On March 11 at 2:40 p.m. local time, an magnitude 8.9 earthquake struck Japan near the city of Sendai, which caused damage and generated a powerful tsunami which struck northern Japan. A series of high magnitude aftershocks continues to hit the area. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a tsunami alert for all countries on the Pacific Coast.
- The Japanese Red Cross is assessing the full impact of the earthquake and tsunami and has deployed 11 National Disaster Response Teams to conduct assessments, provide healthcare and first aid and plan for relief supplies distribution. The Japanese Red Cross has not made any request for international assistance at this moment.
- A high human toll is anticipated in Japan and the number of dead and missing is rising as the impact of the damage becomes apparent. Initial indications that the worst affected areas are in northeast Japan in Tohuku Region close the epicenter and tsunami impact areas. The Japanese government has mobilized an emergency response, deploying 900 rescue workers to this area.
- Red Cross national societies in the pacific islands such as the Fiji Red Cross and the Cook Islands Red Cross are preparing for impact of the tsunami wave and have sent out alerts via early warning systems.
- The American Red Cross chapters in the pacific islands of Hawaii, Northern Mariana Islands, Guam as well as west coast of the U.S. are on alert and stand ready to provide assistance as needed.
GLOBAL RED CROSS AND RED CRESCENT NETWORK RESPONSE
Japanese Red Cross
- The Japanese Red Cross is assessing the full impact of the earthquake and tsunami and has deployed 11 National Disaster Response Teams to conduct assessments, provide healthcare and first aid, and plan for relief supplies distribution. No request for international assistance has been made from Japanese Red Cross at this moment.
- The Japanese Red Cross have indicated they are not accepting international tracing inquiries at this time but are assessing the situation.
- Nationally, the American Red Cross has activated its Disaster Operations Center at its headquarters to facilitate the domestic response as needed for U.S. chapters. It has activated its ‘Safe and Well’ family linking website.
- Internationally, the American Red Cross is monitoring the situation and stands ready to provide international assistance as needed. Its warehouse in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia is fully stocked with pre-positioned relief supplies for 5,000 families and it has disaster specialists on stand by.
- The International Federation’s Asia Pacific Disaster Management Unit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia is taking the lead on International Federation coordination and support activities for the response.