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Strong in the Rain; Surviving Japan's Earthquake, Tsunami, and Fukushima Nuclear Disaster

Strong in the Rain; Surviving Japan's Earthquake, Tsunami, and Fukushima Nuclear Disaster

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Blending history, science, and gripping storytelling, Strong in the Rain brings the 9.0 magnitude earthquake that struck Japan in 2011 and its immediate aftermath to life through the eyes of the men and women who experienced it. Following the narratives of six individuals, the book traces the shape of a disaster and the heroics it prompted, including that of David Chumreonlert, a Texan with Thai roots, trapped in his school's gymnasium with hundreds of students and teachers as it begins to flood, and Taro Watanabe, who thought nothing of returning to the Fukushima plant to fight the nuclear disaster, despite the effects that he knew would stay with him for the rest of his life. This is a beautifully written and moving account of how the Japanese experienced one of the worst earthquakes in history and endured its horrific consequences. 
Blending history, science, and gripping storytelling, Strong in the Rain brings the 9.0 magnitude earthquake that struck Japan in 2011 and its immediate aftermath to life through the eyes of the men and women who experienced it. Following the narratives of six individuals, the book traces the shape of a disaster and the heroics it prompted, including that of David Chumreonlert, a Texan with Thai roots, trapped in his school's gymnasium with hundreds of students and teachers as it begins to flood, and Taro Watanabe, who thought nothing of returning to the Fukushima plant to fight the nuclear disaster, despite the effects that he knew would stay with him for the rest of his life. This is a beautifully written and moving account of how the Japanese experienced one of the worst earthquakes in history and endured its horrific consequences. 

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Publish date: Oct 30, 2012
Added to Scribd: Oct 03, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercialISBN:9780230341869

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10/01/2014

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FIRST
READ IT
 
strong in the rain
Copyright © Lucy Birmingham and David McNeill, 2012.All rights reserved.First published in 2012 by PALGRAVE MACMILLAN
®
in the UnitedStates—a division o St. Martin’s Press LLC, 175 Fith Avenue, NewYork, NY 10010.Where this book is distributed in the UK, Europe and the rest o theworld, this is by Palgrave Macmillan, a division o Macmillan PublishersLimited, registered in England, company number 785998, o Houndmills,Basingstoke, Hampshire RG21 6XS.Palgrave Macmillan is the global academic imprint o the abovecompanies and has companies and representatives throughout the world.Palgrave
®
and Macmillan
®
are registered trademarks in the UnitedStates, the United Kingdom, Europe and other countries.ISBN 978-0-230-34186-9All maps and charts designed by the Institute or Inormation Design Japan, which holds all copyright or work on pages viii, 1, 30–31, 50–51,68, 168, and 194–195.Library o Congress Cataloging-in-Publication DataBirmingham, Lucy, 1956–Strong in the rain : surviving Japan’s earthquake, tsunami, andFukushima nuclear disaster / Lucy Birmingham and David McNeill.p. cm.ISBN-13: 978-0-230-34186-9ISBN-10: 0-230-34186-11. Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami, Japan, 2011—Personalnarratives. 2. Fukushima Nuclear Disaster, Japan, 2011—Personalnarratives. 3. Disaster victims—Japan—Tohoku Region—Biography.4. Tohoku Region (Japan)—Biography. 5. Tohoku Region (Japan)—Social conditions—21st century. I. McNeill, David. II. Title.DS894.385.B57 2012952’.110512092—dc23[B]2012024711A catalogue record o the book is available rom the British Library.Design by Letra Libre, Inc.First edition: October 201210 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1Printed in the United States o America.
 
Contents
Acknowledgments
ix
Prologue: March 11, 2011
xi1 The Quake 32 Tsunami 173 Close the Gate 434 Meltdown 595 The Emperor Speaks 756 Telling the World 917 Flyjin 1038 Help Us, Please! 1239 Departures 14310 Tohoku Damashii 167Epilogue 185
Notes
205
Index
222
Eight pages o photographs appear between pages 102 and 103.

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akreese reviewed this
Rated 5/5
In March of 2011 a 9.0 earthquake struck Japan, followed shortly thereafter by a devastating Tsunami. These set in motion the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

In Strong in the Rain the authors tell the stories of six survivors from areas affected by the disasters. Their stories are written in the third person, and even with the occasional historical background information (how the communities planned, built and trained for tsunamis for example), the real-life horrors that they faced make the tension palpable.

Even though I had followed the news broadcasts closely for several days when the events were happening, and had seen the horrific tsunami videos; these close-up personal stories had more long-term impact on me than aerial footage and sound bites from the news.

Some other topics which are brought to the readers attention:

The social impact of resettling families; breaking up entire communities so that people no longer have a social support network.
The actions of the nuclear power company, which seem to be less than ethical in retrospect.
Options for rebuilding communities on higher ground or in ways that would withstand future tsunamis.
Speculations about long-term impacts of the meltdown.

Strong in the Rain is one of the best nonfiction books I have read this year. It has a good balance between personal accounts of survival and factual background information. I highly recommend it to anyone who has an interest in natural disasters and/or the dangers of nuclear power.

*I received a free copy of this book via Goodreads First Reads.
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