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Japan Earthquake

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NEWS
March 11, 2011
Do you have friends or family visiting Japan? Have you heard from them? In our coverage of the travel aspects of the Japan quake, we are interested in their stories and what they may add to the understanding of this tragedy. Please share them in the comments section at the end of this post. We welcome images as well. To post one, go to http://www.latimes.com/travel/deals/la-tr-reader-photos-japan-earthquake-20110311,0,1365934.ugcphotogallery
ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
January 29, 2013 | By Paul Whitefield
In the movie “Galaxy Quest” (a cult classic comedy ; I give it 3 stars and a big thumbs-up), the hero gains access to a device that allows him to reverse time. The catch? It's for just 13 seconds. What good would it do to be able to go back in time just 13 seconds, you -- and the “Galaxy Quest” hero -- ask? Well, see the movie and find out. (No spoiler alert needed.) Then perhaps you can also explain to me why we shouldn't get behind the plan to build an early warning system for earthquakes, which a group of California's top geophysicists and seismologists announced Monday.
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NEWS
March 11, 2011 | By Jane Engle, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
The U.S. State Department on Friday posted a travel alert and an information page about the catastrophic earthquake in Japan on its website for travelers , including details on contacting the department. In the travel alert , the department said it "strongly urges U.S. citizens to avoid tourism and non-essential travel to Japan at this time. "  It said that airports and public transportation were closed in the Tokyo area and that many roads in that area and northern Japan had been damaged.
BUSINESS
December 1, 2012
SACRAMENTO -- In California, two earthquake insurance companies are lowering their rates. Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones announced Friday that he approved a 15.5% rate reduction for Chubb Insurance. The average annual premium will fall to $5,021 from $5,940, according to the state Department of Insurance. Chartis Insurance earthquake coverage rates are going down 15%, with average annual premiums dropping to $6,061 from $7,292, the Department of Insurance said. Overall savings to consumers will total about $15 million, it said.
WORLD
March 22, 2011 | By Victoria Kim, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
In what may be the first confirmed American casualty from the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan, a Virginia couple said the body of their 24-year-old daughter has been found amid the rubble. The family of Taylor Anderson, who was teaching English in Japan, released a statement saying they had been notified by officials from the U.S. Embassy in Japan that their daughter was found in the city of Ishinomaki in northeast Japan, the Associated Press reported. Officials at the embassy were not immediately able to confirm Anderson's death Tuesday.
NEWS
March 14, 2011 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
There has been an outpouring of donations for victims of Japan's devastating earthquake and tsunami. Now travelers who are members of mileage reward programs have special ways they can heed the call for help. American Airlines will offer bonus miles to members of its AAdvantage rewards program who donate to the American Red Cross' Japan earthquake/tsunami relief program. Members who donate $50 will receive 250 bonus miles; $100 or more, 500 bonus miles. American has raised "more than a million dollars" in past relief efforts where employees and AAdvantage members made donations in similar programs, airline spokesman Tim Smith said in an e-mail.
NEWS
March 14, 2011 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
As Japan grapples with the aftermath of its devastating earthquake and tsunami, the travel world also struggles with how to respond. Airlines already have offered refunds and waived change fees to passengers whose flights were immediately affected. The U.S. State Department updated its travel alert Sunday to include aftershocks, power outages and evacuations tied to the threat of a nuclear meltdown as reasons Americans might want to avoid traveling to Japan right now. But many travelers and tour operators are still mulling whether to continue with their plans in the next few months.
BUSINESS
March 12, 2011 | By Ronald D. White and Don Lee, Los Angeles Times
The powerful earthquake and tsunami that slammed northern Japan knocked out car plants and steel mills, stranded thousands in offices and at Disney's resort in Tokyo, and pummeled financial markets in Asia and Europe. But the biggest effect on the world economy may yet come in further roiling oil prices that already have cast a pall on the global recovery. That's because the 8.9-magnitude temblor forced the shutdown of a number of Japan's oil refining facilities as well as some of its nuclear power plants.
WORLD
March 13, 2011 | By Kenji Hall, Los Angeles Times
The breakwater in Kamaishi, Japan, is in the Guinness World Records as the deepest on the planet, but when the tsunami hit this small city in Iwate prefecture, waves swelled over the barrier, engulfing buildings and cars and smashing everything in its path to smithereens in a matter of minutes. The images from Japan's Pacific coastline have been a scary reminder of nature's power. Kamaishi thought it had built just the thing to keep the forces of nature at bay. The concrete breakwater, nearly 207 feet deep, was designed to blunt an incoming tsunami.
WORLD
March 25, 2007 | Bruce Wallace, Times Staff Writer
A 6.9 magnitude earthquake rocked Japan's unstable northern coast this morning, killing at least one person and injuring more than 150 others. Images from observation cameras showed buildings swaying violently for as long as 30 seconds. TV stations aired pictures of crushed temples, homes with toppled furniture, and goods scattered across grocery store floors. One death was reported, a 52-year-old woman killed when she was hit by a falling stone lantern. The quake struck at 9:42 a.m.
OPINION
October 2, 2012
Re "PG&E undersea air-blast plan assailed," Sept. 29 Regarding Pacific Gas & Electric's possible seismic testing in the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant area: The assertion that marine mammals would not be harmed or killed by up to 250-decibel sound blasts into the ocean over several days is just not credible. And even if people believed that, what about the other local sea life that the mammals depend on for survival? Remember the old bumper-sticker slogan, "Diablo Canyon has a lot of faults"?
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 26, 2012 | By Tony Barboza, Los Angeles Times
Jeff Larson has seen just about everything wash up on the shores of Santa Cruz: bottles, toys, shotgun shells, busted surfboards and fishing floats that looked like they had bobbed across the Pacific. When surging water driven by the magnitude 9.0 earthquake in Japan tore apart his city's harbor, he was there to scoop up the splintered docks and broken boats that were heaved onto the sand. Now, more than a year after the catastrophe in Japan, Larson and fellow beachcombers up and down the West Coast are awaiting the flotsam that was set on a eastward course by the destructive surge of water.
OPINION
April 16, 2012
After last week's earthquake in the Indian Ocean, people in Indonesia responded far differently than they had seven years earlier, after another major quake: They evacuated low coastal areas to escape a possible tsunami. As it turned out, there were no killer tidal surges for various reasons, including the type of earth movement involved. Still, the response was a welcome improvement. The 2004 earthquake and tsunami killed close to 200,000 people in Southeast Asia; many of those victims had no idea of the impending danger.
BUSINESS
January 31, 2012 | By Hugo Martín, Los Angeles Times
No need to fret for the state of Hawaii tourism anymore. Visitor numbers to the Aloha State dropped dramatically during the recession, and the state's tourism industry suffered another blow when an earthquake and tsunami in Japan last year stifled the flow of big-spending Japanese vacationers to the islands. But tourism in Hawaii is rebounding fast, with the state welcoming nearly 7.3 million visitors in 2011. Although that is still short of the state's record year in 2006, officials expect continued growth this year.
NATIONAL
August 27, 2011 | By Tom Hamburger and Melanie Mason, Washington Bureau
The earthquake that rattled much of the East Coast last week is sparking angry calls from elected officials seeking an immediate reevaluation of seismic risks at two dozen or so commercial nuclear plants around the country, including two in California. The frustration is directed at members of the federal agency charged with regulating commercial nuclear plants, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. "I question their dedication to safety," Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), chairwoman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, said in an interview.
BUSINESS
May 24, 2011 | By Alex Pham, Los Angeles Times
Financially speaking, the effects of the hacker attack on Sony Corp. cost the Japanese media conglomerate nearly as much as initial damage from the country's devastating earthquake and tsunami. The consumer electronics giant estimated Monday that it will have spent $171.7 million this year to repair the damages wreaked by hackers who infiltrated its computers and accessed account information of hundreds of millions of consumers who used its PlayStation Network and Qriocity online services.
WORLD
March 13, 2011 | By Molly Hennessy-Fiske, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
The United States is not expected to experience "any harmful levels" of radiation from Japan's earthquake-damaged nuclear power reactors, according to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission . "All the available information indicates weather conditions have taken the small releases from the Fukushima reactors out to sea away from the population," the NRC said in a statement released Sunday. "Given the thousands of miles between the two countries, Hawaii, Alaska, the U.S. Territories and the U.S. West Coast are not expected to experience any harmful levels of radioactivity.
BUSINESS
December 1, 2012
SACRAMENTO -- In California, two earthquake insurance companies are lowering their rates. Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones announced Friday that he approved a 15.5% rate reduction for Chubb Insurance. The average annual premium will fall to $5,021 from $5,940, according to the state Department of Insurance. Chartis Insurance earthquake coverage rates are going down 15%, with average annual premiums dropping to $6,061 from $7,292, the Department of Insurance said. Overall savings to consumers will total about $15 million, it said.
BUSINESS
May 22, 2011 | By Jerry Hirsch, Los Angeles Times
Attention all car buyers: The era of cut-rate financing, generous cash-back offers and big discounts is coming to an end. With the effects of the earthquake in Japan rippling through the industry and causing shortages, prices are rising for both new and used cars, and fewer models and options will be available come summer, especially for the hybrids and fuel-efficient vehicles that Japan produces. That's prompted many experts to voice something rarely said in the sales-happy auto industry: With consumers facing the toughest market in recent memory, if you can, put off purchases until things sort out, probably early next year.
BUSINESS
April 15, 2011 | By Ronald D. White, Los Angeles Times
The strains of Japan's disasters are showing up at the local ports, with cargo traffic slowing through the Los Angeles and Long Beach harbors. The number of cargo containers moving through the nation's two largest ports in March dipped by an almost imperceptible amount — 217 containers — compared with February. The ports registered an improvement of about 4% from March 2010, moving 1.01 million containers compared with 973,024. "The earthquake and tsunami in Japan have started to affect the flow of goods," said Paul Bingham, economics practice leader with Wilbur Smith Associates.
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