Canadian Gov't Sets Up Comprehensive Contact Page To Inquire About Loved Ones In Japan, How To Donate

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Japan MapThe Canadian government is suggesting that Canadians wanting to help victims of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami should give money, not clothing or food. The web site for Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade lists everything from contact numbers to inquire about friends and family in Japan to the web site for Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan's and the Embassy of Canada to Japan; and lots of ways Canadian citizens and companies can help.

On March 11, an 9.0 magnitude earthquake - the most powerful recorded in history, according to the U.S. Geological Survey - with a depth of 24.4 kilometres, struck Japan's east coast of Honshu, and triggered a tsunami.  A significant series of aftershocks, ranging from 5.8 to 7.1 in magnitude followed in the same area.

As of today (March 15), at least 6,746 people are missing, Japan's National Police Agency said.
On the Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada site, it states "We are aware of the death of one Canadian citizen as a result of the earthquake at this time."  It says there are an estimated 11,000 Canadians in Japan; more than 2,400 Canadian citizens registered with the Canadian embassy in Japan but "very few" in the affected area.

Officials at Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada in Ottawa and at the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo are working to determine the fate of any Canadians living or visiting Japan.

Canadians seeking emergency consular assistance in the area should contact the Emergency Operations Centre or call 613-944-2471 (or 613-996-8885) collect. The Operations Centre of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada operates 24-7. Canadians in Japan should register with the Registration of Canadians Abroad service. There are also link to the Embassy of Canada: Local Information for Canadians in Japan and Assistance for Canadians in Japan and affected areas.

On the website it states that "Canada is offering an array of expertise and technical assistance to the Government of Japan as part of international efforts to help Japan respond to and recover from the devastating earthquake. These include a 17-member Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) team, as well as chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) technical expertise and equipment. Canada is offering Canadian Forces assets—including strategic airlift and personnel—to facilitate humanitarian relief efforts in addition to relief stocks, and emergency medical and engineering capabilities.

"In total, some 13 Canadian federal departments and agencies are collaborating within Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada's Task Force on Natural Disasters Abroad.

"In addition, Canadian government officials have been in contact with the United Nations and the International Red Cross, as both organizations have dispatched disaster-assessment teams to Japan.

"The Government of Canada is also working in close coordination with provincial and territorial authorities and stands ready to respond to other specific requests for assistance."

Canadians who believe that they have Canadian friends or family who may be affected to call the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade at 613-944-2471 (613-943- 1055), or toll free within Canada at 1-800-606-5499 (or 1-800-387-3124), or email sos@international.gc.ca.

Canadians in the area should contact and reassure their loved ones, even if they have not been affected by this event. Canadians should register with the Registration of Canadians Abroad (ROCA) service."Canadian citizens in Japan requiring emergency consular assistance should contact the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo at 011-81-3-5412-6200, or call DFAIT's Emergency Operations Centre collect at 613-944-2471 (or 613-996-8885). An email can also be sent to sos@international.gc.ca.

To donate money:

Canadian Red Cross - www.redcross.ca - Japan Earthquake/Asia-Pacific Tsunami fund. Phone: 1-800-418-1111 or text ASIA to 30333 to donate $5.

Humanitarian Coalition - www.together.ca or www.msf.ca -  CARE Canada, Oxfam Canada, Oxfam-Québec and Save the Children Canada - have joined forces for Japan relief.  Phone: 1-800-464-9154

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