Save the Children Mobilizes Response to Massive Japan Earthquake

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TOKYO (March 11, 2011) — A massive earthquake has hit Japan triggering a deadly tsunami and raising warnings of more tsunamis across the Pacific basin. Japanese media report that the death toll is rising and hundreds are missing in the aftermath of the disaster. It is the worst earthquake to hit Japan in at least a century and has sparked dozens of fires, including in more than 30 buildings in Tokyo and an oil refinery near the city.

Save the Children's Eiichi Sadamatsu in central Toyko said, "This is a major natural disaster that has caused large scale damage along Japan's east coast. We are extremely concerned for the welfare of children and their families who have been affected by the disaster. We stand ready to meet the needs of children who are always the most vulnerable in a disaster.”

In Japan, flooding has caused people to scramble for higher ground on the island archipelago nation as houses and cars have been swept away. Tsunami warnings have been issued across the Pacific, including for Hawaii, California and Canada.

Save the Children is mobilizing its global resources to respond to the needs of children and families affected by the earthquake and its aftermath, and an international emergency team has been dispatched to assist staff in Japan. The humanitarian agency has been in Japan for 25 years, is in many of the other Pacific nations that could soon be hit by tsunamis, and was a major responder to the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that killed 225,000 people.

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