Friday 11 March 2011
ShelterBox responding to Japanese earthquake and tsunami
A ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) is mobilising after a massive earthquake struck Japan earlier today. The earthquake, measuring 8.9 in magnitude, triggered a tsunami that’s caused extensive damage.
The latest reports coming out of Japan have shown cars, ships and buildings being swept away with waves of up to 10 meters high slamming into the coast. Areas across the Pacific Basin have been put on tsunami alert including Russia, Guam, the Philippines, Taiwan and Hawaii.
SRT members Lasse Petersen (AU), Mark Pearson (UK) and John Diksa (FR) are ready to head to Japan and begin ShelterBox’s international response.
‘The scenes we’re seeing are catastrophic,’ said Lasse. ‘Whole homes are being washed away and our thoughts go out to all the families who are facing this disaster. The epicentre was in Japan so our first team are mobilising to head there but we continue to watch very closely the path of the tsunami. We’re very aware the worst may not be over.’
According to U.S. Geological Survey the earthquake was magnitude 8.9 at a depth of 20 miles with the epicentre 250 miles away from Japan’s capital Tokyo.
The tsunami warning was issued by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre and they say the wave could even reach as far as Chile.
Tom Henderson, ShelterBox Founder and CEO, added: ‘At present the scale of the disaster is difficult to measure. What we do know is that the combination of such a large earthquake followed by the tsunami has the potential to cause significant damage across the Pacific Rim.
‘We have aid pre-positioned locally and a member of the ShelterBox Response Team stationed in the Philippines enabling an immediate response.’