[Update] Earthquake in Japan: links, resources & how you can help

On Friday, March 11, 2011 around 2:45 pm, a 9.0 earthquake struck just off the coast of northeastern Japan, followed by many, many subsequent aftershocks that still haven't stopped. They are expected to continue for weeks. The quake was felt over much of Japan (even here in Shizuoka) but particularly bad in the Tohoku region. A tsunami warning was put into effect immediately after the quake for the entire east coast of Japan, and not long after the coastal regions of Sendai, Miyagi and others were struck. The tsunami warnings extended around other parts of Japan and across the Pacific basin. Currently, no tsunami warnings are in place.

I have been tweeting and retweeting resources and updates on Twitter at @survivingnjapan about the earthquake since this afternoon and will continue to do so as appropriate in the coming weeks. You'll find more frequent updates there.

Screenshot from JMA's site indicating the earthquake and aftershocks around Japan today

However, I want to make a list of resources and links (hopefully mostly in English for those of you who don't understand what is going on). I was surprised, watching the live BBC feed, to hear some people calling in and saying that they didn't think there was any particular protocol for earthquakes in Japan - so this is something I hope to cover in the future.

In the meantime, for those of you elsewhere in the world, or in Japan and not affected by the quake, please keep Japan and everyone here in your thoughts and prayers.

If you have any additional links or resources, please feel free to share them and I will add to this list. I just want to get this information out to anyone who needs it.

Earthquake & Tsunami Updates

2011 Tohoku Earthquake portal by Japan Meteorological Agency

US Geological Survey - earthquake information in realtime around the world; you can also subscribe to email updates about earthquakes in your chosen region

List of earthquake terms in Japanese at Japan Newbie.

Government Quake Information - has translated press releases and other events.

English News Feeds Live - Not sure how long these will be up but they still are currently...

Al Jazeera
TV News Radio has a very extensive list of live streaming, radio and real time updates.
NHK World Live has an English stream online and via iPhone app.
Kyodo News updates regularly.

Radiation Monitor and Nuclear Crisis Info

Tokyo Counter (Japanese)
Japan Radiation Open Data via Marian Steinbach blog (has list of all prefectures downloadable as a .csv file).
Radiation Information from Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT)
International Atomic Energy Agency
United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (Press Releases)

Embassy Information (please check your embassy for updated information)

New Zealand
Complete list of embassies and consulates in Japan by MOFA

Public Shelters in Tokyo and Elsewhere

Time Out Tokyo has been putting together an extensive list.
List of shelters in Japanese on Google Maps
Couchsurfing has opened up a program to connect those who have lost their homes with others for temporary accommodation.

For those currently in evacuation shelters, this wiki site may offer a few useful how-to's and creative applications to survive.

How to check on friends and family

Google People Finder (in Japanese and English)

If you know their mobile number (trying to call the numbers directly most likely won't work - you can try texting or mobile email but the messages will probably be delayed):

Softbank Disaster Message Board (in Japanese or English)
Docomo Disaster Message Board (in Japanese or English)
Au Disaster Message Board (in Japanese or English)
Time Out Tokyo has a brief explanation of leaving a message for loved ones via regular phones.
ICRC Family Links

Narita Airport & Airlines Status Update

Narita Airport Status
Airline Status Updates

Kanto Area Train Status


Wikipedia page - seems to be updated quickly


Google Crisis Response Page - various helpful links/resources/numbers


Translation services

If you speak English, Chinese, Korean, Portugese (and I think a few other languages), you can call this number to receive free translation/interpretation services: 050 (5814) 7230. Not an emergency update line.

The Japan Association of Translators has a long list of volunteer interpreters if you need help or assistance. Most volunteers translate Japanese <-> English, but there are some who also translate between other languages.

Kanto Region blackouts

TEPCO blackout schedules in English
Kanto region blackout Google map
Look up blackout by Zip code (English)

Radiation Information

Decontamination Guidelines for Nuclear Radiation Exposure - provided by National Institute of Radiological Sciences and translated by many helpful volunteers
Japan Radiation Open Data - downloadable Excel sheet of radiation levels around Japan, updated every 10 minutes
Japan Science Media Center has a translated Q&A on nuclear power stations and radiation exposure
Japan Times Q&A on how to avoid exposure to fallout
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Radiation Emergencies

How to protect yourself in an earthquake

This helpful site was translated by volunteers into 30 different languages.

How You Can Help

I'm hoping to update this continually in the coming weeks with donation and volunteer opportunities. My husband is also hoping to put something together. Please also be aware of scams before donating to ANY website (you can also check Charity Navigator for some help with this). I'll be compiling a trustworthy list here:

American Red Cross
British Red Cross
Canadian Red Cross
Doctors Without Borders
Global Giving
International Medical Corps
Japanese Red Cross
Oxfam Japan (Japanese)
Salvation Army Japan
U.S. - Japan Council Earthquake Fund
World Vision

If you would like to donate to a Japanese organization, or need to do a bank transfer (furikomi), check out how to do a furikomi. Also can download a free pdf.

Donate Food/Supplies

Second Harvest Japan is now collecting donations - see website for details.
Jhelp is taking some donations as well.

Donate Blood

English translation of rules in Japan for who can and can't donate blood.

Non-comprehensive list of locations to donate blood around Japan (English).

Volunteer Translate/Interpret

If you've got the skills - you may be needed. Sign up with Japan Association of Translators.

And/or: Babelverse


Jhelp is currently looking for volunteers with easy access to disaster areas to deliver supplies.

A Place to Sleep

Couchsurfing has opened up a program to connect those who have lost their homes with others for temporary accommodation.

Have a blog or website?

You can help by installing a bar that shows up at the top of your homepage, encouraging others to donate to a charity of choice. More details here.

Please share anything you've got to add. Let's get the info out there.

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