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Press Release

Fact Sheet on the Current Situation

March 13, 2011

In the interest of providing American citizens and other members of the public with the “facts on the ground” in the ongoing disaster and the relief assistance efforts, the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo has created the following Fact Sheet – which is a snapshot of the current situation.  We will update this information as the facts change and as we continue our coordination with the Government of Japan.

Consular Information

There are approximately 160,000 American citizens in Japan.

We are not aware of any confirmed reports of American casualties in Japan.

The State Department has received numerous inquiries on the welfare and whereabouts of specific U.S. citizens in Japan. The Embassy and the State Department are working around the clock to determine the whereabouts and well-being of these U.S. citizens.

The best information we have is that there are approximately 1,300 American citizens in the Japanese prefectures that were most affected by the earthquake and tsunami.

The Embassy is working to send consular officers to these affected prefectures today (March 13) to assist American citizens in those areas. At this time, we do not have information on how many of these American citizens may have left the area.

U.S. citizens in need of emergency consular assistance should send an e-mail to JapanEmergencyUSC@state.gov with detailed information about their location and contact information.  We also recommend U.S. citizens in Japan make contact with loved ones in the United States.

Please continue to monitor the Embassy's website for updated information, the U.S. Department of State’s website at http://travel.state.gov, and the Ambassador’s Twitter account: www.twitter.com/AmbassadorRoos.

Military Assistance

The USS Ronald Reagan has arrived in the coastal region of the affected area and has already begun assisting in search-and-rescue efforts.

Helicopters from the USS Ronald Reagan have done 20 missions to and from Japanese ships, and delivered food and supplies to three different towns.

USFJ will shortly begin commencing a search-and-rescue mission to Takada City in Iwate Prefecture in order to assist 640 persons who require evacuation. Eight H-60 helicopters from Atsugi will take part.

Three H-60 helicopters at Yokota AB are standing by for mission assignment.

Additional U.S. military forces are flowing into Marine Corps Base Iwakuni.

USAID Assistance

The USAID Disaster Assistance and Response Team has arrived in Japan and is working to coordinate the overall U.S. response effort with the U.S. Embassy. Additional DART members are expected, including experts from the U.S. Department of Energy, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to advise the DART team on nuclear issues as necessary. These additional members are expected to be on the ground in Japan by the late evening of March 13.

Urban Search and Rescue teams from Fairfax County and Los Angeles County have arrived at Misawa AB. The teams are comprised of approximately 150 personnel and 12 canines trained to detect live victims.

One cargo flight transporting life-saving search and rescue equipment arrived at Misawa AB on the morning of March 13. An additional cargo flight is expected to arrive the evening of March 13.

Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant

U.S. experts have been in close consultation with Japanese experts regarding the evolving situation at the Fukushima nuclear power plant.

We are encouraging U.S. citizens to heed the instructions of the Japanese civil defense authorities.

Japan’s Nuclear Industrial Safety Agency has recommended that people who live within 20 kilometers of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant in Okumacho evacuate the area immediately. No other evacuations have been recommended.

We will provide further updates on this situation as they become available.