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Home: Strongest Ever Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

Strongest Ever Japan Earthquake
and Tsunami
2:46 pm, March 11, 2011

In this series of 13 pages, I tried to keep my many wonderful overseas friends & family posted about the latest news on the strongest ever Japan earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011 and ensuing nuclear crisis that is still ongoing. Although I am no longer updating these pages, as of June 20, which was 101 days after the triple tragedy, I had posted 467 news updates.

If you arrived here looking for something in particular, hopefully you can find it on this site by using the Google search box above. Thanks so much for your concern, and please continue to remember in your thoughts and prayers those nearly 19,000 people who lost their lives or are still missing, as well as the thousands of deceased & abandoned pets and livestock.

Because of the tens of thousands of people still suffering and living in evacuation centers and temporary housing, and in view of fact that it has been estimated that full reconstruction will literally take decades, if you can, please think about donating to one of the many charities & relief agencies listed below which are aiding the suffering survivors and their families. Thank you.


Google news feed on "Japan nuclear crisis"...



News Updates (JST=UT+9 hrs., or CDT+14 hrs., e.g. 8 am in Houston = 10 pm in Tokyo):

June 20, 2011 12:05 (JST):  Tokyo to revise liquefaction hazard map - The Tokyo metropolitan government plans to revise a map showing areas possibly susceptible to soil liquefaction in the event a powerful earthquake hits the capital city. Liquefaction caused heavy damage to buildings and infrastructure along Tokyo Bay when the earthquake hit northeastern Japan on March 11th. The map is designed to be used as construction guidelines on the need for ground fortification and quake resistance. The current map was drawn up 15 years ago, and assumes an earthquake with a magnitude similar to that of the Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923. (Source: nhk.or.jp)

Tokyo liquefaction hazard map

June 20, 2011 7:45 (JST):  Disaster shines light on wisdom of renting in a debt-laden world - The destruction wrought by the Great East Japan Earthquake has started to appear in statistics in its full force. The economy was in fact growing from January up to early March, but the huge impact of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in the remaining weeks of the month pushed the whole quarter's growth into negative territory. More problems are likely to surface in the coming months, including a rise in nonperforming loans at banks in disaster-hit areas and -- on the flip side of it -- a rise in the debt problems of people who lost their houses to tsunami after buying them with bank loans. Going into debt to buy a home was typical practice for salaried workers during Japan's postwar economic surge. It was based on two conditions -- one, that the nation will not be hit by serious natural disasters or war, and two, that the nation will experience inflation and wages that rise faster than the inflation rate. More...

June 19, 2011 18:55 (JST):  Crisis brewing as Japan's tea farmers face radiation ban
- Earlier this month, Japan's government banned green tea from parts of three prefectures: Tochigi, Chiba and Kanagawa; and banned tea from all of a fourth prefecture, Ibaraki. The authorities had detected levels of radioactive cesium in tea leaves above the legal limit of 500 becquerels per kilogram. Now the discovery of radiation in fields further south in Shizuoka, Japan, some 400 kilometers away from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant, threatens the most robust tea-producing region in Japan. It's the worst crisis in the country's centuries-long tea farming history, says Kotaro Tanimoto, of the Japan Tea Exporters Association. The association says foreign and domestic demand has dropped dramatically, even before these radiation discoveries. This latest news has now plunged the industry into a panic. More...

June 19, 2011 10:35 (JST):  Japan tsunami survivors stay put despite hardships
- It may be a pile of tsunami debris, but for many evacuees it's still their hometown. At an evacuation center in this coastal neighborhood of Ishinomaki, survivors of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami sleep on blankets surrounded by cardboard boxes. Short stacks of blankets help separate one family's area from the next. There isn't much privacy and there is precious little space. But despite these cramped, sparse conditions, Kimiyo Ohashi says moving away is not an option. "I would never think of leaving," Ohashi said, offering visitors coffee out of a vending machine in the gymnasium-turned-shelter. "It's my hometown." More...

Flowers and tributes in front of Okawa Elementary School in Ishinomaki
Flowers and tributes are displayed at the gates of the Okawa Elementary School in the tsunami-devastated city of Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture on May 11, 2011. (Photo by: Toshifumi Kitamura)




June 19, 2011 7:35 (JST):  Fukushima Pref to conduct health checks on 2 mill. residents - The Fukushima prefectural government said Saturday that it will conduct health checks on 2 million residents to ease their concerns over the effects of radiation exposure. Checkups will start at the end of June with an examination of 28,000 people in three municipalities nearest the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant--Iitake village, Kawamata, and Namie. Local residents have been complaining about the lack of information being given out by authorities on the harmful effects of radioactive substances. About 90,000 residents of the prefecture have been displaced since the March 11 crisis. (Source: Japan Today)

June 18, 2011 19:20 (JST):  Revival starts with train rescue
- A train that made an emergency stop in a tunnel in Iwate Prefecture moments after the Great East Japan Earthquake remains stranded there more than three months later, while the operator of the railway line in question grapples with the huge cost of repairing damage caused by the disaster. Damage caused to the rails by the temblor has until now made moving the train impossible, but Sanriku Railway Co. is planning to get it out of the tunnel on the Minami Rias Line on Friday. The line, which runs about 36.6 kilometers from Sakari Station in Ofunato to Kamaishi Station, has been entirely closed since the disaster, and resuming operations will be extremely expensive--and possibly out of the company's reach. (Source: Daily Yomiuri)

June 18, 2011 12:10 (JST):  Japanese underworld tries to cash in on tsunami clean-up - In the aftermath of the devastating March tsunami, Japan's underworld made a rare display of philanthropy, handing out emergency supplies to survivors, sometimes days before aid agencies arrived. Three months later, however, the yakuza appears to have dispensed with largesse and is instead hoping to cash in on the daunting clean-up effort in dozens of ruined towns and villages. The government and police fear they are losing the battle to prevent crime syndicates from winning lucrative contracts to remove millions of tonnes of tsunami debris left in the tsunami's wake, including contaminated rubble near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant that many firms are reluctant to handle. More...

Japan tsunami debris
The tsunami created almost 24m tonnes of tsunami debris in the three hardest-hit prefectures, and those lining up to profit from the clearance include Japanese criminal gangs. (Photograph: David Guttenfelder/AP)

June 18, 2011 8:10 (JST):  Water decontamination system goes online
- A system to decontaminate highly radioactive water has gone into service at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. The system is considered key to dealing with the build-up of contaminated water that is hampering work to bring the reactors under control. Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, activated the system on Friday evening after conducting final test-runs. The utility earlier found water leaking from one of the system's 4 components -- a US-made cesium absorption device -- forcing the test-runs to be called off on Thursday. (Source: nhk.or.jp)

Water decontamination system goes online

June 17, 2011 21:35 (JST):  Japan death-toll numbers don't add up, tsunami survivors say - Survivors across northern Japan say they suspect the death toll from the March 11 tsunami is much higher than the official figure of more than 15,000 dead and nearly 8,000 missing nationwide. Residents count nearly 9,000 missing from this fishing village alone. Exhausted government officials say their first priority has been to care for the living, rather than count the dead. Only a nationwide census can determine the final death toll, they say. But local officials in Otsuchi would like to know exactly who is alive or dead. They need to prepare a voter-registration list in order to conduct an election, perhaps as early as August, to replace the mayor and 31 other officials killed in the town hall, which was swamped by 50-foot-high waves. More...

June 16, 2011 17:45 (JST):  Japanese ordered to take siestas to save power - The government of Gifu Prefecture is ordering its office staff to stop work for a couple of hours between 1pm and 4pm in order to reduce energy consumption. "We are very, very worried about the amount of energy we are using and we have to cut back," Yuiichi Kumazaki, a senior official with the prefectural government, said. "The peak times for usage are in the early afternoon and it was some of our employees who came up with the idea of a siesta," he said. Staff are being told to turn off their computers, the lights and the air conditioning and go home for a nap or leave the building to go shopping of for a walk, Mr. Kumazaki said. More...

June 15, 2011 7:50 (JST):  Back from the dead: Astonishing pictures show how Japan is recovering just three months after tsunami
- Just three months ago Japan was plunged into chaos after a cataclysmic earthquake sent a merciless tsunami crashing through towns and cities up and down the east coast. The unforgiving tide of water obliterated tens of thousands of buildings, devouring almost anything in its path. Thousands of people died and hundreds of bodies have never been recovered. The heart-breaking images of families desperately searching for loved ones amid the rubble of their homes sent shockwaves around the world. Now, three months on, these images show the Japanese people remain undaunted by the havoc nature has wreaked on their homeland as step by step they rebuild their nation. More, including then and now photos...

June 14, 2011 18:30 (JST):  Boiling water charges cellphones - A pot that can be used to charge cellphones by boiling water in it will go on sale as disaster equipment later this month. The Hatsuden-nabe (power-generating pot) made by venture company TES NewEnergy Corp. has the appearance of an ordinary household utensil, but can directly convert heat waste into electricity using a thermoelectric module. Since the device can charge cellphones and other devices using open flames from firewood, charcoal, gas and other sources, it can be useful as a backup charger for natural disasters or other emergencies, the company, based in Ikeda, Osaka Prefecture, said.  (Source: The Japan Times)

June 14, 2011 7:05 (JST):  Japan Today Photo of the Day
- Damaged equipment and piping are shown on the fourth floor of the No. 4 reactor building at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, in this photo released Sunday by Tokyo Electric Power Co. (Source: Japan Today)

Fukushima Daichi No. 4 Bldg.

June 13, 2011 18:50 (JST):  Tokyo Grows Green Curtains to Save Power - The odd looking goya has long been a popular ingredient in Japanese cuisine, but Tokyoites are now growing the zucchini-shaped bitter melon for reasons of energy conservation, not food. Skylark, a restaurant chain, is cultivating the goya to create "green curtains" outside the windows of several hundred of its Tokyo eateries. The plants, it says, should form a natural shade to cool the interiors, reducing its reliance on air conditioners. More...

Goya green curtain in Osaka
Goya green curtain in Osaka
"Goya," Japanese bitter gourd
Goya
(Japanese bitter gourd)

June 13, 2011 14:30 (JST):  Shizuoka tells tea retailer to conceal radiation info
- Shizuoka Prefecture told a Tokyo-based mail order company not to say anything on its website about excessive radioactive material being found in tea from the prefecture, the retailer said Friday. After Radishbo-ya Co. made an inquiry to the Shizuoka Prefectural Government about the matter Monday, a prefectural official told the company not to disclose the finding due to fears the message would cause unwarranted harm to Shizuoka tea growers, adding that the prefecture would confirm the finding on its own, according to the retailer. Radishbo-ya, for its part, sent purchasers of the tea letters informing them about the radiation and offered to recall the products. (Source: The Japan Times)

June 13, 2011 10:50 (JST):  March 11th tsunami a record 40-meters high
- Japan's Meteorological Agency and researchers have found that the tsunami of March 11th reached heights of up to 40 meters. The precise height of the waves was not clear because automatic tide-gauge stations were destroyed and blackouts and communication failures occurred at the time of the disaster. Experts have looked into traces of each tsunami in the affected area and found that around 10-meter waves reached wide areas of Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima Prefectures. (Source: nhk.or.jp)

March 11th tsunami a record 40-meters high

June 13, 2011 8:05 (JST):  IAEA Draws Fire Over Japan Crisis
- Officials in three Western countries are attempting to sideline the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency from international nuclear safety discussions amid their growing concerns about the U.N. nuclear agency's handling of Japan's atomic crisis. Senior nuclear-affairs officials from the three nations in recent weeks have quietly criticized the IAEA for failing to provide quick and accurate analysis of the danger posed by the accident at the tsunami-stricken Fukushima Daiichi plant. In particular, they have raised questions about whether the agency and its head, former Japanese diplomat Yukiya Amano, have adequately criticized Japan's nuclear disaster plans and response to the crisis. More...

June 12, 2011 20:45 (JST):  40 percent of temporary housing left unoccupied in disaster-hit areas - Over 40 percent of temporary housing in areas affected by the March 11 Great East Japan Earthquake, tsunami and ensuing nuclear crisis remains unoccupied while many people are still waiting for keys to their accommodation three months after the disaster, the Mainichi has learned. Seven municipalities had no temporary housing completed and two others said they had yet to provide statistics. Around 20,225 temporary housing units were available for use in the 33 municipalities, but only 11,958 of them were actually being used by disaster victims. All the provisional living quarters were occupied in Miyako, Hirono and Tanohata in Iwate Prefecture as well as the Fukushima Prefecture town of Shinchi. (Source: Mainichi Daily News)

June 12, 2011 10:25 (JST):  Japanese hold anti-nuclear rallies - A series of anti-nuclear demonstrations were held across Japan on Saturday. The rallies coincided with the 3-month anniversary of the March 11th earthquake and tsunami that resulted in the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. About 2,400 protesters took part in a rally in central Tokyo. Gathering in Minato Ward, they called for the closure of nuclear power plants and a change in the government's energy policies. A man from Fukushima Prefecture said the nuclear accident is a problem for all Japanese people. He said as long as the country continues to rely on nuclear power, another Fukushima-type accident could happen. (Source: nhk.or.jp)

Japan anti-nuclear rally

June 12, 2011 7:40 (JST):  Born out of tsunami 'mess,' radio station gives voice to recovery
- Reuniting friends, announcing restaurant and shop reopenings, sharing information on where people can get health care, it's all in a day's work for the crew of Miyako FM 77.4, a makeshift radio station born days after the deadly tsunami of March 11 swept over their city. Miyako, tucked into a state park and home to 60,000 people, was hard hit when the quake-generated waves roared ashore: At least 420 people were killed in the city, 3,670 homes were destroyed, and at least 1,170 were left homeless. Satou Shoji, 61, a retired Miyako city worker who runs the station, said he and other members of the Miyako Community Broadcasting Society quickly got permission to go on the air and arranged for the equipment they needed, including audio processors, a microphone, and a sound mixer. They uttered their first words on the air on March 22 -- just 11 days after the quake. (Source: msnbc.com)

June 11, 2011 11:35 (JST):  Japan Marks Three Months Since Earthquake
- Japan will mark three months Saturday since its devastating earthquake and tsunami, and the resulting nuclear crisis, with the prime minister visiting the disaster zone and thousands set for anti-nuclear protests. Frustration has run high in Japan as the Fukushima nuclear crisis shows no sign of ending, and nearly 100,000 evacuees remain holed up in more than 2,400 crowded shelters, many of them jobless and worried about their future. Rebuilding the muddy wastelands of the northeastern Tohoku region -- an area now covered in 25 million tons (22.7 million tonnes) of rubble -- will take up to a decade and cost hundreds of billions of dollars, say experts. (Source: www.myfoxmemphis.com)

Mickey Mouse doll lies among debris in Ofunato
Mickey Mouse doll lies among tsunami debris in Ofunato




June 11, 2011 7:55 (JST):  Gov't report urges mental care for victims of earthquake and tsunami - People who lost loved ones or property in the March 11 earthquake and tsunami face a heightened suicide risk and should be provided care for years to ensure their mental and emotional wellbeing, a government report said Friday. A total of 31,690 persons took their lives in 2010, marking the 13th consecutive year that the toll exceeded 30,000. Regarding victims of the magnitude 9.0 temblor and ensuing tsunami, the report warned they are prone to stress induced by the aftermath of the disaster and could develop post-traumatic stress disorder. They will likely remain afflicted by the sadness and sense of loss induced by the deaths of family members, friends and acquaintances in the wake of the natural disaster. (Source: Japan Today)

June 10, 2011 22:15 (JST):  More than 8,000 still missing after quake - The National Police Agency says 8,095 people are still missing three months after the March 11th earthquake and tsunami. Of the Japan death toll of 15,405 people, about 2,000 have not yet been identified. Police say they are attempting to identify the bodies using DNA samples collected from people searching for their family members. More than 2,000 police officers continue search operations in Miyagi, Iwate, and Fukushima prefectures in northeastern Japan. (Source: nhk.or.jp)

June 10, 2011 10:25 (JST):  Fukushima's Date City to give dosimeters to all children
- The Date city office in Fukushima Prefecture said Thursday it will distribute dosimeters to all children attending preschool as well as elementary and junior high schools in the city amid growing worries over exposure to radiation from the crippled Fukushima Daichi nuclear power station nearby. The city said the distribution of about 8,000 dosimeters will be part of its efforts to ensure children's health as there are radiation "hot spots" in the city, which is adjacent to Iitate, which is within a government-set evacuation zone. The Fukushima Daiichi plant, southeast of Date, has been crippled since the March 11 quake and tsunami knocked out its power, triggering the country's worst ever nuclear crisis. (Source: Japan Today)

June 10, 2011 7:20 (JST):  Japan mayor wants tsunami-hit rice paddies to go solar
- A Japanese mayor is seeking to rebuild his city into a renewable energy hub by placing solar panels on top of rice paddies that were devastated by the March earthquake and tsunami. Mayor Katsunobu Sakurai put Minami Soma, 25 km (16 miles) from the tsunami-crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant, on the global map after his plea for assistance via YouTube reverberated around the world. TIME magazine also chose the 55-year-old former farmer as among the 100 most influential people in the world. Sakurai told reporters on Thursday that more than 40 square kilometres of the city, including rice paddies, were ruined by the massive tsunami waves on March 11. More...

June 9, 2011 21:35 (JST):  TEPCO plans for possible rolling blackouts
- Tokyo Electric Power Company has released a plan to conduct rolling blackouts this summer if energy saving measures alone are not enough to prevent a sudden, total blackout. The contingency plan announced on Thursday divides the 9 prefectures being served by the utility into five groups. Each group would experience one 2-hour blackout a day. When TEPCO conducted similar planned outages in the aftermath of the March 11th disaster, consumers complained since some groups were subjected to blackouts twice a day, each lasting about 3 hours. (Source: nhk.or.jp)

June 9, 2011 6:05 (JST):  Fukushima doctor shortage - Fukushima Medical University is launching an intern system for young doctors to work in quake-hit areas while training in radio-therapeutics. The move is part of efforts to deal with acute shortages of doctors in the prefecture as a result of the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant. The Medical Association of Fukushima Prefecture says many doctors have left to work elsewhere since losing their workplaces in the wake of the March 11th earthquake and ensuing nuclear crisis. The new intern system, set up with help from the Association, targets young doctors who have been practicing for 3 to 5 years and allows them to work at 7 Fukushima hospitals for up to 2 months, while attending radio-therapeutics classes at the university. (Source: nhk.or.jp)

June 8, 2011 22:10 (JST):  First container vessel departure since quake
- A container ship has left a major port in northeastern Japan for the first time since the March 11th quake and tsunami, marking a step forward in the recovery of the region's distribution system. Mobile cranes loaded containers onto the ship at Sendai-Shiogama Port in Miyagi Prefecture on Wednesday. The vessel left for Tokyo with 70 containers of automobile tires made in the disaster-hit area. The disaster damaged 4 cranes at the port, the only major international hub in the Tohoku region. (Source: nhk.or.jp)

Sendai container ship

June 8, 2011 16:40 (JST):  Blackout hits Fukushima nuclear plant's Nos. 1, 2 units - The crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant suffered power outages at its Nos. 1 and 2 reactors temporarily Wednesday, with lights in the units' central control room being cut off and the transmission of radiation data being partially halted. The operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co, said the blackout did not affect its water injecting operation to cool the reactors, while Goshi Hosono, an adviser to Prime Minister Naoto Kan on the radiation leakage crisis, said the incident did not affect any equipment that could have caused an extremely serious situation. Electricity was restored around 5:30 p.m., TEPCO said, adding that it is investigating the cause of the power outage. (Source: Japan Today)

June 8, 2011 8:45 (JST):  No. of foreigners' deaths in March quake, tsunami reaches 28 - The total number of foreigners killed in the devastating March 11 quake and tsunami has reached 28, while several dozen others remain missing, Foreign Ministry officials said Monday. The ministry has so far listed the dead as nationals of China, Canada, South and North Korea, Pakistan, the Philippines and the United States following the twin disasters that hit the eastern and northeastern regions, the officials said. As of Monday, the overall death toll had reached 15,373, with 8,198 people still unaccounted for, according to the National Police Agency. (Source: Japan Today)

June 8, 2011 0:05 (JST):  10 reasons to visit Japan this summer - Most of Japan is back to normal following the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami on 11 March. Japan is a fantastic destination for a truly memorable holiday and many people in the country rely on tourism for their livelihoods. Here we give you just 10 of the many great reasons to holiday in Japan this summer:
1. Discounted hotel rates
2. Help Japan through volunteering
3. Geisha beer gardens
4. Hiking
5. Bullet trains
6. British Airways now flies to Haneda Airport
7. Beaches
8. Relaxed locals
9. Festivals
10. Climb Mt. Fuji
More...

Kyoto geisha beer garden
Kyoto geisha beer garden
(Image via logspot.com)

June 7, 2011 17:05 (JST):  Earthquake sends Facebook Japan numbers skyrocketing - At the end of 2010, Facebook had yet to break the two million-user mark in Japan. Then, disaster struck. According to Social Bakers, Facebook Japan had crept up to between 2.3 to 2.4 million users when the Great Tohoku Disaster -- a 9.0 earthquake -- struck the island nation. As of May, users are now approaching 3.5 million, making Japan one of the fastest growing Facebook countries. Why the sudden turnaround? Facebook was the only consistent way to contact friends and family. Ironically, smart phones still transmitted data during the phone 'outage' making Facebook, and other social media, critical in the immediate aftermath of the quake. More...

June 7, 2011 6:50 (JST):  To cut power, Tokyo city workers try 'summer time'
- Tokyo city employees are starting work an hour earlier to conserve energy this summer amid a power crunch spawned by the closing of a tsunami-hit nuclear plant. The Tokyo government on Monday moved up many workers' starting time by an hour. Those on the earliest shift start at 7:30 a.m. and will be allowed to leave at 4:15 p.m. Some 9,500 employees at the city's headquarters are participating. By July, that number will grow to 25,000. While employees will start work earlier, the clocks won't change. (source)

June 6, 2011 12:45 (JST):  Therapy dogs to tour disaster-hit areas - A group of therapy dog trainers from Tokyo will begin a tour of areas hit by the Great East Japan Earthquake in mid-June, hoping close contact with dogs trained to provide affection and comfort will benefit quake survivors in evacuation centers. The planned tour comes after the International Therapy Dog Association visited evacuation centers in Ishinomaki and Onagawacho in Miyagi Prefecture from May 1 to May 3. Some evacuees were overcome with emotion and cried as they hugged the dogs. The June plan is for five therapy dogs and six staff members to visit evacuation centers and makeshift houses. (Source: Daily Yomiuri)

Onagawacho therapy dog
Disaster victims pet a therapy dog at an evacuation
center in Onagawacho, Miyagi Prefecture.

June 6, 2011 7:53 (JST):  Over Y169 bil in disaster relief donations still not distributed - More than 169 billion yen in relief money offered as donations to the Japanese Red Cross Society and the Central Community Chest of Japan for people affected by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami is still being kept by the two bodies. Of the 251.3 billion yen collected by the two groups, only 82.2 billion yen, or about one-third, has been sent to 15 prefectures hit by the disaster, as a committee that decides on the allocation of the money had over-assessed the scope of damage amid difficulty in grasping the whole picture of the calamity. The committee which involves entities such as the Red Cross Society and the 15 prefectural governments and has its secretariat at the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry, is expected to decide at its meeting Monday on a new set of benchmarks to distribute the leftover money. (Source: Japan Today)

June 5, 2011 23:05 (JST):  Missionary couple in Japan hopes to help earthquake/tsunami victims
- When Wataru and Heidi Homeier Minezaki opened their home to evacuees from Fukushima to escape fallout from the earthquake-damaged Daiichi nuclear power plant, they knew their hospitality might be in vain. "In Japan, that offer is unheard of," said Heidi Minezaki, who grew up in Springfield, Illinois and now lives with her husband in Sano, about 100 miles south of Fukushima. "They choose community over personal comfort." About 280 evacuees from Fukushima and the surrounding towns of Miyagi and Iwate have made their way to Sano, a city of 122,000. Heidi said that while other families also have opened their houses, most of the evacuees have preferred to stay in a community center or public housing. (Source: The State Journal-Register)

Wataru, Heidi, and Luke Minezaki
Wataru, Heidi, and Luke Minezaki


12th week updates continued here: Strongest Ever Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, News updates for May 28-June 3, 2011


Mar. 11, 2011 Japan Quake & Tsunami Location & Intensities
Mar. 11, 2011, 2:46 PM, Magnitude 8.8 Japan Earthquake &
Tsunami Location & Intensities
(Japan seismic intensity scale is from 0 to 7)
(Click here for locations & intensities of latest earthquakes)


Update: As of 11:25 am Sun. Mar. 13, since the BIG one on Fri. Mar. 11 at 2:46 pm, there have been 10 additional earthquakes of Intensity 5 or greater (books fall off shelves and furniture moves) and 53 additional earthquakes of Intensity 4 or greater (hanging objects swing considerably and dishes in a cupboard rattle).





The Japan earthquake epicenter was about 100 mi. (160 km) east
of Sendai, which is about 200 mi. (320 km) NNE of Tokyo
(View Mar. 11, 2011 Japan Earthquake & Tsunami in a larger map)
(click blue placemarkers to read labels)


Links:
Current readings of environmental radioactivity level by prefecture (prepared by Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT))
Former readings of environmental radioactivity level by prefecture (also prepared by MEXT -- discontinued Aug. 7, 2011)
Jhelp.com - 24-hour, nonprofit worldwide emergency assistance service since 1975, and has been on-site in Sendai serving meals since the 2nd day after the disaster: 
I. Emergency Help - If you need help in any way from anywhere in Japan, please call or email for assistance. Local volunteers are on site throughout Japan to help. Telephone Services are very bad, so numbers will work sporadically, but for emergency assistance, please call 0570-000-911 or 090-3080-6711 or 090-7170-4769 or contact www.jhelp.com or team@jhelp.com from throughout Japan. If you are able to help in providing a place to stay or other assistance, please contact team@jhelp.com.
II. Volunteers - Those able to help on-site in Sendai, Japan or assist locally, are asked to send name, telephone, and age to team@jhelp.com
III. Emergency Supplies - Supplies urgently needed on-site are: 20 Liter Metal Gasoline Cans, Bottled Water, Canned and instant food, sleeping bags, electric water pots, coffee, tea, cream, powdered milk, tents, rice, used laptop computers and active wireless internet devices and airline mileage, Disaster Relief Vehicle
IV. Assistance - Support can be made to Postal Furikae 00160 7 162438 - Nihon Kinkyu Enjotai (The Japan Emergency Team)
From overseas:
Bank Name - Mitsui Sumitomo Bank, Regular Account
Shinjuku Dori Shiten
Agape House
Account Number - 6949187
Swift Number - SMBCJPJT2
Address of Bank - Sumiyoshi Ku
Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan 162-0005
Google Crisis Response - 2011 Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami 
IAEA Updates on Japan earthquake and tsunami
Fukushima International Association - offers a free English Information Service for Non-Japanese residents of Fukushima. Includes information for people in the area with the latest Japan earthquake and tsunami news, locations of evacuation centers, road conditions, emergency radiation screening, etc.
Earthquakes Location & Intensity Map (Japanese)
Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) Press Releases (owner of Fukushima nuclear power plant)
Tokyo English Life Line (TELL) - Japan Earthquake and Tsunami News, Help, & Resources, Tel: 03-5774-0992 (9am - 11pm daily)
Counseling Services for JET Programme Participants  
AJET Peer Support Group: 050-5534-5566
Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant
TEPCO rolling blackout plan (from Mar. 23, 2011) (Note: As of April 8, 2011, the rolling blackouts have been suspended till probably summer.)
Narita Airport Flight info
Health Information - 2011 Japan Earthquake: Helpful information compiled by the Tokyo U.S. Embassy from U.S. and Japanese government agencies that you can use to support your continued safety and well being after disasters like earthquakes, tsunamis, and nucear plant accidents.
How to "Shelter-in-Place during Radiation Emergencies

News Feeds:
NHK World TV English News page
NHK World Live TV Broadcast in English
Stars and Stripes Japan Updates - by/for the U.S. Military in Japan 
Kyodo News - latest news on Japan earthquake and tsunami (no longer fully accessible without a subscription)
Kyodo News - latest news on Japan nuclear crisis (no longer fully accessible without a subscription)


Missing persons:

Inquiries about Foreign Nationals in quake-hit areas:

[Iwate Prefecture]
Iwate International Association
Tel: 019-654-8900 (English/Chinese, 9:00am-5:30pm)
http://iwate-ia.or.jp/?l=en

[Miyagi Prefecture]
Miyagi Support Center for Foreign Nationals Hotline (9:00am-8:00pm) 080-1653-1725 (Chinese)
080-1653-1726 (Korean)
080-1653-1724 (English)
080-1653-1727 (Portuguese)
090-7334-4098 (Tagalog)
090-5180-5343 (Japanese)

[Fukushima Prefecture]
Fukushima International Association
024-521-7183 (English/Chinese, 9:00am-4:30pm, Monday-Friday) 

Note: Japan's country code is 81, and when the above phone numbers are called from overseas, the area code's leading "zero" is dropped; thus from America, the Fukushima number above would be dialed as 011-81-24-521-7183 (including the 011 international prefix from the U.S.).


Google Person Finder - 2011 Japan Earthquake and Tsunami (discontinued Oct. 31, 2011)
U.S. Embassy Tokyo - For U.S. citizens who live or are traveling in Japan and wish to inform the Embassy of your condition, please send an e-mail to JapanEmergencyUSC@state.gov. In your e-mail please provide the following information: Full Name, Date of Birth, Place of Birth, and as much information as possible regarding your physical location (address, hotel name, etc.) and contact information (home phone, cell phone, email address, etc.) within Japan.  Please also state in your e-mail that we may release your information to people who may contact us regarding your welfare, and also please send us any other information you feel is important for us to know, such as any pre-existing medical conditions, or whether you or your loved one is either elderly or a child in Japan without his/her parent(s).
ICRC Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Family Links Network - If you are looking for your relatives in Japan or if you want to inform your relatives that you are alive after the events. Run by the International Committee of the Red Cross.

For information in Japanese about missing persons:
Miyagi Prefecture: 022-221-2000
Iwate Prefecture: 0120-801-471
Fukushima Prefecture: 0120-510-186, 090-8424-4207, 090-8424-4208


Cell Phone Messages:
If you have a cell phone in Japan, you can post messages via your cell phone provider (assuming it works). Family and friends who know your cell phone company can check the cell phone company's website below and type in your phone number to see any message you have left. The available areas are Aomori, Miyagi, Yamagata and Fukushima prefectures.  Here are the sites: DocomoKDDISoftbankWilcom, & Emobile 


Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Photo Galleries:
New York Times (254 photos)
CNN News Slideshow (many, many photos)
BBC News Slideshow - Japan earthquake and tsunami (20 images)
BBC News Slideshow 2 - Japan earthquake and tsunami aftermath (14 images)
Reuters Slideshow (29 photos)
Australian Broadcast Corporation (41 shocking photos)


Donate to Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Victims: 
Charity Navigator - America's largest independent charity evaluator lists 22 charities helping out with the Japan earthquake and tsunami, along with do's and don'ts for making wise donations to disaster victims.
Japanese Red Cross (thru Google Checkout) <----this method is very quick w/ your Google acct.
American Red Cross (click button for "Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami")
Salvation Army (click on red "Donate Now" button)
AmericaCares
Save the Children
GlobalGiving
Direct Relief International
International Medical Corps
InterAction
Paypal

Yahoo Japan (Japanese)

Disaster Preparedness: 
Ready.gov - Prepare. Plan. Stay Informed.
72hours.org - In a major disaster, it might be several days before vital services are restored. Find out how you can prepare yourself and your family for an emergency. You can also learn what to do in response to a specific disaster, like a tsunami, just in case.



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More Japan quake/tsunami news updates...
 
News updates for Mar. 19-25, 2011 (2nd week)
News updates for Mar. 12-18, 2011 (original page - 1st week 
after Mar. 11, 2011 quake)  
 

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