The Full Metal Archivist has been able to get through to her sister and her family in Okinawa. It seems like everyone there and in Chiba in her family is doing ok, but it sounds like Sendai (where I gave a talk when I was living in Fukuoka during my Fulbright in 2006-2007) has been devastated. Even though the quake was only on the order of a 5 in the Japanese earthquake scale when it reached the Tokyo area, there was still a lot of damage.
I'm contacting my friends and colleagues in Japan to see if everyone's ok.
Here are some links for those who want to find out more:
On social media:
[Update 1 (9:47 am): Here's an email alert from the U.S. Embassy in Japan:
March 11, 2011
The Department of State alerts U.S. citizens to the situation in Japan in the aftermath of a powerful earthquake, measuring 8.9 magnitude, that struck northern Japan on March 11. U.S. citizens should avoid travel to Japan at this time. This Travel Alert expires on April 1, 2011.
The Department of State strongly urges U.S. citizens to avoid tourism and non-essential travel to Japan at this time. Tokyo airports are currently closed; other airports in Japan may be closed or have restricted access. Public transportation, including trains and subways are closed in the Tokyo area, and service has been interrupted in other areas. Many roads have been damaged in the Tokyo area and in northern Japan.
Strong aftershocks are likely for weeks following a strong earthquake such as this one. The American Red Cross recommends that in the event of aftershocks, persons should move to open spaces away from walls, windows, buildings, and other structures that may collapse, and should be alert to the danger of falling debris. If you are indoors, DROP, COVER AND HOLD ON: If possible, seek cover under a sturdy desk or table, hold on, and protect your eyes by pressing your face against your arm. If there is no table or desk nearby, sit on the floor against an interior wall away from windows, bookcases or tall furniture that could fall on you. Avoid damaged buildings and downed power lines. Great care should be used with matches, lighters, candles, or any open flame due to the possibility of disrupted gas lines.
U.S. citizens currently in Japan should contact family and friends in the United States to confirm their well-being at the earliest opportunity. Where internet and telephone services are not available, it may be possible to contact people using SMS (Cell text message) or other forms of social media such as Twitter and Facebook. U.S. citizens may contact the Department of State at JapanEmergencyUSC@state.gov and the emergency contact numbers below.
U.S. citizens in Japan are encouraged to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) at the following website:
https://travelregistration.state.gov. U.S. citizens without internet access may enroll directly at the U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulates. By enrolling, U.S. citizens make it easier for the Embassy/Consulates to contact them in case of emergency.
Updated information on travel and security in Japan may be obtained from the Department of State by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or, for callers outside the United States and Canada, a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. For further information, please consult the Country Specific Information for Bahrain, as well as the Worldwide Caution, which can be found at www.travel.state.gov.]
[Update 3 (9:49 am): From talks with her friends, the FMA has heard that all cell phone services are down. They've been able to get in touch with their families via Skype and cell phone email, while landlines seem ok but are hard to actually get through on. Here's an earlier advisory from the U.S. Embassy in Japan:
March 11, 2011
This warden message is being issued to alert U.S. citizens residing or traveling in Japan that the Japan Meteorological Agency has issued multiple tsunami alerts covering regions in Mainland Japan and the Amami islands, as a result of a magnitude 8.9 earthquake that struck off the Northeast coast of Japan at 2:46 pm.
The Japan Meteorological Agency has issued a tsunami warning for the entire pacific coast of Japan. As of 4:38pm Japan time, the list of affected prefectures follows. Real time updates can be found at the JMA website: http://www.jma.go.jp/en
Tsunami Forecast Region Classification of Tsunami Warning/Advisory
IWATE PREF. TSUNAMI WARNING(MAJOR TSUNAMI)
MIYAGI PREF. TSUNAMI WARNING(MAJOR TSUNAMI)
FUKUSHIMA PREF. TSUNAMI WARNING(MAJOR TSUNAMI)
CENTRAL PART OF PACIFIC COAST OF HOKKAIDO TSUNAMI WARNING(MAJOR TSUNAMI)
PACIFIC COAST OF AOMORI PREF. TSUNAMI WARNING(MAJOR TSUNAMI)
IBARAKI PREF. TSUNAMI WARNING(MAJOR TSUNAMI)
KUJUKURI AND SOTOBO AREA, CHIBA PREF. TSUNAMI WARNING(MAJOR TSUNAMI)
IZU ISLANDS TSUNAMI WARNING(MAJOR TSUNAMI)
EASTERN PART OF PACIFIC COAST OF HOKKAIDO TSUNAMI WARNING(MAJOR TSUNAMI)
WESTERN PART OF PACIFIC COAST OF HOKKAIDO TSUNAMI WARNING(MAJOR TSUNAMI)
JAPAN SEA COAST OF AOMORI PREF. TSUNAMI WARNING(MAJOR TSUNAMI)
UCHIBO AREA, CHIBA PREF. TSUNAMI WARNING(MAJOR TSUNAMI)
OGASAWARA ISLANDS TSUNAMI WARNING(MAJOR TSUNAMI)
SAGAMI BAY AND MIURA PENINSULA TSUNAMI WARNING(MAJOR TSUNAMI)
SHIZUOKA PREF. TSUNAMI WARNING(MAJOR TSUNAMI)
WAKAYAMA PREF. TSUNAMI WARNING(MAJOR TSUNAMI)
TOKUSHIMA PREF. TSUNAMI WARNING(MAJOR TSUNAMI)
PACIFIC COAST OF AICHI PREF. TSUNAMI WARNING(TSUNAMI)
SOUTHERN PART OF MIE PREF. TSUNAMI WARNING(TSUNAMI)
KOCHI PREF. TSUNAMI WARNING(TSUNAMI)
MIYAZAKI PREF. TSUNAMI WARNING(TSUNAMI)
TANEGASHIMA AND YAKUSHIMA AREA TSUNAMI WARNING(TSUNAMI)
AMAMI ISLANDS AND TOKARA ISLANDS TSUNAMI WARNING(TSUNAMI)
SOUTHERN PART OF JAPAN SEA COAST OF HOKKAIDO TSUNAMI WARNING(TSUNAMI)
MUTSU BAY TSUNAMI WARNING(TSUNAMI)
TOKYO BAY TSUNAMI WARNING(TSUNAMI)
ISE BAY AND MIKAWA BAY TSUNAMI WARNING(TSUNAMI)
SOUTHERN PART OF AWAJI ISLAND TSUNAMI WARNING(TSUNAMI)
BUNGO STRAIT COAST OF EHIME PREF. TSUNAMI WARNING(TSUNAMI)
SETONAIKAI COAST OF OITA PREF. TSUNAMI WARNING(TSUNAMI)
BUNGO STRAIT COAST OF OITA PREF. TSUNAMI WARNING(TSUNAMI)
EASTERN PART OF KAGOSHIMA PREF. TSUNAMI WARNING(TSUNAMI)
WESTERN PART OF KAGOSHIMA PREF. TSUNAMI WARNING(TSUNAMI)
OKINAWA ISLANDS TSUNAMI WARNING(TSUNAMI)
DAITOJIMA AREA TSUNAMI WARNING(TSUNAMI)
MIYAKOJIMA AND YAEYAMA AREA TSUNAMI WARNING(TSUNAMI)
OKHOTSK SEA COAST OF HOKKAIDO TSUNAMI ADVISORY
OSAKA PREF. TSUNAMI ADVISORY
SETONAIKAI COAST OF HYOGO PREF. TSUNAMI ADVISORY
OKAYAMA PREF. TSUNAMI ADVISORY
KAGAWA PREF. TSUNAMI ADVISORY
SETONAIKAI COAST OF EHIME PREF. TSUNAMI ADVISORY
ARIAKE SEA AND YATSUSHIRO SEA TSUNAMI ADVISORY
WESTERN PART OF NAGASAKI PREF. TSUNAMI ADVISORY
AMAKUSA NADA COAST OF KUMAMOTO PREF. TSUNAMI ADVISORY
AKITA PREF. TSUNAMI ADVISORY
YAMAGATA PREF. TSUNAMI ADVISORY
NIIGATA PREF.,EXCEPT SADOGASHIMA ISLAND TSUNAMI ADVISORY
SADOGASHIMA ISLAND TSUNAMI ADVISORY
TOYAMA PREF. TSUNAMI ADVISORY
NOTO AREA, ISHIKAWA PREF. TSUNAMI ADVISORY
HIROSHIMA PREF. TSUNAMI ADVISORY
SETONAIKAI COAST OF YAMAGUCHI PREF. TSUNAMI ADVISORY
We will continue to monitor the tsunami’s track and will issue updated messages as appropriate. Please monitor the tsunami’s track by listening to the radio or watching television. Locate shelter, monitor media reports, and follow all official instructions. Carry your travel documents at all times (i.e. U.S. Passport, Birth Certificate, picture ID’s, etc.) or secure them in a safe, waterproof location. You should also contact friends and family in the United States with updates about your whereabouts.
Please continue to monitor the Embassy’s website, http://japan.usembassy.gov/, for updated information. For telephone inquiries, please call 1-888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444. Please consult the Country Specific Information Sheet for Japan, available on the Bureau of Consular Affairs website at http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1148.html.
U.S. Embassy in Tokyo
American Citizen Services
1-10-5 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-8420
After Hours: 03-3224-5000
The U.S. Embassy serves Americans in Tokyo, Chiba, Fukushima, Gunma, Ibaraki, Kanagawa, Nagano, Niigata, Saitama, Shizuoka, Tochigi, Yamagata and Yamanashi.
• Osaka-Kobe: 11-5, Nishitenma 2-chome, Kita-ku, Osaka 530-8543; Tel: 06-6315-5912, Fax: 06-6315-5914; serving Americans in Osaka, Tel: 06-6315-5912, Fax: 06-6315-5914; serving Americans in Osaka, Aichi, Ehime, Fukui, Gifu, Hiroshima, Hyogo, Ishikawa, Kagawa, Kochi, Kyoto, Mie, Nara, Okayama, Shimane, Shiga, Tokushima, Tottori, Toyama, and Wakayama prefectures. http://osaka.usconsulate.gov/
• Nagoya: Nagoya International Center Bldg. 6th floor, 1-47-1 Nagono, Nakamura-ku, Nagoya 450-0001; Tel (052) 581-4501, Fax: (052) 581-3190; providing emergency consular services only (including death and arrest cases) for Americans living in Aichi, Gifu, and Mie prefectures. http://nagoya.usconsulate.gov/
• Fukuoka: 5-26, Ohori 2-chome, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka 810-0052; Tel: 092-751-9331, Fax: 092-713-9222; serving Americans in Fukuoka, Kagoshima, Kumamoto, Miyazaki, Nagasaki, Oita, Saga and Yamaguchi prefectures. http://japan.usembassy.gov/fukuoka/wwwhmain.html
• Sapporo: Kita 1-jo, Nishi 28-chome, Chuo-ku, Sapporo 064-0821; Tel: 011-641-1115, Fax: 011-643-1283; serving Americans in Akita, Aomori, Hokkaido, Iwate and Miyagi prefectures. http://sapporo.usconsulate.gov/
• Naha: 2-1-1 Toyama, Urasoe City, Okinawa 901-2104; Phone: 098.876.4211, Fax: 098.876.4243, DSN: 645-7323; serving Americans in Okinawa and the Amami Oshima Island group
[Update 4 (9:54 am): The FMA's mom is on a cruise ship somewhere in the Pacific. When she'll be able to get back home, nobody knows.]