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On March 11, 2011, one of the most powerful earthquakes in recorded history, and the most powerful ever in Japanese history, hit the northern part of the island of Honshu, in the Japanese Archipelago. It occurred off the coast of Miyagi Prefecture, with a magnitude of 9.0 MMS, causing enormous damage and rocking the island of Honshu up to 400 kilometers away. Immediately following the earthquake a massive tsunami bored into the coastline, with waves up to 10 meters (33 feet) high, some estimates bring it up to 15 meters (49 feet) and even 20 meters (66 feet) at the forefront of the wave, inundating huge areas of city and farmland, destroying everything in its path and killing thousands of people.
The confusion that followed made it difficult to get reliable information in English for those people in Japan who do not speak Japanese. There were a lot of sites going up listing news links and advice on what to do, but none of it was coordinated and easy to navigate. In addition, those sources of information in Japanese that provided vital updates or official warnings and directives, more often than not only appeared in Japanese, leaving non-Japanese people frantically searching for information on things like where to go, who to talk to, where the worst of the crisis was taking place, or how to go about getting necessities like food, shelter, medical care. Relatives and concerned people in the rest of the world also could not access the bulk of Japanese information.
This site attempts to bring together, in English, as much of how to find that information as possible. It is not a news service or expert information source or help line, though the information gathered here is meant to point you in those directions. Please use this site to begin your search for information that might save your life, or that of a loved one, when you are in a disaster situation in Japan.
If you would like to contact people at this site or to submit useful links, please contact the Facebook group “Disaster Japan Information Gathering” or Twitter: “@disasterjapan”
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In Japanese, with English notes