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By STARS AND STRIPES Published: March 14, 2011

For the most recent version of the updates page, click here.

Stars and Stripes reporters across Japan and the world are sending disaster dispatches as they gather new facts, updated in real time. All times are local Tokyo time.


 

Japan soccer cancellations extended to early April

12:01 a.m.

The cancellation of soccer games in Japan has been extended into early April because of the devastation from the earthquake, tsunami and radiation leaks, The Associated Press reported

Japanese soccer authorities already had decided that the nation's two top leagues would not play for the rest of March. Japan's Kyodo news agency reported that clubs from those leagues met Tuesday in Tokyo and decided to call of games for April 2 and 3.

Aftershock hits

10:30 p.m. Tuesday local Tokyo time.

Temblor with preliminary magnitude of 6.0 reported near Shizuoka, about 100 miles southwest of Tokyo.

See a map of the latest aftershock from the Japan Meteorological Agency: http://www.jma.go.jp/en/quake/20110315223637391-152231.html (click on map to zoom in for better view)

-- Dave Ornauer
 

Misawa commander dispels evacuation rumors

10:34 p.m. Tuesday local Tokyo time

Col. Michael Rothstein, 35th Fighter Wing commander, took to AFN radio Tuesday evening to dispel rumors that Misawa Air Base personnel and families were  pending evacuation because of the nuclear crisis in Fukushima.

Rothstein stressed that Misawa was far enough away from Fukushima that it wouldn’t be impacted by any emergency at the nuclear facilities.

Rothstein said rumors had spread across Misawa, but promised he was not planning an evacuation.

-- T.D. Flack
 

BBC: Danger zone extended around Fukushima nuclear plant

10 p.m. Tuesday local Tokyo time

The BBC is reporting in the last hour that Japanese officials have extended the danger zone around the quake-stricken Fukushima nuclear plant to 18 miles, warning residents to evacuate the area or stay indoors.

Japan also announced an 18-mile no-fly zone around the reactors to prevent planes from spreading the radiation further, according to the BBC.

This latest warnings come after the plant was stricken by a third reactor explosion in four days, the latest of which appears to have damaged one of the reactors’ containment systems for the first time, raising the specter of a more serious radioactive leak.

A fire also briefly broke out at the plant’s reactor 4 Tuesday, BBC reports, although that reactor had been shut down for maintenance before Friday’s 9.0 earthquake.

In other developments reported by the BBC:

-- A 70-year-old woman has been rescued alive from rubble in the coastal town of Otsuchi, five days after the disaster.

-- Ninety-one countries have offered aid to Japan, everything from blankets to search dogs and military transport aircraft.

-- Geoff Ziezulewicz
 

Red Cross website links Japan-based troops to home

9:45 p.m. Tuesday local Tokyo time

Red Cross officials are encouraging U.S. servicemembers and families serving in Japan to register with an online resource intended to keep family and friends informed of their welfare.

Overseas military members and families can relay their status and pass on messages to loved ones through the American Red Cross-sponsored "Safe and Well" website at http://redcross.org.

"It's a great online tool," Deanna Swanier, senior director of service delivery for the American Red Cross' Service to the Armed Forces, told American Forces Press Service. "Family members back here can visit the website and look up loved ones to see if they're safe."

Hours after the earthquake and tsunami struck Friday, officials confirmed U.S. military personnel and their families were accounted for. Still, family and friends were seeking information.

Family and friends not in Japan can access the messages by entering the servicemember's pre-disaster phone number or complete home address. They can't, however, register themselves on the site. The site is intended to facilitate communication from inside the disaster-affected areas to families outside.

The International Committee of the Red Cross has launched a special "Family Links" website to help people seeking to re-establish contact with family members and friends. People in Japan and other countries in the Pacific can register at http://www.icrc.org/familylinks to inform family and friends they are safe and provide their current contact information.

People in the United States looking for loved ones can check the list for information. They also can register the names of family members and friends, encouraging them to get in touch.

Additionally, people can contact or locate U.S. citizens living or traveling in Japan by calling the State Department's office of overseas citizens' services at 1-888-407-4747 or 202-647-5225.

-- Sandra Jontz

Factbox: Japan disaster in figures

9:29 p.m. Tuesday local Tokyo time

The Reuters news agency has compiled a facts and figures list detailing the toll the massive quake and ensuing tsunami have taken on the area.

For a review, visit: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/15/us-japan-quake-numbers-idUSTRE72E38620110315

--Sandra Jontz
 

31ST MEU headed for Japan coastline

8:25 p.m. Tuesday local Tokyo time

The 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, embarked aboard three ships of Amphibious Squadron 11, is heading to Japan to support the ongoing relief effort Operation Tomodachi. which in Japanese means “friendship.”

The MEU is expected to arrive Wednesday, according to a news release. The Marines will provide logistical support to the Japan Self-Defense Force at their request.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to our close friends and allies in Japan during this difficult time,” Col. Andrew MacMannis, commanding officer of the 31st MEU, said in a statement. “We are repositioning to be ready to support to our Japanese partners. Our support will compliment the services that the Government of Japan is already providing. We stand ready to help our partners in need as they work tirelessly to respond to this evolving crisis.”

With the JSDF leading Operation Tomodachi, U.S. defense personnel and equipment will provide search-and-rescue provisions, medical services, food, shelter, command and control, fuel and other capabilities, the release stated.

 

Ironically, the 31st MEU and Amphibious Squadron 11 were planning for a disaster relief exercise when actual disaster hit and units were called. 

--Sandra Jontz
 

Lufthansa re-routs away from Tokyo over radiation concerns

8:12 p.m. local Tokyo time

German newspaper Bild-Zeitung is reporting that German airline Lufthansa has stopped flying to Tokyo due to radiation concerns. Two Tokyo-bound flights, one each from Munich and Frankfurt, have been diverted Osaka and Nagoya.

 -- Marcus Kloeckner

 DOD temporarily blocks Websites  

7:22 p.m. local Tokyo time

Got this press release from Lawrence Torres III of the 5th Signal Command Public Affairs Officer:

WIESBADEN, Germany (March 15, 2011) –  In response to increased network demands to support Humanitarian Aid/Disaster Relief efforts in the Pacific, the DOD has directed temporary blocking of the following Web sites on government computers until further notice:

Youtube.com, Googlevideo.com, Amazon.com, ESPN.go.com, Ebay.com, Doubleclick.com, Eyewonder.com, Pandora.com, streamtheworld.com, Mtv.com, Ifilm.com, Myspace.com and Metacafe.com.

Facebook was left open to allow servicemembers to contact friends and family affected by the disaster.

Anyone in Japan or anywhere else seeing the same restrictions?

-- Pat Dickson
 

No disruption to Commissary ops

7:12 p.m. local Tokyo time

Got this update from Kevin Robinson at DeCA HQ in Virginia:

"All commissaries in Japan are open normal operating hours and fully operational. All staff and their family members have been accounted for and are safe. We are closely monitoring the situation for impact on the supply chain.

"Bread, water, batteries and candles from Yokota Air Base were delivered to the Misawa Commissary on Monday.  Bread is baked at the AAFES bakery at Yokota Air Base and on the same delivery truck DeCA added batteries and other items.

"The ports in Japan are open and all DeCA Central Distribution Centers are receiving normal deliveries. DeCA’s Central Distribution Centers in Tokyo (Kanto Plain area) received shipments from the port on Monday. Shipments from the central distribution centers to the commissaries are operating on normal schedule.

"DeCA’s Central Distribution centers were fully stocked at the time of the earthquake and they maintain a balance on hand to carry through emergency situations such as this. "We do not anticipate any significant problems with stocking the commissaries. However, as part of our contingency planning DeCA is coordinating with its business partners to develop alternative delivery methods in the event of a future transportation or supply disruption.

"The Misawa Commissary receives its product directly from the port. The Misawa Commissary is a self supporting store with its own warehouse. The Misawa Commissary warehouse was also fully stocked at the time of the earthquake. Miscellaneous items that may be needed at the Misawa Commissary will be brought up from our other central distribution centers.

"All stores on mainland Japan and Okinawa are open regular operating hours. There has been no disruption in deliveries to our central distribution center or commissaries on Okinawa.  We are working with the commands to provide all necessary levels of support.

Thanks, Kevin.  Keeps us informed!

-- Pat Dickson
 

AFN Tokyo Facebook page dedicated to relief efforts info

 6:45 p.m. Tuesday local Tokyo time

A special page has been set up for information on U.S. military relief efforts, dubbed Operations Tomodachi. The site is http://bit.ly/eJ1G2X.

Get the latest from military's reporters covering the relief effort.

-- Dave Ornauer
 

Misawa Exchange re-opens; officials expect no lasting shortages

Sgt. 1st Class Jon Cupp, a Public affairs officer with AAFES-Pacific, sent me a note overnight.  Here's the lowdown:

"Due to the effects of the earthquake, the Misawa BX closed its doors Friday at 3 p.m. and we transferred items from non-operating facilities to other Misawa Exchange facilities to ensure customers had the items they needed.  The Misawa BX re-opened yesterday (March 14 at 12 p.m. Japan Standard Time).

"Our bakery at Yokota produced and shipped extra bread to the Misawa commissary and Shoppette this past weekend.  This was a regular delivery, however, the bakery increased the production of bread to ensure we were meeting the needs of the community.

"Our distribution center located on Yokota Air Base has already completed two deliveries to Misawa retail facilities and we can expect no impact to our regularly recurring deliveries to these facilities."

Big thanks, Jon.  Keep us posted. 

-- Pat Dickson
 

Yokota extends post office hours

6:17 p.m. Tuesday local Tokyo time

The Yokota post office has extended its parcel pick-up hours starting today due to ongoing relief operations, according to base officials.

The  hours will be 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. daily until further notice. Packages will also be held longer for 30 days versus the normal 15 days. Base officials also added mail is currently flowing normally through Narita Airport. For more information call DSN 225-3957.

-Grant Okubo
 

Kadena airmen push forward to Yokota

6:16 p.m. Tuesday local Tokyo time

From Kadena Air Base's 18th Wing public affairs office:
Aircrews from Kadena conducted missions Monday, which included transporting members of the Japanese police, transporting a Japanese citizen with a broken leg, and delivering crucial water and supplies to areas in need.

In addition, a contingent of air controllers from the 623rd Air Control Squadron out of Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, arrived at Yokota Air Base to assist in directing the ever-increasing rescue operations.  Furthermore, in order to facilitate a faster turn-around for rescue and helicopter refueling aircraft at Yokota, a forward area refueling point team was sent to provide rapid aircraft refueling capability.

An additional 15 airmen from the 353rd Special Operations Group, also from Kadena, have departed Monday with support equipment and relief supplies on a MC-130H Combat Talon II to support humanitarian relief operations being staged out of Yokota. The airmen are highly-trained medical, communication and maintenance specialists capable of providing support in some of the most austere environments. The 353rd SOG now has about 115 airmen and three aircraft deployed to support the Japanese government.

Kadena airmen also sent forward 20,000 pounds of bottled water, donated by the Defense Commissary Agency, for relief staging out of Misawa Air Base in northern Japan. They are also arranging the transportation for a U.S. Army veterinary services team going north to provide support to search and rescue canines there.

Kadena has additional resources available to support the disaster relief in mainland Japan and stands by to provide the support if called upon.

-- Dave Ornauer
 

Yokota Air Base commander messages via Facebook

6 p.m. Tuesday local Tokyo time

From Yokota Air Base's Facebook page, about 5 p.m.:

‎"Team Yokota, My #1 concern is the safety of this installation. Rest assured, we are continuously testing the air here at multiple locations and our results show no abnormal levels of radiation at Yokota. We will let you know if Higher Headquarters directs further action for the whole of the region and respond appropriately."

--Col Paul "Otto" Feather, Commander, 374th Airlift Wing.

-- Dave Ornauer
 

Power shut down at Atsugi

5:20 p.m. Tuesday local Tokyo time

TOKYO – Naval Air Facility Atsugi is currently without power due to a planned blackout in the area. Electricity is expected back on around 7 p.m., officials said.

- Chris Carlson
 

Japanese ordered indoors in radiation leak crisis

4:20 p.m. Tuesday local Tokyo time

From the Associated Press:

High levels of radiation leaked from a crippled nuclear plant in tsunami-ravaged northeastern Japan after a third reactor was rocked by an explosion Tuesday and a fourth caught fire in a dramatic escalation of the 4-day-old catastrophe. The government warned 140,000 people nearby to stay indoors to avoid exposure.

Tokyo also reported slightly elevated radiation levels, but officials said the increase was too small to threaten the 39 million people in and around the capital, about 170 miles away.

Read more at: http://tinyurl.com/4lnvgmn
 

374th Air Wing Commander talks to his people -- full audio

3:50 p.m. Tuesday local Tokyo time

Col. Paul Feather, commander of the 374th Air Wing and subject matter experts discuss recent events in Japan with the base population answering questions and quelling concerns.

He first briefs on the possibility of nuclear meltdown.
"This is a circumstance that is imminently controllable."

http://vimeo.com/21012896

Update from Ofunato

2:45 p.m. Tuesday local Tokyo time

Stars and Stripes reporters Travis Tritten and T.D. Flack are with U.S. and British search-and-rescue teams in the devastated town of Ofunato in the Iwate prefecture.
Here’s their latest dispatch from the road:

U.S. rescue teams had found no survivors in the town of Ofunato by midday Tuesday. Rescue teams from Fairfax, Va., and Los Angeles had fanned out over a city that had been largely demolished by tsunamis caused by the Friday’s largest earthquake in Japan history.

The teams were going through residences and businesses, climbing through rubble and breaking down locked doors in search of some of the hundreds of missing people in this devastated fishing village.

For today, efforts will wrap up at 5 p.m. because of safety concerns of working at night and the threat of tsunamis, Japanese officials said.

It’s uncertain how long they will be operating in the city. 

- Chris Carlson

Yokosuka schools to run normally tomorrow

2:30 p.m. Tuesday local Tokyo time

Yokosuka schools will operate at normal hours Wednesday, according to base officials.

- Erik Slavin

Yokosuka seeks volunteers for donating to earthquake victims

2:30 p.m.

The Yokosuka Middle School Parent-Teacher Organization is seeking volunteers to help with sorting and packing donations for earthquake victims. To volunteer, go to Niban Tower starting today through Monday, March 21, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

- Erik Slavin

Misawa schools to remain closed Wednesday

1:50 p.m.

Misawa schools will remain closed tomorrow due to limited power availability, according to Department of Defense Education Activity Pacific.  All Misawa school employees are asked to check in with their school administrator or supervisor via phone or e-mail tomorrow.

- Tim Wightman

Tokyo experiencing small increase in radiation

1:35 p.m. 

 TOKYO - Slightly higher-than-normal radiation levels have been detected in Tokyo, but officials say there are no health dangers, The Associated Press is reporting. 

"The amount is extremely small, and it does not raise health concerns. It will not affect us," said Tokyo government official Takayuki Fujiki.

- Tim Wightman

Atsugi CO: base radiation levels not dangerous, but limit outdoor activities

1:15 p.m.

Broadcast over the loudspeakers at Naval Air Facility Atsugi by base commander Capt. Eric Gardner:
I have received further information from Commander Naval Forces Japan pertaining to the levels of radioactivity in the local area. Currently readings are very low. They are well below U.S. Federal radiation exposure limits. However, Commander Naval Forces Japan has recommended that we continue limiting outdoor activities and securing external ventilation systems as much as practical … walking outdoors, breathing outdoors is fine, but you should limit outdoor activities and secure ventilation systems as much as practical. We will continue to monitor outside air quality and maintain information flow onboard Atsugi. Additionally, we will hold a town hall meeting at the cinema 77 at 1930 tonight to explain the situation and answer any of your questions. That is all.

- Erik Slavin

 

Rolling blackouts planned for Camp Zama, Sagami  

1:14 p.m.

From U.S. Army Japan Facebook page:
Camp Zama and Sagami Housing Area residents may experience rolling blackouts today from 3:20 p.m. to 7 p.m. Also Sagami General Depot may experience blackouts today  from 12:20 p.m. to 4 p.m.
 

- Grant Okubo

Hardy Barracks in Tokyo open for business

12:56 p.m.

Hardy Barracks in Tokyo reopened for business Tuesday after the earthquake caused it to close Friday, Camp Zama officials said.
Department of Public Works engineers have inspected and validated the building's structural integrity, they said.
“We wanted to make sure the integrity of the building was secure before we moved anyone back in,” said Ed Roper, U.S. Army Garrison-Japan Public Affairs Officer.
 

- Grant Okubo

Power plant reactor fire extinguished

12:30 p.m.

TOKYO – Japan's nuclear safety agency says a fire in a reactor at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in tsunami-ravaged northeastern Japan has been extinguished, The Associated Press is reporting.
The fire broke out Tuesday at the nuclear plant, located in one of the provinces hardest-hit by last week's massive earthquake and tsunami.
Radiation continues to spew from the plant, prompting Prime Minister Naoto Kan - in a nationally televised statement - to tell people living within 19 miles of the complex to stay indoors to avoid possible radiation sickness.
 

- Tim Wightman

Kan telling people near Fukushima complex to stay indoors

11:45 a.m.

TOKYO – Japan Prime Minister Naoto Kan has told people living within 19 miles (30 kilometers) of the Fukushima Dai-ichi complex to stay indoors or risk getting radiation sickness, The Associated Press is reporting.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said Tuesday that a fourth reactor at the Fukushima Dai-ichi complex was on fire and that more radiation was released.
Kan also warned that more leaks could occur.
 

- Tim Wightman

Yokota CO on AFN radio at 11:30 a.m.

11:20 a.m.

Col. Otto Feather, 374th Airlift Wing commander, will be live on Eagle 810 today at 1130. Tune in for updates.

-- Dave Ornauer
 

DODEA cancels high school sports in Japan for March

11:20 a.m.

From DODEA Japan district office: High school sports for the rest of the month have been canceled, due to ongoing concerns over transportation and fuel shortages, and new concerns over the nuclear reactor explosion at Fukushima. Japan tournaments scheduled for March 24-26 could be moved to a later date.
 

- Dave Ornauer

Camp Zama expects gas supply to arrive Wednesday

11:10 a.m.


From US Army Japan & I Corps Forward Facebook page. 8 hours ago:
Camp Zama gas station is still without gas. The gas resupply shipment for Zama will arrive on Wednesday. Sagami Depot gas station is open for business. Camp Zama officials advises its drivers to limit driving to essential movement only.
 

- Grant Okubo

Power plant explosion may have caused radiation leak

10:55 a.m.

TOKYO - The early Tuesday explosion at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant may have damaged a reactor’s container, leading Japan’s nuclear safety agency to suspect a radiation leak, The Associated Press is reporting.
According to agency spokesman Shigekazu Omukai, the nuclear core of Unit 2 of the plant was not damaged in the explosion. But the agency suspects damage to the bottom of the container that surrounds the generator’s nuclear core, which could've caused radiation to escape.  
 

- Tim Wightman

Facebook, Twitter unblocked by DODEA

10:34 a.m.

From DODEA Pacific Facebook page, 17 hours ago:
Facebook, Twitter unblocked on DODEA computer systems
EQ & TSUNAMI UPDATE: Dear DoDEA Pacific team, Facebook and Twitter have been unblocked at your schools and offices. :) We will continue to provide updates in many ways (internal e-mails, AFN, Stars & Stripes, social media, official web sites, etc.) but this page should now be available at your school.
 

- Dave Ornauer

Update on low levels of radiation detected at Yokosuka, Atsugi

9:55 a.m.

NAVAL AIR FACILITY ATSUGI, Japan - A level of 0.5 millirems of radiation was detected at Atsugi and similarly low levels at Yokosuka, base officials said. The radiation was detected coming from winds blowing from the northeast.
“We’re not expecting this to last long,” said Atsugi public affairs officer Tim McGough. “Winds should be changing early this afternoon, we’re told.”
Minutes earlier, the following announcement from the base commander was heard over the base’s loudspeaker:
"According to [Commander Naval Forces Japan] Rear Adm. Wren, a third reactor at Fukushima nuclear plant has exploded. Radiation has been detected at extremely low levels at Yokosuka and Atsugi. Radiation is at the levels of an [inaudible word] X-ray; however, to be to the most ... conservative, I request we all shelter in place, stay indoors and close all ventilation sources and close windows. This will minimize exposure to less than 30 percent of you being outdoors.
“Again ... very, very extremely low level: lower than a tooth X-ray at the dentist. But to follow the most conservative approach I request that you do this. For questions, please contact our public affairs line, 264-4453."

Atsugi is planning an all-hands meeting later this evening.
- Erik Slavin

Low levels of radiation detected at Yokosuka Atsugi

9:35 a.m.

NAVAL AIR FACILITY ATSUGI, Japan – The following was heard over the loudspeaker at Atsugi moments ago from the base commander:
 
"According to [Commander Naval Forces Japan] Rear Adm. Wren, a third reactor at Fukushima nuclear plant has exploded. Radiation has been detected at extremely low levels at Yokosuka and Atsugi. Radiation is at the levels of an [inaudible word] X-ray; however, to be to the most ... conservative, I request we all shelter in place, stay indoors and close all ventilation sources and close windows. This will minimize exposure to less than 30 percent of you being outdoors.
“Again ... very, very extremely low level: lower than a tooth X-ray at the dentist. But to follow the most conservative approach I request that you do this. For questions, please contact our public affairs line, 264-4453."

- Erik Slavin

Explosion reported at nuclear plant

8:38 a.m.

TOKYO -  An explosion has been heard at Unit 2 of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant, The Associated Press is reporting. A spokesman for Japan's nuclear safety agency said on national television that the explosion was heard at 6:10 a.m.
No other details were immediately announced.
Trouble began at the Fukushima Dai-ichi complex began when Friday's deadly earthquake and tsunami in Japan's northeast knocked out power, crippling cooling systems needed to keep nuclear fuel from melting down.

– Chris Carlson

Yokota blackout canceled

8:05 a.m.

The planned power outage at Yokota Air Base today has been canceled, officials said. Power was to be shut down from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. Yokota officials said to watch AFN for power outage notifications.

–Chris Carlson

Update to story on search-and-rescue teams

7:38 a.m. Tuesday, Tokyo time

SUMITA, Japan — A small contingency from U.S. and British search-and-rescue teams left base camp here at daybreak Tuesday en route to  a Japanese fishing village devastated by Friday’s deadly quake and follow-on tsunami.

Airmen from Misawa Air Base’s  35th Logistical Readiness Squadron are driving the vehicles as the group travels the final 12 miles to  the town of Ofunato in Iwate prefecture.

Read more here.

--Jeff Schogol

Confusion from deadly catastrophe spreading; nearly 6,000 dead or missing

5:05 a.m. Tuesday, Tokyo time

The number of the dead or unaccounted for following the magnitude 9.0 quake has reached about 5,900 early Tuesday, after roughly 1,000 bodies were found on several shores on the Oshika Peninsula in Miyagi Prefecture, reports Japan's Kyodo news service. Police and firefighters were working to recover another 200 to 300 bodies in Sendai, the capital of Miyagi.

- Sandra Jontz
 

Significant needs remain in remote quake and tsunami-hit areas

3:50 a.m. Tuesday, Tokyo time

Although many of the injured following Friday's devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan have been evacuated by helicopter from areas hardest hit, team members with the international aid group Doctors Without Borders report that many elderly people remain amid the devastation; some of whom were dehydrated, a group coordinator said in a report posted on the organization's website.

“The chronic diseases of some of these elderly people are a cause for concern,” team coordinator Mikiko Dotsu said in the site posting.
 
Doctors Without Borders now is identifying specific needs -- including oxygen, non-food items, medical items and water -- and will work with Japanese authorities to assist these populations.

More organization personnel are standing by in Japan and other countries to head to the hard-hit Miyagi prefecture to increase help; and it continues to monitor the situation around the Fukushima nuclear power plants.

- Sandra Jontz

U.S. Navy has 8 ships near Japan, 5 more en route

3:40 a.m. Tuesday, Tokyo time
 
Eight U.S. Navy ships, including the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, were assisting with rescue and recovery operations Monday in quake-hit Japan, with five others on the way, a Pentagon official has said. "We currently have eight ships stationed east of Honshu -- five more on the way," said Pentagon spokesman Marine Col. David Lapan told the AFP.
 
- Sandra Jontz
 

Reagan captain says radiation levels not a concern

3:39 a.m. Tuesday, Tokyo time

The U.S.S. Ronald Reagan’s commanding officer has posted a message on the ship’s Facebook page to assure the crew’s friends and family that the radiation levels sailors were exposed to were very low.

“To put this into perspective, the maximum radiation dose received was equal to the amount of natural background radiation one would receive in one month from sources such as rocks, soil and the sun,” Capt. Thom Burke said in the message. “I have not seen any levels of radiation or contamination that would cause me to have any significant concerns at all."

-- Jeff Schogol
 

Trains will be affected by planned rolling blackouts in Kanto area on Tuesday

1:45 a.m. Tuesday, Tokyo time

TOKYO - Due to rolling blackouts planned for Tuesday in Kanto area, train schedules will be affected.

Here are list of trains that are running Tuesday as of 1:45 a.m. All lines are operating with fewer trains than usual. There could also be schedule changes.

JR East: Yamanote, Tokaido (between Tokyo and Odawara stations), Yokosuka (between Tokyo and Zushi stations), Chuo Rapid (between Tokyo and Takao stations), Keihin Tohoku/Negishi (between Omiya and Ofuna stations), Nambu (between Kawasaki and Tachikawa stations), Ome (between Tachikawa and Haijima stations) lines and Joetsu and Nagano shinkansen.

Tokyo Metro: All lines (will only operate about 50 percent of number of trains that are usually running)

Toei subways: Asakusa, Mita, Shinjuku and Oedo lines (will only operate about 70 percent of number of trains that are usually running)

Seibu: Ikebukuro (between Ikebukuro and Nerimatakanodai stations), Toshima (between Nerima and Toshimaen stations) and Shinjuku (between Seibu Shinjuku and Saginomiya stations)

Keikyu: All lines will be operated on Saturday and weekend time schedule. Trains will also be suspended between Kanazawa Hakkei and Uraga stations on Keikyu Honsen line from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Kurihama line will also be suspended between 6 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Tokyu: All lines. Toyoko line will only operate local trains and will operate only about 70 percent of number of trains that are usually running. Denentoshi line will only operate local trains and will only operate about 50 percent of number of trains that are usually running.

Odakyu: Odawara line will operate between Shinjuku and Sagami Ono stations from the first train until 11:50 a.m. and from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and between Shinjuku and Kyodo stations from 11:50 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. It will run from Shinjuku and Odawara stations from 7:30 p.m. until the last train. Enoshima and Tama lines will only operate between from the first train until 11:50 a.m.

Keio: All lines will operate about 80 percent of number of trains that are usually running. However, trains will not go west of Chofu station between 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Sotetsu: All lines. However, it will not operate between Futamatagawa and Ebina stations from 2 p.m. to 10:40 p.m.

-Hana Kusumoto

Rolling blackout planned on Tuesday

12: 49 a.m.. Tuesday, Tokyo time

Tokyo Electric Power Company announced that it plans to conduct rolling blackouts on Tuesday from 6:20 a.m. to 10 p.m.

The company divided Tokyo and five prefectures where they provide power into five groups and will conduct rolling blackouts for about three hours during the time slots assigned to each group.

TEPCO had announced that it will conduct rolling blackouts on Monday from 6:20 a.m. to 10 p.m. However, TEPCO did not conduct blackouts except for between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. since many businesses saved power, especially train companies, which reduced the number of trains running.

But fewer trains caused confusion for commuters. Many commuters flooded train stations, waiting for trains to come.

Here are the list of cities and their groups that are located near U.S. military installations. Only part of the areas listed will be effected by the blackouts.

This is not the complete list. This is a plan and could change.

Group 3: from 6:20 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Tokyo - - Hamura city, Akishima city, Musashimurayama city, Higashiyamato city, Hachioji city, Higashimurayama city and Fussa city.

Kanagawa prefecture - Tsurumi-ku, Kanagawa-ku, Naka-ku, Minami-ku, Hodogaya-ku, Kohoku-ku, Totsuka-ku, Konan-ku, Sakae-ku and Izumi-ku in Yokohama city, Yokosuka city, Zushi city, Miura city, Hadano city and Hayama town.

Group 4: from 9:20 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Tokyo - Akishima city, Machida city, Hachioji city, Higashimurayama city

Kanagawa prefecture - Tsurumi-ku and Kohoku-ku in Yokohama city, Chuo-ku, Minami-ku and Midori-ku in Sagamihara city, Atsugi city, Isehara city, Zama city and Aikawa town.

Group 5: From 12:20 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Tokyo - Machida city

Kanagawa prefecture - Minami-ku, Isogo-ku, Totsuka-ku, Konan-ku, Midori-ku, Sakae-ku, Aoba-ku and Tsuzuki-ku in Yokohama city, Midori-ku, Chuo-ku and Minato-ku in Sagamihara city, Hiratsuka city, Kamakura city, Fujisawa city, Chigasaki city, Hadano city, Atsugi city, Isesaki city, Ebina city, Zama city, Samukawa town and Oiso town.

Group 1: from 3:20 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Tokyo - Higashimurayama city

Kanagawa prefecture - Isogo-ku, Kanazawa-ku, Totsuka-ku, Konan-ku, Sakae-ku and Izumi-ku in Yokohama city, Sagamihara city, Yokosuka city, Totsuka city, Kamakura city, Fujisawa city, Chigasaki city, Zushi city, Sagamihara city, Atsugi city, Yamato city, Isehara city, Ebina city, Zama city, Ayase city, Hayama town and Samukawa town.

Shizuoka prefecture - Gotemba city

Group 2: From 6:20 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Tokyo - Akishima city, Machida city and Hachioji city

Kanagawa prefecture - Hodogaya-ku, Asahi-ku, Midori-ku and Seta-ku in Yokohama city, Chuo-ku, Midori-ku and Minami-ku in Sagamihara city, Hiratsuka city, Chigasaki city, Hadano city, Yamato city, Zama city, Ayase city, Samikawa town, Oiso town, Ninomiya town and Nakai town.

Shizuoka prefecture - Gotemba city 

-Hana Kusumoto

Verizon makes calls free to Japan

From March 11 to April 10 Verizon will offer free calls and text messages to Japan for Verizon post-paid customers.

-Felicia White

Donation Info

12:11 a.m. Tuesday, Tokyo time

The Yokosuka Navy Exchange will post a box in front of the store for blankets, clothing, baby items and personal hygiene donations starting Tuesday. The Chapel of Hope is also accepting monetary donations.

-Erik Slavin

Yokota power outage Tuesday

10:30 p.m. Monday, Tokyo time

There will be a scheduled power outage Tuesday at Yokota Air Base between 6:30 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. The power outage will be a total of 3 hours in duration, starting between 6:30 a.m. and 7 a.m., according to message posted on the base's Facebook page.

-- Dave Ornauer

The road to Ofunato

9:05 p.m. Monday, Tokyo time

Stars and Stripes reporters Travis Tritten and T.D. Flack are traveling with U.S. and British search-and-rescue teams to the devastated town of Ofunato in Iwate prefecture.

Here’s their latest dispatch from the road:

The teams are bedding down for the evening in a school gymnasium in the town of Sumita, about 12 miles from our destination. Japanese officials deemed it too dangerous to begin the search-and-rescue mission at night because of the ongoing threat of a tsunami and the fact that another quake shook the area this afternoon. The teams will begin operations at daybreak. They seem to be taking it in stride.

- Chris Carlson

See previous posts here.

 

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