Hundreds killed in tsunami after 8.9 Japan quake

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A massive tsunami engulfs a residential area in Natori, Miyagi Prefecture in northeastern Japan. (photo by Reuters/Kyodo)

A massive tsunami engulfs a residential area in Natori, Miyagi Prefecture in northeastern Japan. (photo by Reuters/Kyodo)

TOKYO – A ferocious tsunami unleashed by Japan’s biggest recorded earthquake slammed into its eastern coast Friday, killing hundreds of people as it carried away ships, cars and homes, and triggered widespread fires that burned out of control.

Hours later, the tsunami hit Hawaii but did not cause major damage. Warnings blanketed the Pacific, putting areas on alert as far away as South America, Canada, Alaska and the entire U.S. West coast. In northeastern Japan, the area around a nuclear power plant was evacuated after the reactor’s cooling system failed.

Tsunami waves swirl near a port in Oarai, Ibaraki Prefecture (state) after Japan was struck by a strong earthquake off its northeastern coast Friday, March 11, 2011. (AP Photo/Kyodo News)

Tsunami waves swirl near a port in Oarai, Ibaraki Prefecture (state) after Japan was struck by a strong earthquake off its northeastern coast Friday, March 11, 2011. (AP Photo/Kyodo News)

Police said 200 to 300 bodies were found in the northeastern coastal city of Sendai, the city in Miyagi prefecture, or state, closest to the epicenter. Another 137 were confirmed killed, with 531 people missing. Police also said 627 people were injured.

The magnitude-8.9 offshore quake unleashed a 23-foot (seven-meter) tsunami and was followed for hours by more than 50 aftershocks, many of them of more than magnitude 6.0.

Dozens of cities and villages along a 1,300-mile (2,100-kilometer) stretch of coastline were shaken by violent tremors that reached as far away as Tokyo, hundreds of miles (kilometers) from the epicenter. A large section of Kesennuma, a town of 70,000 people in Miyagi, burned furiously into the night with no apparent hope of being extinguished, public broadcaster NHK said.

Koto Fujikawa, 28, was riding a monorail when the quake hit and had to later pick her way along narrow, elevated tracks to the nearest station.

“I thought I was going to die,” Fujikawa, who works for a marketing company, said. “It felt like the whole structure was collapsing.”

Scientists said the quake ranked as the fifth-largest earthquake in the world since 1900 and was nearly 8,000 times stronger than one that devastated Christchurch, New Zealand, last month.

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Homegrown inspiration: ladies who make us proud

By | Rambling | No Comments

Wednesday 8th March is International Women’s day which celebrates the achievements of women globally and hopes to remind us and raise awareness of the many women’s issues that still need addressing. Life & Style has decided to highlight and celebrate the accomplishments of some truly inspiring women in Malaysia.

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Zainah Anwar (image from Women's Learning Partnership)

Zainah Anwar (image from Women's Learning Partnership)

Zainah Anwar
The leading Malaysian social activist who founded Sisters in Islam in 1988 and who is a director of Musawah which seeks equality and justice in the Muslim family, was ranked 7th on a New York based advocacy’s list of the 100 most inspirational women around the world. She pushes for the equal rights of Muslim women petitioning the Government to reform laws which are sexist.

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Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir (photo by Nur Zalikha)

Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir (photo by Nur Zalikha)

Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir
The eldest daughter of Malaysia’s fourth Prime Minister, Marina Mahathir was this month placed 57th in a New York based advocacy’s list of the 100 most inspirational women around the world for championing the rights of women and children. As an advisor for the Malaysian AIDS Council and has won worldwide praise for her activism in dealing with the stigma attached to HIV/AIDS in Malaysia.

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Meera Samanther (image from http://national-express-malaysia.blogspot.com)

Meera Samanther (image from http://national-express-malaysia.blogspot.com)

Meera Samanther
Meera Samanther is the President of Women’s Aid Organisation, Malaysia (WAO) which opened in 1982 offering the first shelter for Malaysian women and children who had been battered. One of the group’s biggest achievements was a change to the Federal Constitution prohibiting discrimination of women on the grounds of gender and pushed for the Domestic Violence Act to be passed.

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Dato Michelle Yeoh (image from www.oneasianworld.com)

Dato Michelle Yeoh (image from www.oneasianworld.com)

Dato Michelle Yeoh
The Malaysian born Hong Kong based actress was voted in 2008 as the greatest action heroine actress of all time for her many roles on the big screen, including the 1997 James Bond film and the award winning Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon for which she was nominated a BAFTA for. Yeah was also honoured as The Outstanding Young Persons of the World (TOYP).

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Datuk Nicol David (image from http://squashstars.com)

Datuk Nicol David (image from http://squashstars.com)

Datuk Nicole David
Dominating women’s squash since she turned professional in 2000, Nicole is the World’s number 1 women’s squash player winning the World Open Title in 2005 and for five consecutive years and achieved the World Junior title, twice. Her winning streak also includes the Asian Squash Championship which she won seven times, and was awarded with WISPA Player of the Year six years in a row from 2005. Nicole honoured Malaysia by carrying the Olympic torch in the 2004 Olympics in Athens.

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Datuk Rasammah Bhupalan (image from http://gambargambarpelik.blogspot.com)

Datuk Rasammah Bhupalan (image from http://gambargambarpelik.blogspot.com)

Datuk Rasammah Bhupalan
The 84 year old Past President of the National Council of Women’s Organisations (NCWO), fought for Malaysian independence, served in Burma during the Second World War, has fought for women’s right and the equal pay for women teachers. She also involved herself in the anti-drug abuse movement and championed for women’s rights, giving a voice to millions of women.

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Yasmin Ahmad (image from www.selebriti.tv)

Yasmin Ahmad (image from www.selebriti.tv)

Yasmin Ahmad
The renowned film director and writer who sadly passed away in 2009 won numerous awards for her work within Malaysia and internationally. Although her films were contentious as they often broached taboo topics, they were also hailed for the humour and crossing cultural barriers. Thanks to the many commercials she was received into the Malaysian Advertising Hall of Fame by the Association of Accredited Advertising Agents Malaysia in 2008.

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Ida Nerina (image from www.qpicture.com)

Ida Nerina (image from www.qpicture.com)

Ida Nerina
The actress, director and producer who was paralysed after a fall in 2009, won multiple awards throughout her career from the Malaysian Film Association from best actress, best supporting actress and from the Malaysian Film Workers Association. She finished third place in The Amazing Race Asia series three and in 2009 became the acting and Drama coach for the seventh season of Akademi Fantasia.

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Hannah Yeoh (image from http://akalminda.wordpress.com)

Hannah Yeoh (image from http://akalminda.wordpress.com)

Hannah Yeoh
The former lawyer and event manager became Subang Jaya assemblyman in 2008 after joining DAP in 2006 and obtaining a Bachelor of Law from the University of Tasmania, Australia in 2001. She has pushed for racial harmony and multiculturalism with the aim to eradicate discrimination.

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[article: Flora McCraith, http://lifestyle.malaysia.msn.com/Relationships/article.aspx?cp-documentid=4694043&page=0]
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Waste not – by Eric Knight

By | Wisdom | No Comments
Autumn time (photo by Uzay)

Autumn time (photo by Uzay)

“Waste not the smallest thing created, for grains of sand make mountains, and atomies infinity.  Waste not the smallest time in imbecile infirmity, for well thou knowest that seconds form eternity.”
– Eric Knight

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The little wave

By | Wisdom | No Comments
On waves - on oceans (photo by Yana Gayvoronskaya)

On waves - on oceans (photo by Yana Gayvoronskaya)

A little wave, bobbing along in the ocean, having a grand old time. He’s enjoying the wind and the fresh air – until he notices the other waves in front of him, crashing against the shore. “My God, this terrible”,the wave says. “Look what’s going to happen to me!”

Then along comes another wave. It sees the first wave, looking grim, and it says to him: “Why do you look so sad?” The first wave says: “You don’t understand! We’re all going to crash! All of us waves are going to be nothing! Isn’t it terrible?”

The second wave says: “No, you don’t understand. You’re not a wave, you’re part of the ocean.”

[source: “Tuesdays With Morrie” by Mitch Albom]
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令人动容一幕:小狗被撞身亡同伴原地苦守

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比熊:“腊肠弟弟,你干嘛睡觉啊?”

比熊:“腊肠弟弟,你干嘛睡觉啊?”

腊肠:“比熊哥哥,我快不行了,你快走吧,马路危险!”

腊肠:“比熊哥哥,我快不行了,你快走吧,马路危险!”

比熊:“弟弟,我不能丢下你,好心人,快停车救救我的弟弟”

比熊:“弟弟,我不能丢下你,好心人,快停车救救我的弟弟”

动物虽不会言语,但它们对同类的感情,却往往令人动容。前日下午,长江隧道大智路入口处,一只腊肠犬被车撞死,与它同行的一只比熊犬守护着伙伴的尸体,久久不愿离去。

前日下午4:50左右,这两只狗当时结伴而行,大概是迷失了方向,误入长江隧道大智路路口。当时,进入隧道的车辆密集,车速很快。当驾驶员夏先生发现它们时,腊肠犬已被撞倒在快车道中央,而比熊犬一直守在腊肠犬旁打转。

记者10分钟后赶到现场时,这只白色卷毛比熊犬仍守在腊肠犬身边,无助地四处张望,不时用前爪和鼻子拱一拱地上的腊肠犬,似乎想唤醒伙伴,赶紧离开这里。

此时天色已晚,记者和一名旁观者试图翻过栏杆救出比熊犬,但因车流密集、车速过快,未能成功。

几分钟后,意外再度发生,一辆快速驶来的小轿车猛地撞上比熊犬。比熊犬一声惨叫,在地上翻滚出几米远,但它居然爬了起来,发狂地向隧道里跑去,很快消失在滚滚车流之中……

[source: http://news.cnhubei.com/ctdsb/ctdsbsgk/ctdsb14/201102/t1620436.shtml]
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