a sense of perspective

March 16, 2011

I read this today:

Mr. Jaczko’s testimony came as the American Embassy in Tokyo, on advice from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, told Americans to evacuate a radius of “approximately 50 miles” from the Fukushima plant.

from: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/17/world/asia/17nuclear.html?hp

I started trying to figure out what that looks like land-mass-wise and population wise.

drawing a 50 mile circle around daichi gives you a land mass space about 3925 sq/miles (b/c roughly half of the area is ocean) ((50^2)*3.14)/2

that’s 2.7% of the total land mass of Japan.

To translate that to terms Americans can comprehend: 2.7% of the US land mass is roughly the STATE of Colorado.

According to wikipedia japan has a population density of 873 people per sq mile.

so take the 3925 sq miles and multiply that by 873 (guessing it is probably average) and you get 3.4Million people to evacuate.

To put some perspective on THAT – that would be about the same as evacuating the city of Los Angeles, CA.

It’s a nightmare to imagine how you would manage that even if things were fully functional. When things are broken I cannot fathom it.

It staggers my mind.

%d bloggers like this: