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ShelterBox responding to Japanese earthquake and tsunami

11/03/2011
A huge earthquake, measuring 8.9 in magnitude, has struck the north-eastern shore of Japan. The earthquake triggered a huge wave, or tsunami, to strike large areas of the country.

The tsunami, which is believed to have been 10 metres high, has left devastation in its path, sweeping away cars, ships, and entire buildings. Over 50 smaller earthquakes, known as aftershocks, have also been reported – many more than 6.0 in magnitude.

ShelterBox have immediately responded, with three ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) members en-route to the affected area. Many thousands of families are thought to have been made homeless by the disaster and the biggest need is expected to be shelter.

‘The scenes we’re seeing are catastrophic,’ said Lasse Peterson, one of the SRTs responding to the crisis. ‘Whole homes are being washed away and our thoughts go out to all the families who are facing this disaster.’

Earthquakes which strike underwater, as this one did, will often cause tsunamis. Countries throughout the Pacific region, including Russia, The Philippines and Taiwan, are now on tsunami alert. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre say a tsunami could even reach Chile – a country over 10,000 miles from Japan.

ShelterBox are continuing to monitor the situation and hundreds of ShelterBoxes are expected to be sent to the country in the weeks to come.