International Reconnecting Families Bulletin: Japan Earthquake

Photo credit: Taro Karibe, Getty Images

Photo credit: Taro Karibe, Getty Images

Two major earthquakes that have struck the Kyushu island of Japan – within a span of two days – have left at least 32 people dead, more than 2,000 injured and dozens missing. The first earthquake, of magnitude 6.5, struck on Thursday, April 14, 21:26 local time, resulting in at least nine people dead and 800 injured.

According to the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), the epicenter of the quake was in the Kumamoto Prefecture with a depth of 11 kilometers.  Local authorities continue to distribute relief goods. The Government has started to distribute additional food items to cover 900,000 meals, sufficient to meet needs for three days. The Japanese Red Cross Society has deployed twelve emergency medical teams to affected areas to provide emergency medical assistance and manage the distribution of relief items.

If you or someone you know are trying to contact a family member affected by the earthquake, the American Red Cross can help. To begin your search, please contact your local American Red Cross chapter. You can also submit an inquiry online through the International Reconnecting Families Inquiry Form or by calling 202-303-1600. 

In addition to this, the Japanese Red Cross has also suggested checking services provided by the private sector such as Google person finder and j-anpi. It is also highly advised that you continue trying to contact your loved ones via phone, text, email or social media. Remember, calling during off-peak hours may help to get through clogged phone lines. You may also want to consider contacting other family members or neighbors who live nearby or may also be concerned about the sought person.

If your inquiry concerns a U.S. citizen, please also contact the U.S. Department of State, Office of Overseas Citizens Services, at 1-888-407-4747 (from the United States and Canada) or 1-202-501-4444 (from overseas) or online at http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/emergencies.html.

For more information on the reconnecting families work of the American Red Cross, please visit redcross.org/reconnectingfamilies.