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Japan earthquake and tsunami

A tsunami warning for virtually all of the Pacific region from Australia to Peru is in effect after a massive earthquake struck north-east Japan at 2:46 local time. The initial death toll a few hours after the quake was 32.

Tsunami warnings have been lifted for several Pacific countries close to 10 hours after the largest earthquake on record in Japan.

But tsunami waves are now approaching Hawaii, and countries on both sides of the Pacific remain on alert. Tsunami warnings are in effect for Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama, Honduras, Chile, Ecuador, Colombia and Peru, as well as Russia, Fiji, Taiwan, the Philippines, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.


The damage in Japan is significant and the death toll and number of missing continues to rise. Japanese television showed a surge of water striking coastal areas in Japan’s Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures. Multiple aftershocks followed the quake, reported the largest in 140 years.

UNICEF is closely monitoring the situation in Japan. The Government of Japan has invested significantly in earthquake and emergency response preparedness and has not requested UNICEF support at this time.

UNICEF continues to follow the situation including the movement of tsunami waves across the Pacific region. UNICEF has prepositioned staff and emergency supplies throughout the region to assist vulnerable children and families should the need arise.

To donate to UNICEF disaster relief, click here.

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