The earthquake and tsunami in Japan, March 2011 東北地方太平洋沖大地震情報

As I see the images of the destruction caused by the tsunami in northern Japan on Friday March 11, 2011,  I find myself wanting to know more.  As I search, I am overwhelmed by the amount of information that is available.   The first information I found was Al Jazeera doing some on-the-spot reporting, but soon I learned that most Japanese TV stations are available through ustream.  Videos of the earthquake and the tsunami have been posted on YouTube (as of the afternoon of March 11, more than 9,000 earthquake-related videos and 7,000 tsunami-related videos had been uploaded to YouTube).

Satellite photographs, too, have increased our understanding of the scale of the disaster.  The New York Times links to a series of photos from before and after the quake and tsunami: you can move the slider to compare satellite images, taken by GeoEye:  A series of KML files are available for download to view using Google Earth (Google Earth must be downloaded first).

Facebook, Twitter, Mixi and email have been used to let friends and family know of individual statuses, and technologies such as Google Docs have been used to share information – see, for instance, a spreadsheet on the status of faculty and graduate students at Tohoku University and Miyagi University:   The major cell phone companies have set up message boards to help people contact their friends, and Google has set up a person finder web app (see Google Crisis Response for more information as well as information about making donations, links to organizations, maps, and latest news).  Google Maps has been used to plot the damage to libraries in northern Japan with links to photos and their current situation,   Even NHK and US cable networks have been cooperating to provide free access to NHK in many cities.

Information about donations:



About Kristina Troost

Japanese Studies Librarian
This entry was posted in Current Events. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to The earthquake and tsunami in Japan, March 2011 東北地方太平洋沖大地震情報

  1. mpitelka says:

    The following useful information was also circulated on some of the Japan-related email lists:

    From: Helen E. Moss

    Hope this helps, and please pass it along.

    *Phone numbers to consult about missing persons: (Japanese language)
    *Iwate: 0120-801-471
    Miyagi: 022-221-2000
    Fukushima: 0120-510-186 / 090-8424-4207 / 090-8424-4208

    *Shelter information*

    – Shelter locations (Japanese

    *Local Japan Emergency dials:

    171 + 1 + line phone number to leave a message

    171 + 2 + line phone number to listen to the message

    *Disaster message boards*

    – NTT Docomo disaster message board:
    – KDDI/au disaster message board:
    – SoftBank disaster message board:
    – EMOBILE disaster message board:
    – WILLCOM disaster message board:

  2. Wikipedia already has a page on the earthquake — talk about the speed of technology. It comments that “The earthquake moved Honshu 2.4 m (7.9 ft) east and shifted the earth on its rotational axis by almost 10 cm (3.9 in).”

  3. Ann Waltner says:

    The Institute for Advanced Study at the University of Minnesota is organizing a series of interviews with people who have studied environmental movements and nuclear power in Japan. We aren’t aiming to provide current information, but rather context. The first interview is up–it’s Brett Walker–the url is
    If anyone who reads this would like to be interviewed (and is game for Skype–we have more imagination than we do budget) please contact me at A paltry response, but that (and what Kristina is doing here) and donating to the Red Cross are about all we can do.

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