Nuclear Crisis: Evacuations of US Citizens From Japan To Begin On Thursday
Editorial Correction: The evacuation of US Citizens begins on Thursday. An earlier version of this article stated that it was on Friday.
Reporting from Tokyo, Japan
The US Embassy in Tokyo has officially announced that it will start evacuating American citizens and their families off Japan starting on Thursday, local Japan time. The Department of State cited the “deteriorating” nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Nuclear Plant as the reason to take Americans to “safehaven.”
According to an official message from the Warden to US Citizens in Japan, people wishing to leave can do so from Narita and Haneda International Airports. The Department of State will have chartered planes ready for evacuees.
The safehaven locations so far are in Korea and China — Seoul and Taipei respectively. Citizens wishing to go back to the US will have to make their own arrangement from these locations.
The current nuclear crisis is Japan has prompted foreigners to leave the island. Many European governments urged their citizens to leave since earlier in the week. Current radiation levels in Tokyo are still safe according to authorities, but they could rise if the reactors suffer a full meltdown.
Partial message from the Warden sent to US Citizens on Thursday at 3:00pm, Japan Local Time:
The U.S. Embassy in Tokyo informs U.S. citizens in Japan who wish to depart that the Department of State is making arrangements to provide transportation to safehaven locations in Asia. This assistance will be provided on a reimbursable basis, as required by U.S. law. U.S. citizens who travel on US government-arranged transport will be expected to make their own onward travel plans from the safehaven location. Flights to evacuation points will begin departing Japan on Thursday, March 17. There will be a limited number of seats available on evacuation flights departing from Narita and Haneda airports on March 17. Priority will be given to persons with medical emergencies or severe medical conditions.
Persons interested in departing Japan via USG-chartered transportation should proceed to Narita and Haneda airports or contact the US Department of State and Embassy Japan by sending an email to JapanEmergencyUSC@state.gov or by calling 1-202-501-4444. Please provide the following information:
Name, age, place of birth, U.S. passport number and any special medical needs.
Immediate family members (spouses and children) who are not U.S. citizens must be documented for entry into the safehaven country and/or U.S., if that is your final destination.