Google launches People Finder for 2011 Japan Earthquake, Data Centers are key infrastructure to support disaster recovery

Japan had a magnitude 8.9 earthquake with some of the worse damage in Sendai.  Here are pictures on MSNBC.  I used to take regular trips to Sendai, visiting Sony’s manufacturing facility, and it is was quite sad to see the damage.


Google has launched a version of People Finder for the Japan Earthquake that is available in Japanese, English, Korean, simplified and traditional Chinese.  I am thinking of friends who are in Tokyo and hope they are well.


Nuclear Power plants are being shut down due to cooling system damage, fires, or lack of electricity to run cooling systems, but no nuclear leaks.  Here are some excerpts from MSNBC’s worldblog.

5:06 a.m. ET:  A Japanese utility reports a fire at turbine building at a nuclear power plant in northeastern Japan, the AP reports.

6:07 a.m. ET:  Government has no information on radioactive leakage, government minister says, according to NHK World.

5:44 a.m. ET:  Nuclear power plant administrator in northern Japan says process for cooling reactor is "not going as planned," adding that "nuclear emergency situation" has been declared.  Asks people nearby to stay calm, NHK World reports.  Also says that American military has offered to help.

6:29 a.m. ET:  Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano says the nuclear power plant in Fukushima developed a mechanical failure in the system needed to cool the reactor after it was shut down in the earthquake.  He said the measure was a precaution.

7:28 a.m. ET:  The International Atomic Energy Agency says it is looking for more information on the condition of Fukushima nuclear reactor buildings and cooling systems, Reuters reports. Meanwhile, Japanese authorities say that fire at Onagawa nuclear plant has been extinguished.

8:48 a.m. ET: The Japanese government has declared an emergency situation at one of Tokyo Electric Power company's nuclear power plants in quake-stricken Fukushima Prefecture, NHK reports. It says no radioactive materials have been leaked. But Tokyo Electric said an equipment failure has made it impossible to cool two reactors at the Fukushima Number One plant. The firm says it does not have enough electric power to cool the reactors, which automatically stopped operating when the quake struck.

CNET covers the status of data centers.

Tokyo quake puts data centers, cloud services at risk
Read more: Japan was reeling after an 8.9 magnitude earthquake and tsunami hit the Northeast coast and also impacted Tokyo. As a result, much of the Pacific Ocean is under a tsunami -arning. The disaster comes as many tech giants were setting up data centers in Tokyo to meet demand for cloud computing services.

It's unclear how data centers are holding up. TV reports indicate that mobile services are up in Tokyo, but spotty.

DataCenterDynamics has information from a Japan data center operator.

“The data center and building itself is ok and all our equipment is ok. We have been concerned about earthquakes in Japan [for some time],” Shiino said an in email to DatacenterDynamics.

“We have set an emergency room up to server our customers, if they have any trouble with their servers. Although it is Saturday tomorrow, our emergency team has to work to get our customers workloads back to normal.”

“We are all stuck in the office [with] absolutely no train service or highway (roads) in and out [of Tokyo] tonight,” Misaki said.