Multiple Earthquakes Shake Japan, Cause Widespread Death and Destruction


Three large earthquakes have rocked Japan causing widespread damage and major infrastructure ruin in the Kumamoto area and E of the city Uto.  Here are the facts:

Thursday, April 14, 2016.

  • 6.2M. 2126 Hours.  Located 4.3 miles of Ueki, near city of Kumamoto, Japan.

Friday, April 15, 2016.

  • 6.0M.  0003 Hours.  Located 37 miles E of the City Uto, Japan.

Saturday, April 16, 2016.

  • 7.0M.  0125 Hours.  Located 0.6 miles from Kumamoto-Shi.


  • 74 miles NE of nuclear plant in Kagoshima Prefecture.
  • Southern Japan.
  • Mostly in Kumamoto, Japan.

Historical Facts:

  •  Largest since 2011 [9.0M].
  • Japan has been shaking as far back as 2 yrs ago with quakes in the 4.2M – 5.8M range.
  • Larger Quakes in the 5.9M – 7.1M occurred on 11/13/2015 – 4/15/2016. Could this have been a sign of the upcoming BIG one?

Donation History

  • US poll shows giving almost to $750M for Japan’s 2011 Earthquake recovery.


Incident Cooperators

  • Japanese Law Enforcement
  • Japanese Fire Personnel
  • Self-Defense Force troops
  •  Military Personnel:  350
  • The Japanese Red Cross
  • USFJ to assist with Airlift Operations
  • Japanese Coast Guard
  • medical Units
  • The government states to provide 20,000 staffing levels

Mutual Aid Pending Deployment

  • U.S. Forces


  • Meals.  The Japanese Government is working to acquire 900,000 meals. 3 days worth of food supplies x the number of people evacuated.

Search & Rescue

  • Village of Minamiaso.  The focus has shifted to this village due to many may be entrapped under collapsed structures.
  • Rescue Operations.  Will continue 24/7 including during the evening/night as they are racing against time when they are expecting high winds and torrential rain.


  • Kumamoto airport.  Closed.  All Flights cancelled until April 17, 2016.
  • Hong Kong Flights. Also cancelled.
  • JR Kyushu Railway trains shut down, including Kyushu Shinkansen bullet trains.
  • Nuclear Reactor.  No abnormalities reported by Kyushu Electric Power Co’s Sendai Nuclear Plant in Kagoshima Prefecture. Only 1 operating in Country. All others in Fukushima shut down in 2011 due to tsunami that knocked off the plant’s cooling equipment.
  • Toyota Plant:  work suspended after earthquake.
  • Outages:  100,000 are without power.  105,000 are without gas.  420,000 are without water.  The Japanese chief Cabinet Secretary states water is their highest priority in getting restored.  They are distributing water and other supplies.


  • Nishihara.  Temporary Evacuations due to fear of dam collapse.
  • Japanese Government:  90,000 people evacuated in 681 evacuation centers inside Kumamoto Prefecture area.


  • Kumamoto Hospital.  45 admitted or treated with 5 serious injuries.
  • Social Media:  reporting from 968 – 1500-plus.
  • Japanese Government:  190 severely injured. 807 with minor injuries.


  • Thursday:  9.
  • Saturday:  32.
  • Sunday:  Updated to 35 confirmed by the Japanese government.


  • Uto:  Municipal Building partially destroyed.
  • Assohashi bridge collapsed.
  • ASO Shrine collapsed.
  • Mashiki:  Calls for Help and damage reports given.  Town approximately 800 miles SW of Tokyo.
  • Kumamoto:  90 homes destroyed.
  • Kumamoto: 775 homes destroyed.
  • Major Landslide:  has taken out a highway and communities as it has come down the mountain as images appear all over Social media.
  • Volcano Eruption:  Mount Aso has erupted after Saturday’s earthquake.  No word on if any evacuations are happening in this area or the status of the eruption.


  • Current:  18C degrees. Light rain.


  • No Tsunami alerts, warnings or occurrences have been broadcasted.


  • IFRC Asia Pacific. Red Cross Response Media inquiries.  Rena Igarash. Phone: 818096491577.


  • Safe & Well. American Red Cross. Register at this site to let Friends and Family know you are safe and well, or if you are searching for a Loved One.  Website:
  •  Five Zero Japan.  Free Wi-Fi access point regardless of carrier.  Code:  “00000JAPAN”
  • Airbnb.  Offering accommodations to those affected by the Japan earthquake. All fees have been waived.  Website:


  • IFRC Asia Pacific.  Red Cross.
  • AAR Japan.  Association for Aid & Relief Japan. Works with countries around the globe in disaster relief.  If you wish the funds to be donated specifically to this 2016 quake, indicate “Kumamoto Earthquake”.  Website:
  • Peace Winds America, a disaster preparation and response organization.  focuses on the Asia Pacific.  If donating on this site, make sure to indicate “2016 Kumamoto Earthquake” as the Japan Recovery fund on this site is for the 2011 Quake recovery.  Website:


  • #JAPANEarthquake
  • #Kumamoto


Japan is an island Country in East Asia that is located in the Pacific Ocean that lies East of the Sea of Japan, the East China Sea, China, North Korea,  South Korea and Russia.  It stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the North of the East China Sea and Taiwan in the South.

Japan is a stratovolcano group of 6,852 islands.   The four largest are Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyunshu and Shikoku, which make up about 97% of Japan’s land mass.   The Country is divided into 47 prefectures in 8 regions with a total population of 126 million people.  It is considered as the 10th largest world group.  They are considered to make up 95.8% of the population.  Tokyo is home to over 9M people.

Kumamoto is listed as Japan’s 18th largest City with a population of 734,294 people per the 2010 Census stats.

Disclaimer:  All information has been verified to the best of our ability.  Organizations mentioned in this post are not being endorsed by us nor have they been verified as to those we would donated too.  They are simply part of the equation and assisting with recovery and aid to the earthquake victims.  Please verify you are giving to a legitimate organization prior to making a donation.

Sources:  USGS, PM Office of Japan, Earthquakes Japan, Red Cross Japan, Wikipedia Japan, Census and other multitudes of Social Media sources.

(c) 2016 The #NWFireBlog

4 Years and Still On Fire for Public Safety

It has been four busy years since we created our online Public Safety publication that has grown more and more by the day, weeks and into the years.  We Thank every single one of you for joining us on our journeys going Fire Chasing to visiting facilities quietly snapping you all in action.  We are still on fire for “Everything Fire, EMS, 1st responders and Law Enforcement”.  It’s just how we roll here in the Northwest.

Copy of Smoke on the Horizon

We cannot get away from this image as we lay witness to the fierce fire taking over  brush  and fields ,within seconds. and working to destroy a lifetime of hard work and dedication.  #RimrockFire [in the Douglas County Complex Fire]

A lot has happened in 2015.  Here’s a recap:


Fire Season came early and it seemed like all of Washington State at one point or another was ablaze and we heard your stories of responding via locally, State, Federal, City, County and across the Globe as mutual aid.


A Coulson AirTanker sits at the Moses Lake, Washington Tanker Base. Photo was taken Summer of 2015. Photo Credit: LR Swenson.

  • State of Alaska had many fires burning across thousands of acres and even scorching part of Canadian territories.
  • Eastern Washington was like a firestorm and that’s an understatement. Beloved Lake Chelan and other hot travel destinations saw their revenue burning up.  Many homes were lost, as were businesses and communities wiped out.
  • California saw alot and is still reeling from the drought that has brought many fires including arsons, all across their State bringing heartache, hundreds of evacuations, unbelieveable Fire Images taken by some increadible talented Photographers.

We know we are forgetting some States and fire incidents.  We are just highlighting a few in between.  The Fire Season was so busy, we were literally running from call to call and trying to keep up.  We knew that was out of the question.

In the end, we were able to catch our breath and tweet, writing and post a few stories and major events in between.


We had several opportunities to put our Fire Photography skills to the test by capturing several fires, fire suppression tools at work and the personnel on the ground working tirelessly as they jump from one fire to the next.

We were on scene at the Highway 28 Fire, Rimrock Fire, I-90 Fire and several others.

I90 fire

I-90 Fire near Vantage, Washington gives us a front row view of DNR’s Rotor 9 being used as one of many fire suppression helos. Credit: LR Swenson.


While you all were very busy preparing to be deployed as strike teams to area fires, we were quietly photographing your fire suppression tools, stations and some of you flying those great flying machines during incidents.  Next time, we hope to hang with you in person and say, ‘hello’ as we are passing through.


We will be announcing a new Feature on our Blog.  Our 2015 Firestorm Book project has been postponed and we hope to later revisit in the near future.

More details about our newest project will be given in the next few posts.  Make sure to follow us for more detailed postings.


You can catch us on our Social Media platforms, like Twitter @nwfireblog and on Facebook. We love to have you hang with us and partner with us on our journeys together.

Fire Apparatus, Tender 65

Fire Crws on the Rimrock Fire, part of the Douglas Complex Fire. [Credit: LR Swenson]

We know the Fire Season is just around the corner and yes, we just jinxed it by saying it out loud but we hope to be in the flesh on more Fire Chasing calls bringing more Fire Images and stories.


We appreciate you following us and reading our stories, career opportunities and engaging with us by providing feedback, ideas, stories and helping us become a Success!  We are not just seen and read in the Northwest, but Globally and any Country you can think of – we’ve probably left a footprint.

~ LR Swenson, Writer/Blogger

(c) 2016 The #NWFireBlog





NW EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT JOBS: Week of December 6, 2015

Communications and Emergency Planning Specialist/Project Program Manager II.  King County.  Seattle, WA.  $32.84 – $41.62 hourly.  Closes 12/10/15. 

Disaster Preparedness Planner. CareOregon.  Portland, OR.    No Closing Date listed.


Disaster Program Specialist.  American Red Cross.  Yakima, WA.    No Closing Date listed. 

Emergency Management and Safety Administrator.  State of Washington.  Olympia, WA.  $4,913.00 – $6,445.00 Monthly.  Closing Date not listed as Continuous.

Emergency Manager.  City of Auburn. Auburn, WA.   No Closing Date listed.

Planning Division Chief – Emergency Management.  Multnomah County, OR.  Closes 1/3/16.


(c) 2015 The #NWFireBlog


National Preparedness Month | Day 1 | Creating an Evacuation Plan

In light of National Preparedness Month, we are gearing towards helping you all with ideas on how we all can be preparedness with Daily Tips.  Though we have been posting as best as we can on Twitter and on Facebook Social media pages, we had not been posting here due to time restrictions.  We are now making up for lost time.

So, here we go – starting from Day 1 and such.  This is one of many as you all we should be on Day 6.  Thanks for being so patient while we work to catch up.


Why is it important to create an evacuation plan?  Well, you all have seen the major wildfires that have been scorching the lands around us and with that, has come many evacuations.  Some residents did not have warnings long enough to retrieve their belongings, clothing or treasures, having enough time to hop in their vehicles driving away from their homes.  Some only had the clothes on their backs, fleeing for their lives as the fires were like a runaway train heading straight for them.

An evacuation plan incorporates what to do in the event of an emergency such as an earthquake, fire or flood.  Any type of emergency that can happen, you can be prepared for.

Here are some tips in creating an evacuation plan:


Always have two ways out of your home, business or place you visit/travel/play so you can make your “escape” from the danger that may be lurking out there.


We are going to use your “HOME” as an example for this topic, but keep in mind that this Plan can be applied to your business or places that you may visit frequently.


If you are like some residents, you may live in a remote or area where wildfire may be approaching your community and the Sheriff or Police Department notifies that there is an evacuation.

Level 3:  You are in grave danger and you must evacuate now. This is a mandatory evacuation.  When the Sheriff’s Office or Police Department come to notify you, it is highly recommended that you don’t try to stay back. There is good reason why they are asking you to evacuate.  If you should get into trouble or need assistance, it may be delayed or unavailable.

Level 2:  Prepare to Go.  This is the level when you may be evacuating in the near future because of danger approaching.  If you do not have a Pre-Plan on what to do at this stage, now is a good time to get things together, what you should bring, what your destination may etc.

Level 1:  This is the first level of possibly being evacuated.  It is a notification only that there is danger out in your community that may be fast approaching but you do not need to prepare yet.  However, Pre-Planning for any disaster before one strikes is the best way to being Pro-active instead of Reactive.

If you are evacuating in the wildfire setting, you are most likely going to be at a Level 3 Evacuation.


Look at your home and agree where there are two escapes, example:  a window or through a doorway.  Is it going to be safe if you exit either location?  Are there any obstacles such as rocks, a large drop to the ground below, are there any ladders or any other debris blocking your exit? Think about making a clear path that will allow you and your family to escape safely.


Once, you have established a clear safe path to escape out of your home, decided on a “meeting place” away from the danger, i.e. fire in home.  One example can be to safely evacuate to your neighbors across the street.  This will be the most safest place as the homes to either side would be considered as exposure buildings [a lot of homes are built very closely to neighbors these days] and recommend to not use these homes.  However, some instances could be an exception to the rule if homes are considerably away from each other. Either way, you and your family should meet in “one” spot after your emergency.  This is one to ensure every family member is accounted for and safe together.


When you may be forced to leave your home, many will wonder what can I take during a disaster while evacuating?

We recommend to have a “Go Kit” ready to take with you when you leave your home.  Our version of a “Go Kit”, is a portable condensed version of a Disaster Kit that can be picked up at a moment’s notice, taken with you as you evacuate your home.  We will discuss in a later post what a “Go Kit” may look like.


Most important thing to remember is to create an Evacuation plan and practice your escape routes at least twice a year – to keep it fresh in your mind and to not panic when you are faced with evacuating your home.  Additionally, this can be applied to your place where you work [check with your company as to what their plan is] and places where you most frequent.

[c] 2015 The NW Fire Blog