Tsunami and Earthquake Disaster in Tohoku and Kanto

As I’m sure most of you have heard, the Tohoku and Kanto Regions of Japan have been hit hard by the recent series of tsunamis and earthquakes. I’ve decided to postpone today’s article and instead post information that may be useful during this difficult time.

First of all, just to clarify: Fukuoka is not in danger of being hit by tsunamis or earthquakes related to this disaster. It is located very far from the region affected, so there is no need to worry. A lot of Web searches leading to this post have been from people worried about this.

For those who need help finding information on loved ones and friends in the affected areas, please visit Google’s English-language Person Finder (also available in Japanese and other languages).

Tsunami warning and advisory information can be found at the Japan Meteorological Agency’s website (in English).

The mayor of Fukuoka has announce that money, rather than clothes and other items, should be sent by those interested in donating to help those effected by the disaster. Collection boxes are being put in place in city hall and ward offices throughout Fukuoka City. Funds can also be donated via the American Red Cross website.

Blood donations are also welcome to help those who have been injured. English-language information and a list of blood donation locations throughout Japan can be found at kenketsu.com. (For Fukuoka City, locations are available in both Tenjin and the Hakata Station areas.)

Fukuoka Now, an English-language publication in Fukuoka, is looking for volunteer translators, editors and contributors to help with preparation of emergency information and relief fundraiser notices. I am participating in this, and I encourage any writers, editors, or translators out there to join me.

Yahoo! News has also posted links for those outside of Japan who want to donate money to help with rescue and aide.

People living in Japan are also being urged to conserve power as much as possible. A number of reactors have gone down in the northeast, and electricity is being rerouted from other parts of Japan to help.

I mentioned in my previous post there would be a number of events held to coincide with the opening of the Kyushu Shinkansen today. These have been canceled or delayed in light of the state of emergency in many parts of northeast Japan, although the new line has started operation today as originally scheduled.

The thoughts and prayers of all of us in Fukuoka go out the victims of this terrible event. I also hope everyone in Hawaii and the US West Coast have kept safe and away from the coastline.

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