UPDATE: Join the Facebook discussion on the Fukushima Power Plant at

Here is some information for foreigners who are still in Sendai (Miyagi) and looking to make an informed decision about whether to stay or go.  I’ve broken it down into a few sections that you can scroll down to see:

Earthquake and Tsunami information
Nuclear power plant and radiation updates
News stations covering the situation in Japan
Japanese Government updates
International Government updates
Old Updates


Right now, your best bet is to get to Yamagata or Niigata by bus or car, and catch a flight from there to Narita or Osaka.  The airport in Osaka is not too busy.  The latest report on the Narita Express can be found here – but as of right now there is very crappy bus and train service to the airport.

Earthquake and Tsunami Information

US Geological Services Web site:

USGS map of the affected area

Japanese Meterological Agency:

Nuclear Power Plant Updates

TEPCO – agency running the power plants

Live Geiger Counter In Chiba

News Agencies

The Daily Yomiuri


Japan Times

Wall Street Journal Asia

CNN Asia

Sky News

BBC – Asia

CBC – Asia

Japanese Government Updates (you can use Google Translate)

Google Translate

Prime Minister of Japan

US Embassy in Japan

Canadian Embassy in Japan

German Embassy in Japan

Mexican Embassy in Japan

French Embassy in Japan

Old Updates:

3:45am March 16th, 2011: France pulls the message that they had posted to foreign nationals to leave 500km between themselves and Fukushima or return to France.  See below for French Embassy in Japan link.  Turns out that it was from an atomic agency and not the word of the the French government.

3:25am March 16th, 2011: France tells foreign nationals in Japan to leave 500km between Fukushima or go back to France – | English Translation It turns out that the French government has not been able to tell their foreign nationals to get out until now – but they have made cheap flights available for their citizens to get out of Japan.

I’m currently safe at an internet cafe in Osaka Airport.  I’ll find more info and report it as it comes out and as long as I have an internet connection.

One thought on “Sendai”

  1. Some tidbits of news…

    a canadian point of view…

    A Toronto man living in Japan says the federal government is “providing no help” to Canadians wanting to know if they should leave the earthquake and tsunami-ravaged country, especially given the nuclear threat.

    Phillip Ilijevski teaches English in Takasaki, about 100 kilometres north of Tokyo. He called Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade to find out if it’s safe to stay in Japan, but says the only advice they gave him was to watch the news.

    “Someone should know what to do,” says Ilijevski. “You expect the government should know, when you’re overseas. That’s exactly what the (hotline) is for.”

    On Sunday, the French embassy advised its citizens to leave the Tokyo area for a few days if they did not have any particular reason to stay. It also advised nationals not to travel to Japan.

    In a written response to the Star’s request for comment, Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Priya Sinha said “Canadian officials at the Embassy of Canada in Tokyo are working with Japanese authorities to determine whether any additional Canadians have been injured in the aftermath of the earthquake and to determine how best Canada might support Japan in responding to this disaster.”

    The Canadian embassy in Tokyo is working to contact all 200 citizens registered in the area of the earthquake and has contacted more than half of them, Sinha added.

    There are currently 2,128 Canadian citizens registered with the Canadian embassy in Japan and an estimated 11,000 Canadians in Japan. Foreign Affairs is urging all Canadians in Japan to register with the Registration of Canadians Abroad service and contact their loved ones in Canada, even if they are safe.

    Foreign Affairs has received more than 6,000 phone calls from concerned Canadians both in Canada and Japan, according to Sinha.

    Sinha also said a Canadian consular official is now in hard-hit Sendai and is working to locate Canadians.

    In response to Japan’s nuclear emergency, the department posted on its website that “Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada advises against all travel within 20 kilometres of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant.”

    Its website also advises Canadians in the affected areas to call the Embassy of Canada in Tokyo or the Emergency Operations Centre in Ottawa.

    The department is currently advising against non-essential travel to the prefectures of Chiba, Miyagi, Ibaraki, Iwate, Fukushima and Aomori, and says Canadians should exercise caution in Tokyo.

    One Canadian has been killed in the disaster. André Lachapelle, a 76-year-old missionary from Quebec, was killed by the tsunami in Sendai, while trying to drive home.

    Power details….

    Tokyo Electric Power says it will ration electricity with rolling blackouts in parts of Tokyo and other Japanese other cities.

    The planned blackouts of about three hours each will start Monday. They are meant to help make up for a severe shortfall after key nuclear plants were left inoperable due to the earthquake and tsunami in northeastern Japan.

    Trade Minister Banri Kaieda said Sunday that the power utility expects a 25 per cent shortfall in capacity.

    France recommended its citizens leave the Tokyo region, citing the risk of further earthquakes and uncertainty about the nuclear plants.

    Authorities have set up a 20-km exclusion zone around the Fukushima Daiichi plant and a 10-km zone around another nuclear facility close by.

    Kan said food, water and other necessities such as blankets were being delivered by land transport but because of the damage to roads, they were considering air and sea transport. He also said the government was preparing to double the number of troops mobilized to 100,000.

    Thousands spent another freezing night huddled in blankets over heaters in emergency shelters along the northeastern coast, a scene of devastation after the quake sent a 10-metre wave surging through towns and cities in the Miyagi region, including its main coastal city of Sendai.

    In one of the heavily hit areas, Rikuzentakata, a city close to the coast, more than 1,000 people took refuge in a school high on a hill. Some were talking with friends and family around a stove. The radio was giving updates. On the walls were posters where names of survivors at the shelter were listed.

    The Bank of Japan is expected to pledge on Monday to supply as much money as needed to prevent the disaster from destabilizing markets and its banking system.

    It is also expected to signal its readiness to ease monetary policy further if the damage from the worst quake since records began in Japan 140 years ago threatens a fragile economic recovery.

    Before news of the problem with reactor No. 3, the UN nuclear safety agency said the plant accident was less serious than both the Three Mile Island accident in 1979 and Chernobyl.

    An official at the agency said it rated the incident a 4 according to the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES). Three Mile Island was rated 5 while Chernobyl was rated 7 on the 1 to 7 scale.

    The earthquake was the fifth most powerful to hit the world in the past century. It surpassed the Great Kanto quake of Sept. 1, 1923, which had a magnitude of 7.9 and killed more than 140,000 people in the Tokyo area.

    In this photo released by Nexco East Japan, a worker inspects a caved-in section of the Joban Motorway near Mito, Ibaraki Prefecture, after one of the largest earthquakes ever recorded in Japan slammed its eastern coast Friday, March 11, 2011.–third-explosion-in-four-days-rocks-japan-s-troubled-nuclear-plant

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