A massive 8.9-magnitude earthquake hit Japan this morning. It unleashed a major tsunami which has caused major damage in the country.
CARE staff in the Tokyo office felt the tremor, but no one was hurt.
CARE Japan is currently responding, sending relief items such as food, water and sanitary items. As Japan is a major industrial economy with experienced earthquake response measures we are not responding on a large scale. We are working with other agencies to ensure any help we offer is useful on the ground.
Reaching the affected areas is currently difficult. Due to the nuclear threat from the damaged reactor, destroyed infrastructure and continuing aftershocks, the relief effort is severely hampered and people are still waiting for assistance.
CARE will drive from Tokyo to the city of Kamaishi in Iwate prefecture on Thursday evening. The roads are reported to be clear, but it will take approximately eight or nine hours. CARE will distribute toilet paper, water, face masks, sanitary tissues, biscuits, fruits and small portions of rice to approximately 900 people.
In the Philippines, CARE’s partner organisation assisted with the evacuation of 5 villages on the coast.
At the time of the earthquakes CARE offices in Asia were on high alert and ensured that staff were informed of the tsunami warnings. CARE’s emergency staff were on stand by and ready to assist should the tsunami have hit the coasts of developing nations such as Indonesia or Papua New Guinea.