News From Our Blog

Donated supplies fill a hangar prior to being airlifted to areas in Japan affected by the recent 9.0 magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami. Atsugi base residents have donated more than 8,000 pounds of items, ranging from food to blankets, since the earthquake to provide disaster relief and humanitarian assistance to Japan as directed in support of Operation Tomodachi. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Jonathan Kulp/Released)
See more photos from Operation Tomodachi, the U.S. Navy’s disaster relief mission following the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. Tomodachi is Japanese for friend.
Donated supplies fill a hangar prior to being airlifted to areas in Japan affected by the recent 9.0 magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami. Atsugi base residents have donated more than 8,000 pounds of items, ranging from food to blankets, since the earthquake to provide disaster relief and humanitarian assistance to Japan as directed in support of Operation Tomodachi. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Jonathan Kulp/Released)

See more photos from Operation Tomodachi, the U.S. Navy’s disaster relief mission following the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. Tomodachi is Japanese for friend.

How to Arrange Travel Out of Japan

From the Department of State:

The U.S. Embassy in Tokyo informs U.S. citizens in Japan who wish to depart that the Department of State is making arrangements to provide transportation to safehaven locations in Asia. This assistance will be provided on a reimbursable basis, as required by U.S. law. U.S. citizens who travel on US government-arranged transport will be expected to make their own onward travel plans from the safehaven location. Flights to evacuation points will begin departing Japan on Thursday, March 17.

Find more details on safehaven travel.

How to Safely Donate to Disaster Relief

Dept. of Defense photo of U.S. military members helping Japanese citizens clean up a park in Japan after the earthquake and tsunami.

Many places are taking donations to help the disaster relief efforts in Japan after the earthquake and tsunami that took place on March 11. As donations to help the victims flow in, the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) warns that con-artists are quick to try and scam generous givers.

Here are some tips from the IC3 to help you avoid becoming a scam victim:

  • Check to see if the charity is legitimate by visiting their website directly. Don’t use any questionable links you may have been sent.
  • Verify that the charity of your choice is a non-profit organization that will use your donation to help the cause.
  • Do not give out your personal or financial information to anyone soliciting contributions, or you could become a victim of identity theft. 

More tips for safe donating.

If you are looking to donate to the disaster relief efforts going on in Japan, use the tools recommended by the Federal Trade Commission to research your charity of choice.

Japan’s Coast Before and After the Tsunami

From NASA.gov:

These images show the effects of the tsunami on Japan’s coastline. The image on the left was taken on Sept. 5, 2010; the image on the right was taken on March 12, 2011, one day after an earthquake and resulting tsunami struck the island nation.

Tsunami Warning for Western United States

Energy Map of the Tsunami from the National Weather Service

An 8.9 magnitude earthquake hit off the coast of Japan Friday setting off a tsunami in Japan and tsunami warnings along the west coast of the United States and Hawaii.

If you’re in Hawaii, you can find a list of evacuation centers and refuge sites (PDF) to go for safety.

Tsunami waves are expected to hit the coasts of California, Oregon, Washington and Alaska later this morning.

Estimated times waves could reach major cities:

  • Juneau, Alaska - 5:43 a.m.
  • Fort Bragg, California - 7:28 a.m.
  • Newport, Oregon, 7:33 a.m.
  • San Francisco, California - 8:16 a.m.
  • Seattle, Washington - 8:51 a.m.

View the full list.

To get information on the whereabouts of American citizens in Japan you can call 888-407-4747 from the United States or Canada and 202-501-4444 from other parts of the world.

You can find more information about the earthquake and tsunamis from the State Department.