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UK asked to help aid Japan after earthquake disaster

Japan have requested help from the UK in the aid effort after the tsunami and earthquake have wrecked destruction killing hundreds of people.

The 8.9 magnitude earthquake caused a 10 meter tsunami which has laid waste to many areas of Japan, causing horrendous damage. The UK embassy in Tokyo is trying to contact British nationals in Japan after the earthquake struck. David Warren, Ambassador said that a long list of people are not accounted for have been made, after calls from relatives.

The earthquake hit the north east of Japan at 1446 local time, 0546GMT, causing a tsunami. There are around 17,000 British people living in Japan but so far none of them have been reported as killed.

The International Red Cross have said that the true extent of the damage is still not known, but that food, blankets, water and medical supplies are urgently needed.

Embassy and consular staff across the country have been in touch with local authorities and have been trying to make contact with British nationals. Another team of eight consular staff are flying into Japan from Hong Kong today to help.

“Our responsibility here at the embassy is to help British nationals who may have been caught up in this terrible event.

“Our main activity today is to make contact with British people. We have a long list of people not accounted for, drawn up from a large number of calls to our crisis centre in the UK, from families who are trying to make contact with family members or loved ones here in Japan.

“We are aiming to get through this list and confirm the safety of as many people as as we can. We don’t have any reports so far of British casualties but this is a major disaster, as we have all seen from the television, and the situation on the ground is very grave.”

The main bulk of British people living in Japan are in Tokyo and Osaka, but phone lines outside the major cities are still down.

Search and rescue teams from the UK, International Rescue Corps and Rapid UK, are on standby. Shelterbox, the charity which assembles boxes containing tents, bedding and other items have sent two officials to Japan to assess the need for assistance.

Search and rescue teams from 45 countries are ready to help the Japanese people, and the first to arrive will be from the US, New Zealand and Australia.

Many airlines have cancelled flights between London and Tokyo.

KitGuru says: Our thoughts are with the people in Japan.

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