Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Japan facing Freezing Hell

Japan has in the past few days, been buffeted by 
  • Earthquakes, including the 3rd strongest ever recorded
  • A devastating tsunami and several tsunami warnings
  • Three nuclear reactors melting down and exploding, with the possibility of upto three more going the same way
  • Homes succumbing to earthquakes, with some heroically surviving due to man's ingenuity in designing and building them 
  • Homes being washed away
  • People fleeing homes dues to radioactivity - if Tokyo has to be evacuated, it would be the largest evacuation in world history
  • Public transport being affected because of roads, bridges, even trains being washed away
  • A volcano in a different part of Japan spewing ash 4 km into the sky
  • Power supply being disrupted indefinitely in several cities
  • Talk about nuclear power option being reviewed and many more plants possibly closing at a later date for an extensive safety review
  • A huge stock-market crash, more than 20% down in less than a week 
  • Rising prices of coal due to a supplier-oligopoly
  • Near-record pre-existing price levels for crude oil (both, spot and futures)
  • Civil ferment in Bahrain, which is in the heart of the Persian Gulf  which supplies 100% of Japan's oil. If shipping lanes through the narrow Strait of Hormuz are blocked, Japan literally has nowhere to source the oil from - at any price.  
  • Icy cold winds and weather settling over most of Japan - coinciding with record homelessness
All-in-all, Japan will need all their resolve and resilience, and more, to survive these tough times. I would not wish such bad times upon even my sworn enemies.

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