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wednesday, april 20: It is now nearly six weeks since the earthquake and tsunami destroyed swathes of Japan’s coastline. A huge clean up operation has been underway since the disaster struck and the Japanese authorities are making strong progress as Japan rises back to her feet. 

The cherry blossom in Japan’s north is starting to bloom, a sign the weather is beginning to turn and the cold weather is coming to an end, a key factor as families begin to leave crowded evacuation centers. ShelterBox continues to work throughout the coastal areas affected, helping families affected by the disaster as they begin to rebuild their lives. 

Tuesday, April 5: ShelterBox Response Teams (SRTs) continue to work along the affected areas of Japan’s north east coast. They are delivering emergency shelter and lifesaving supplies to families who lost all they had when the tsunami struck.

In Yamamoto, a town near Sendai, SRT members Ian Neal (UK) and Mark Dyer (US) found 30 families living in cars outside an evacuation center. The families' homes were destroyed when the tsunami hit and they have been living in their cars ever since. 

ShelterBoxes have now been delivered to all 30 families as they attempt to rebuild their lives. 

 friday, april 1: 1,574 ShelterBoxes have now been committed to helping families affected by the earthquake and tsunami that ravaged Japan three weeks ago. Thousands more ShelterBoxes are on standby should they be required. Alongside this, more than 10,000 of ShelterBox’s winter gloves, scarves and hats are being sent to Japan as the freezing conditions continue.

monday, march 28: Japanese Prefectural government officials have been welcoming the work of ShelterBox following the devastating Tsunami that stuck the country on March 11.

The Japanese government has said that 8,800 temporary housing units will be built in the Iwate Prefecture. In Ofunato 1,400 are being built and it is expected to take between three to four months for them to be completed. As such, ShelterBox tents are crucial at present in providing privacy and restoring dignity to families.

thursday, march 24:  ShelterBox tents have been set up for families affected by the tsunami-hit area of Iwate Prefecture in Japan.

Hashimoto-san, a local politician from the Iwate Prefecture who has lent his expertise and local network to help ShelterBox’s efforts in the country, said:

"It’ll be up to three months before temporary housing can be made available to those displaced by the tsunami.

Many individuals who have been forced to choose between crowded displacement centres or dependence on the hospitality of friends and neighbours will prefer the independence and privacy afforded by the ShelterBox solution."

Tuesday, March 22:The ShelterBox Response Team is continuing to work within the Iwate prefecture as the number of casualties from the disaster continues to rise.

Latest figures from OCHA (United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs) say that there have been 8,649 confirmed deaths and a further 13,262 people missing. Close to 350,000 people are living in emergency evacuation centres throughout the country.

OCHA adds that the most vulnerable groups currently living in the evacuation centres are beginning to suffer from the psychological toll of having spent ten nights in a communal center, in freezing temperatures, having lost everything in the disaster.

View the latest images back from the ShelterBox Response Team below.

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friday, march 18: Local government authorities in Japan's Iwate prefecture have requested 500 ShelterBoxes to provide emergency shelter and lifesaving supplies for families who lost their homes in last week's Tsunami.

Local Rotary groups made the request which is initially for 100 ShelterBoxes for each of the following five cities: Miyako, Yamadamachi, Kamaishi, Rikuzentakata and Ofunato.

The ShelterBox Response Team working in the region are continuing to work alongside the British Embassy in Japan and the British military as well as the US military to overcome the logistical challenges that lay ahead of them.

wednesday, march 16: The ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) on the ground in Japan are working alongside the British Embassy in Japan and the British military. The team will be leaving tomorrow for the Iwate Prefecture where they expect a significant need for emergency shelter to be. Conditions are difficult though with reports of half a million people displaced, regular snowfall and plummeting temperatures.

tuesday, march 15: The first ShelterBoxes have arrived in Japan. It is estimated that upward of half a million people have now lost their homes in the disaster and emergency shelters are already overcrowded.

monday, march 14: Latest reports from Japan say that last night 590,000 people, including 210,000 evacuated from the area around the Fukushima nuclear power plant, spent the night in temporary shelter while millions in Japan’s north have spent the past three nights without water, food or heat in near freezing temperatures.
The Japanese government has not yet requested any international assistance for the provision of emergency shelter but has put great value in international aid agencies operating autonomously and self-sufficiently in the country, as ShelterBox is.

To this end, ShelterBox are moving an initial 200 ShelterBoxes into Tokyo and have up to 5,000 more on stand by should they be needed.  

sunday, march 13: Japan's Prime Minister has described the ongoing catastrophe facing his country as the worst crisis since World War II.

His statement comes amid fears that up to 10,000 people are missing in the Miyagi prefecture which bore the brunt of Friday’s tsunami, triggered by the 8.9 magnitude earthquake. The confirmed death toll stands at 1,300 people while a further 300,000 have been evacuated from their homes.

A ShelterBox Response Team (SRT), made up of team members from the UK, Australia, France and the USA, were one of the first international teams on the ground after the earthquake. Mark Pearson (UK) and Lasse Petersen (AU) are currently traveling to the worst affected areas and expect to be in Sendai by tomorrow.

Saturday, March 12: The Japanese government have today called for international aid assistance in the wake of yesterday’s 8.9 magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami.

Latest reports state that more than 215,000 people have been made homeless by the two-pronged disaster with the need for emergency shelter being the top priority.  The response team that are working in the region will be focusing their attention on Japan's north, which is the worst affected area.

Friday, march 11: An earthquake measuring 8.9 ravaged Japan, triggering a tsunami that has caused widespread damage. 

The latest reports coming out of Japan have shown cars, ships and buildings being swept away with waves of up to 10 meters high slamming into the coast. Areas across the Pacific Basin have been put on tsunami alert including Russia, Guam, the Philippines, Taiwan and Hawaii.

According to U.S. Geological Survey the earthquake was magnitude 8.9 at a depth of 20 miles with the epicentre 250 miles away from Japan’s capital Tokyo. The earthquake is thought to have been 8,000 times stronger than the earthquake that rocked Christchurch, New Zealand, last month.

ShelterBox stands by to respond in whatever capacity is required as the extent of destruction and the scale of need becomes clear.

A ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) is mobilising. Three of ShelterBox’s most experienced SRT members, Lasse Petersen (AU), Mark Pearson (UK) and John Diksa (FR), are spear-heading the response and will be drawing on all of their skills and experience in delivering emergency disaster relief as they fight to overcome the challenges ahead.