On 15 May viewers of the Discovery Channel will be granted a first all-access pass into the intricate details that surrounded one of the world’s biggest catastrophes and natural disasters of all time via two epic specials.
“As a network, we were taken aback by the gravity of the effects of the earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan on 11 March, and we believe that our two specials will give our local viewers a scientific analysis of the events,’ said network executive, Lee Hobbs, Channel Director, Emerging Business, Discovery Networks, Central Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa. “Viewers will get never-before-seen footage of the moments when the first wave hit Japanese shores and relive the tragic event through the testimony of those who lived through it.’
The first of these programmes is MegaQuake: Hour That Shook Japan, which airs on Sunday 15 May at 20h55 CAT. Discovery Networks International commissioned Darlow Smithson Productions (DSP) to produce a one-hour special examining the recent events that has devastated the most technologically advanced country on earth. MegaQuake: Hour That Shook Japan will re-live the moment when the quake and then the tsunami hit, providing a complete profile on those who experienced the horror first hand and who filmed their own incredible footage on the day. This special programme will reveal emotional and distressing testimonies from the evacuees who unfold with viewers the eight minutes between the nine-category quake and the tidal wave that travelled at 500 miles an hour.
MegaQuake: Hour That Shook Japan will assess whether the Earth’s tectonic plates are amplified, by studying the region’s Pacific Ring of Fire which is known for seismic events. Through expert interviews the documentary will piece together and scrutinize where a disaster could strike next.
Tom Brisley, Creative Director, at DSP said, “A catastrophic disaster such as the recent events in Japan poses many questions that need to be answered. Through a scientific approach with expert analysis, we get to the heart of the story to reveal the critical chain of events that bought a leading nation to a standstill.’
Nuclear Nightmare: Japan in Crisis is the second special which will air back to back, following MegaQuake: Hour That Shook Japan. This offers an unprecedented look at the events as they unfolded at the Fukushima nuclear power plant at that time, with a step by step reconstruction of the disaster.
The first act begins at 2.46pm on 11 March 2011, when the earthquake hit Japan, bringing in excess of 30 thousand times more destructive energy than the nuclear bomb that destroyed Hiroshima. Soon thereafter, the Fukushima nuclear power plant starts overheating, and a state of nuclear emergency is issued by the Japanese government, followed by the first evacuations. Workers scrambled hour after hour, constantly having to improvise in order to prevent a meltdown even though this does not prevent two explosions.
Desperate workers are forced to use seawater to cool several reactors while putting themselves under great risk of radiation, with reports of high levels of radioactivity in Tokyo’s drinking water.
A look across the globe shows how the rest of the world reacts to these potential risk factors, and everyone holds their breath as the disaster threatens the entire region with nuclear damage that could last for decades.
“We want to explain how and why these tragic events happened,’ concludes Lee Hobbs. “By scrutinising the effects of this natural occurrence, we hope to put the pieces of the puzzle together and provide factual answers for our viewers,’ he concludes.