Emergency Response Team Briefing on Japan Earthquake
This is the verbatim text of the Emergency Response briefing that was sent by Dick Green this morning.
Many of you have already seen the news out of Japan today. At 2:46pm local time, a 8.9 earthquake struck the island and unleashed a 10 meter tsunami that has devastated large areas in the Myagi Prefecture and the city of Sendai.
First of all, we are relieved to hear that the International Fund for Animal Welfare representative in Japan, Naoko Funahashi is doing fine and that other Tokyo-based IFAW contacts are also safe. We wish them and their families all the best in these trying times.
Several other IFAW friends and contacts working in the Pacific Island region have not yet been accounted for, but we are hopeful for their safety and welfare.
The latest reports from Japan indicate the human death toll is already over 300 with that number expected to rise and approximately 60,000 to 70,000 people have been evacuated from Sendai alone.
A major concern is the nuclear reactor at Fukushima where workers there are having a hard time cooling the reactor.
Tsunami warnings were issued for at least 50 countries and territories but little or no damage has been reported from those waves.
As expected cell phone coverage in Japan has been interrupted, millions of homes have lost power and both communication and transportation in general have been severely disrupted.
IFAW’s Emergency Relief team is monitoring developments in Japan very closely, trying to gather as much information as possible and already reaching out to contacts in the country and region. The team has been put on alert and is standing by for any potential field deployment.