833 people died.  The results were tragic loss of life and human suffering on a massive scale, and an undermining of confidence in our governments’ ability to plan, prepare for, and respond to national catastrophes.