A devastating tsunami and earthquake measuring 9.0 on the Richter scale, hit the north-east coast of Japan on Friday 11th March, claiming over 2,000 lives so far. In what is seen as the country’s biggest earthquake in its history, the death count is rising as Japan’s Government starts its emergency relief.
The extent of the destruction across Japan is slowly becoming clear as a further 10,000 people are feared dead or missing after the tremor triggered a tsunami that swept through cities, towns and villages. Towns such as Saito have been completely wiped out due to the Tsunami; although the country’s capital, Tokyo has escaped relatively unscathed. Around 450,000 people have been staying in temporary shelters.
While relief operations are underway, a state of emergency has been declared as the country still faces possible nuclear disaster. Tremors from the earthquake caused reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant to become unstable causing two explosions over the past few days and sending low but alarming levels of radiation into Tokyo.
Muslim Aid is monitoring the situation closely and has been in contact with partners in the region to discuss the needs of the affected people.