in the spotlight
Posted by Shirley Brady on March 11, 2011 10:00 AM
As Japan reels from its biggest earthquake in a century, residents near a Tokyo Electric Power Co. nuclear reactor were ordered to evacuate because of a possible radiation leak. The 8.9 quake roiled global markets (though the yen proved resilient) and caused major damage in Japan, where commuters were stranded as train service shut down. Insurers, naturally, are waiting to assess the damage.
Google responded quickly with a crisis center, posted an update on its homepage, and assembled a Japanese language person-finder app. The US, UK and other nations are now stepping forward with aid.
More than 50 countries are on high alert for after-shock waves, including New Zealand, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea. Hawaii residents were warned to evacuate before waves hit, which caused "scattered damage." Western US states, including California, and Canadian provinces are now clearing their coastal areas.