Disasters & Extreme Weather

Published on March 11th, 2011 | by Zachary Shahan

Okinawa, Japan Not Considerably Affected by Japan Earthquake & Tsunami

okinawa island from the sky Update (3:20am EST on Monday, March 14): A number of people commenting on here in the last day or so have confirmed that everything is OK in Okinawa — it didn’t get hit very hard. Thanks to all the people sharing info in the comments below! Okinawa, Japan is home to 14 large U.S. military bases. With news of the massive earthquake in Japan and resulting tsunami, many U.S. citizens are legitimately concerned about their relatives in Okinawa. The good news: Okinawa seems to be far enough away from the earthquake that it is hardly being affected by the tsunami. Here’s an update from someone living there:

Okinawa island is hours away, by plane, from where all the damage has been done. If you hear anything about Taiwan getting hit, I’m closer to that island than I am to mainland Japan. So far, the worst of the tsunami has passed. It was something like 20 centimeters (8 inches) from what I’ve gathered. Please don’t worry about me. I can handle worse things than that. I’m a married man ! For maps and the latest news on the situation in and around Japan,  GOOGLE CRISIS RESPONSE seems to be the place to go for maps, locations and accurate updates. The folks up in Sendai are the ones we all need to be concerned about and I hope everyone helps them make a speedy recovery.

Reportedly, things still look pretty much like in the photo below there. okinawa island in japan Nonetheless, precautions are being taken. “Marine Corps Bases Japan has activated its Base Emergency Operations Center to monitor the situation and coordinate Marine Corps actions. MCBJ has evacuated residents living in low-lying areas on Camp Foster, lower Camp Lester, and Camp Kinser to an elevation of at least 30 feet/10 meters as a precautionary measure,” DVIDS reporting from Okinawa reports. “We will continue to monitor the tsunami, coordinate with other U.S. forces on Okinawa, and take action to ensure the safety of military personnel, family members, civilian employees and contractors.” Looks good. So, if you are one of the many Americans who have family, no worries for now. Photos via buck82 & N.kimy More on the tsunami effects in Hawaii and Japan.

Top Japan Nuclear News and Nuclear Politics News (March 15)


Tags: , , , ,


About the Author

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy since 2009. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the founder and director of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to ZacharyShahan.com and click on the relevant buttons.



  • Pingback: Bright spots in a dark time: this is why we do this | Important Media Insights()

  • Pingback: Top Planetsave Posts of 2011()

  • I saw some footage of the tsumami and i hope they r ok

  • Pingback: Pacific Northwest Will Suffer Same Fate as Japan – Planetsave.com: climate change and environmental news()

  • Dan

    I hope all is ok there. I spent a year there in the early 80’s and it is the most beautiful place I have ever been in my life. The people are very nice and very friendly.

  • I am so happy to hear that everyone in Okinawa is OK and the Island has not been damaged. I was there with my X from 85-89. That was the most beautiful place in this world I had ever seen. God Bless You All and the Island Folks.

  • My son and daughter in law arrived in Okinawa on the 14th and phoned us Moms but neither of us have heard from them since. They are expecting their first baby in May so we are a little concerned with all this radiation news, even though we know they are 1500 miles away from it. We knew it would take awhile for them to get communications set up, but now that I found this sight, I have to ask, has anyone met Chris & Amber Rose??? He’s DOD, going to work for FISC.
    Thanks/OnOn

  • My brother plans on visiting Okinawa on the 23rd of March to visit his son (trip was planned before all this happened). Wondering if he should still go and if so will he be ok getting in.

    Thanks for any help you can give me
    God bless

  • I am currently living in Okinawa with my 11 mo old daughter (we are Air Force and my husband is deployed to Afghanistan). Everyone in Okinawa is FINE 🙂 I promise you. When the earthquake and tsunami hit mainland Japan I was at a local park with my daughter and the day went on as usual in Okinawa, except for a few hours where we were under a tsunami warning. When the wave came, it was only a few feet tall and no damage was done to any of the coastal areas.

    We were also advised today that there is no need to take precautionary measures for radiation. So relax and have faith that your loved ones are doing well!

    • Thank You for the thorough update! So relieved that the initial information I got on this and so many people were relying on was correct! 😀 &, of course, so happy that you all (at least) are safe.

  • E

    Okinawa wasnt really hit at all by the Tsunami. My husband is in the USMC and stationed on Camp Courtney. My 4month old son and I are also here with him. Cell phones did go down for a little while after the quake initially hit, but were back up within about an hour. We were under a tsunami warning for about 24 hours, but that has all been lifted now. We are really far away from the areas on mainland being affected by the nuclear reactors also. To put it in perspective it would be like a nuclear reactor melting down in upstate and the government requiring Tampa Florida to evacuate. Dont worry!!! WE’RE ALL OK IN OKINAWA 🙂

  • Zachary, I am glad to here you are alright.There is an Okinawan performer that I like to watch named Rimi Natsukawa.Do you have any word if her and her family is ok.Thanks

    • It seems that everyone there is fine. They got a slightly larger wave than normal that caused no damage 😀

  • PLEASE CAN ANYONE TELL US ABOUT OUR MARINES 2/23 ON CAMP SCHWAB ?????? WE HAVE NOT HEARD FROM THEM SINCE 2 HRS. BEFORE THE EARTHQUAKE ????? (NO CELL PHONE CALLS OR CELL TEXTS OR FACE BOOK ) PLEASE ~PLEASE LET US WIVES KNOW IF THEY ARE ALRIGHT ????????

    • My son-in-law is stationed at Camp Schwab. He and his family say everything is fine. I have spoken with them via phone and facebook. I hope you have heard from them by now.

  • My son Jorge is in the Marines and would like to hear how he is doing. Just need to know that they are okay

  • We were able to text our grandson Lance Cpl. Michael T. Wagner in Okinawa right after the Earthquake/Tsunami but since then we have not been able to reach him. We would all feel a little more at ease if we could get a text from him.
    Our prayers are for all the troops helping with this disaster and the people of Japan.

    • It seems, from the comments below, he is most likely completely OK and is just helping out others in Japan (but hope you can get a text soon)

      • Thanks so much for replying so quickly. We just got a text from Michael. God bless you for all your efforts!

  • Wondering if Okinawa resident Ken Fitch and family are ok after earthquake……..

    • They most likely are, according to the comments below, Okinawa was hardly impacted. But try Google’s person finder — may help you out.

  • have a brother la reed & family who live in okinawa own chubby’s bbq look him up plz

  • Trying to get in touch with son, Major Casmer Ratkowiak, USMC, glad to hear that base is okay, wondering whether he is involved in search and rescue, and otherwise okay, cant reach him by cell phone

  • Thank you SO much for letting everyone know this information. My (pregnant) best friend of fourteen years, her two little boys, and her Navy husband are currently living in Okinawa. Thank goodness she called me yesterday morning, I’ve been freaking out for the past few days. My thoughts are with EVERYONE who has been affected by this terrible tragedy.

  • Kim

    Looking for anyone who knows Jason (JAY) Smith. He is in the air force and is stationed in Okinawa. I was hoping that someone my know him and be able to tell me if he is ok. Thanks.

    • try the Google person finder, perhaps… & of course, would be great if someone on here could tell you

  • Holly

    Thank you for the good news. My stepson is stationed in okinawa, his father is in pachuca mx and frantic about his sons safety. Fortunatly we got an email from him him this morning.

    thanks again for the positive news! Keep safe!
    H S

  • I have a son that is a Marine stationed in Okinawa but at this time is deployed to Afghanistan…so glad everyone is ok in Okinawa. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all the families that were affected by the earthquake.

  • is there any native animals that have been efeected i need to no thanks

  • umm help plese i need to know for my research is there any animals that have been effected due to this in japan? i need to know thanks in the next five minutes cheers.x

  • i hv a friend stay in okinawa, Rehana Yahya Drabick & family…hope u all are fine…

  • Pingback: Important Media Community | Blog | Bright spots in a dark time: this is why we do this()

  • Thank you for your post. My husband is a Marine. We lived in Okinawa for 7 years and made great friends among other military, missionaries,etc, and local residents.
    God bless the Calvary Chapel Okinawa family and all others affected by these conditions.
    My prayers are with you.

  • My son is a Marine at Camp Hansen. Two days after the Tsunami he was able to get in contact. I was so relieved and thankful to God to know that he was well. Ever since He has been trying to get in contact with me but has been difficult. Last time we spoke he said they were on stand-by. He didn’t know if he was going to Japan to help. I heard on CNN that Okinawa was going. My question is has anybody’s Marine contacted them to tell them that they were leaving to Japan to help with the tsunami crisis? Thanks, Elisa

  • Kris

    My son was stationed as a Marine in Okinawa, but is currently deployed to the Philippines. As of Friday, he said that he heard that Okinawa was fine, just the water levels were higher.

  • Marine son at Oki base. phones not working but face book is. go figure. we are a face book planet. two grandchild in school on air force base. He said last night they were ok

  • WORRIED! I’ve been watching the news about Japan, but they haven’t said said how the “EARTHQUAKE/TSUNAMI” affected “OKINAWA” south of Japan where our some of our cousins live! I’d call, but due to the “LANGUAGE BARRIER” I really wouldn’t be able to communicate. Also, I don’t know if they have e-mail or if they do, no e-mail address. Too bad our cousins are the eldest of our cousins! I will keep trying! My father’s family (MIYAHIRA), Gushikawa-Ken, mother’s family(IGE, NAKAMA, NAKATA, IGEI) Kin-Son-Ken ask Kin Town.

    • Seems things are fine there. Hopefully you can get in touch soon.

      • Hi there… I am a U.S. Marine wife. We live in Kin Town. I assure you Okinawa is just fine. Had it not been for the news letting us know the earthquake and tsunami happened, we probably wouldn’t have even known!

  • Thank you so much for the update. I am currently in the US and hubby is in Okinawa, along with other friends. This put my mind at ease.

  • I have two daughter in Okinawa, I talked to them yesterday they said that Okinawa did not get it hard and that all was OK so if someone has family there things are ok.

  • For those of you concerned about loved ones in Okinawa, rest assured that Okinawa, while definitely a part of the political nation of Japan, is a VERY good distance away from the mainland and where the majority of the damage occurred. In fact, Okinawa is closer to Taiwan and, in some parts, closer to mainland China than to the mainland of Japan.

    Rest assured, if you are unable to reach any Marines stationed there, it is most likely due to III MEF being immediately mobilized to aid with relief efforts.

    This Tsunami, while just as devastating to those affected, is not nearly as far reaching as the 2004 Tsunami, so the 1500 KM (over 900 mile) distance is more than enough buffer to keep those on Okinawa free from harm.

    Semper FI

    • HI. If you know someone named FUMIKO CHINA, please let me know. We are looking for her. She’s from Okinawa. We’re here from the Philippines. Thanks and God Bless.

  • Happy New Year, Okinawa

  • my son Joseph Stoffel is a Marine in Okinawa,I have been unable to reach him on Skype since this earthquake hit, I’m praying he is just busy helping others,(that has always been his first reaction.)He is stationed at camp Hanson.I am praying for everyone in Japan and the surrounding areas.

    • Yes, I hope the predictions that it would not face much damage were true

    • My son is stationed at the Air Force base on Okinawa. I have spoken with hime thru Skype and he states all is OKAY in Okinawa. No damage, no shocks from the earthquake. Hope this eases your mind. Take Care!!

      Cristy

  • Sue

    My son’s best friend and family live near Okinawa. His name is Dave Bendel. How do we find out is they are ok?

  • My nephew Bryan Hill is stationed at Okanawa. Wondering if he is safe.

    • Hope so,.. I’m hoping that guy reporting from there (my main source) was spot on

  • THANK YOU SOO MUCH FOR THIS INFORMATION!! BLESS YOU FOR POSTING THIS FOR THOUSANDS TO KNOW. MY MOTHER LIVES IN THE U.S.A. BUT IS FROM OKINAWA, AND HAVE MANY FAMILY MEMBERS THERE. SHE WATCHED THE DEVASTATION ON TV ALL NIGHT LONG UNTIL SHE FELL ASLEEP.. 🙁
    WE’VE BEEN TRYING TO CALL AND ALL WE GET IS A BUSY TONE. I WILL PASS THIS INFORMATION TO MY FAMILY.
    KAMISAMA (GOD), HELP EVERYONE THAT IS AFFECTED BY THE TSUNAMI AND EARTHQUAKE.

  • Thank you Lord, you are so gracious and merciful. Please keep those families and individuals in Japan and the surrounding areas protected!! Let’s come together to bless the Lord Jesus Christ!!

    • Yes, lets also thank the lord for all the devastation and lives lost and for all the pain and misery that the people in Japan have just experienced! I’m sure all those people who drowned in the Tsunami and maimed by falling things in the earthquake (not to mention the fires, radiation, ect) were in awe of your merciful god.

  • Thank you so much for this! My brother is out there on Camp Hansen and my family and I were so scared and worried when we heard what had happened yesterday. God bless all the people and families out there in Japan that were effected by this.

  • Thank you for the update! My husband & I lived there for 3 years several years ago. We loved the wonderful people of Okinawa and was so frigthened for their safety. We exprencie 2 typhoons while living on the island. That was so scary, so I can’t imagine how they felt when they heard the news about the earthquake and tsunami. Again Thank you for the update.

  • Thank you so much for posting info on the conditions in Okinawa, I have been worried since my brother and his family are stationed there and have been unable to contact them. This makes us feel better.

  • Pingback: Japan Earthquake Triggered Volcano Eruption In Russia? – Planetsave.com: climate change and environmental news()

  • The Internet is a wonderful thing. Thank you.

  • Thanks for the info. my brother-in-law and family live there and the rest of us live in the States. We had not been able to reach them. Your info gave us a better understanding of whats going on there in Okinaawa,Thanks again. Have a beautiful day.

  • Que alegria que esa isla tan hermosa no sufra semejante desastre. Okinawa es un lugar muy bonito y su gente muy agradable y hospitalaria. Tengo muy lindos recuerdos de las veces que la visite. donde hay elegantes japonesitas. Que bien. Sayonara.

  • any news of shinjuku??? my girlfriend was there m worrying about her..
    ♥God bless all the people of Japan ♥

  • Thanks for the info…is there anyway to look up marines to verify them as being safe?

  • Thanks so much for your report. I’m worried about the nuclear reactors and radiation leaks. This could be worse than the quake itself. My son is stationed on okinawa I heard from him early this morning. Keep your posts updated I’ll keep checking. Thanks!!

  • Thank you for this info! I am American an and my in-laws are in Okinawa. That would not honestly test us if something was not right. This is a relief for my family.

  • Thanks so much for posting this info on Okinawa. I was there for 7 years and have tons of friends up there and was really worried about wonderful Okinawa and it’s people. I am so sad about what’s happened in Mainland Japan and send my love and prayers to all who have been affected by this terrible earthquake and tsunami. I have friends also in the mainland and have not been able to communicate with anyone out there. I am so worried! Anyway, thanks for the update on Okinawa. I truly appreciate it.

  • Thank you for this update. I have two grandbabies who live outside of Kadena AirBase. There was a piece of news that said “Earthquake devastates Okinawa”. Please keep us posted in the days to come. My prayers go out to everyone affected by this massive earthquake/tsunamis.
    If asked for donations, I will find a way to give. Even small tokens can add up. God Bless

  • Thanks so much for your information, my boyfriend is currently in okinawa as a navy, I know everything is fine with them, but your information was very helpful for those uncomunicatted. Thanks again and take care over there..

  • Thanks so much for this update. I finally heard from my bff in Okinawa. He’s safe and well. I am still planning to visit in the next two weeks despite the condidions in Sendai. I just pray that things look up before then so I can anjoy my trip as planned.Prayers to all the victims in Sendai. I’m in CA and from what I am hearing, we are due for an earthquake soon! Scary stuff….

  • Ann

    Thank you very much for posting this! My daughter in Florida just forwarded me the link to this page; her brother = my son, Marine, is stationed at Okinawa. You have indeed improved the world today. Thank you.

  • Thank you soooo much, my friend is in the airforce and he just got shipped out there this past thursday…I’m so relieved… 🙂 again thanks so muchhh

  • I know everyone has said this already but thank you for the information. My husband is in the USMC stationed on Camp Kinser and I haven’t been able to get in touch with him or get anymore information than what CNN has said…they are accounted for. Again, this puts me more at ease…

  • This is the only information that I have been able to locate on Okinawa – THANK YOU SO MUCH for taking time to let us all know here in the USA how the conditions are there. My Big Brother, how is now retired Military, and Nephew, with his wife and family, live. I have tried to call and email, but each time get a recording that all systems are busy or not available at this time. Have been going crazy with worry. Now that I know things are undercontrol there, I can relax just a little bit more. Still want to either hear their voices or receive an email just to be sure. Prayers and Thoughts are going out to all others in Japan. THANK YOU AGAIN!!! 🙂

    • No problem, I could see people were having trouble finding info on it & that it was clearly important to a lot of people

  • Thank you so much for posting this! I have a friend stationed there and when I heard the news I was so worried about him. This report is an answered prayer.

    Thank you again!

    Joanne

  • Thank you for this information. We have not been able to contact our daughter and her family serving with the Air force at Kadena. We will keep you all in our prayers.

    • Spoke to my daughter on who lives on Kadena this morning. Everyone is ok.

  • Thank you so much for this! My sister is a Maine at Okinawa and I worry about her. This has put me at ease. Thank you so very much!

  • Thanks so much. I’ve been worrying about my brother all day. I appcreciate it.

  • I am glad Okinawa did not get wasted. My sensei was there in the Navy. They sound like nice people.
    RE: your article on astroturf scams and evil corpo-rat netbots- i would not put ANYTHING past the corpo rats and rethuglicans. They are, quite literally , Fascists, not conservatives (Mussolini said “you might as well call it Corporatism as Fascism”)
    But-pardon my ignorance of matters cybernetical-how can you tell if it is a comment posted by a corpo-rat netbot, a a paid “troll”, or someone who honestly disagrees with you. My understanding is that there are a few real, respectable climate scientists who disagree with the anthropogenic-rapid-global-warming theory. They are distinctly in the minority, as i understand it. But being in the sciences myself (chemistry) i know that the majority view in science is not allways correct. remeber how long people believed in phlogistin, and the “universal aether”.
    very truly yours, joe smith. Retired chemist (specialty- PCB, dioxins, and related chemicals)

    • Hey josef, thanks a lot for you comments. You can’t know for sure if it is a bot (as far as I know), but when you see the same comment rearranged slightly 100 times, it’s a good sign 😀

  • Thanks for the update! I truly appreciate it. I have a son there!

  • Cheryl

    Thank You!

  • thank you for the update! Lets all pray for those people and families who were affected by this terrible disaster and also for our soldiers who are stationed there.

  • my uncle is stationed down there. glad to hear that there was no damage there. poor japan though

  • Thank goodness you are OK.My sister-in-law’s parents are in Okinawa.Glad to know they will be fine

  • Thank you for the update. I just found out this morning that my cousin is in Okinawa and have been worried about him.

  • MY BROTHER LIVES IN A MILITARY BASE IN OKINAWA!!! THANK YOU FOR THE UP DATE AS MY FAMILY WILL STAND BY TO HERE FROM HIM.

  • Thanks so much for this report.. Been listening to news and not much on Okinawa.. My son is a Marine stationed there in Okinawa and been waiting to hear how things are doing and have not heard.. Makes me feel a relief that you were not affected much..Praying for others affected..Thanks..

  • Let’s pray for the victims. We are planning to have a trip to Okinawa on Mar 18-21. Hope Okinawa won’t be impacted by the earthquake in the following week so that I can continue our trip.

    • I am planning to leave for Okinawa as well 3/26 -4/2. With this catastrophe, I have been concerned with my own safety especially with the fact that I have never traveled this far. Safe and happy travels to you and prayers to the victims in Sendai.

  • Thank you so much for the information. I just heard about the terrible disaster. My great-grandson’s Dad is in the navy and stationed in Okinawa. I am so thankful that all is well there. My prayers are with those who lost their family, friends and homes. We around the world need to pull together to help all those in need.

  • Thank you so much…my brother is a Marine and his family is with him…wife, son and a new baby girl…I’m so happy they are ok!! I will pray for those who were affected by the disaster! my parents will be relieved to know they are ok!!! thank you again for the info!

  • Vic

    Thanks for the update, the news hasn’t really mentioned Okinawa, was a little worried about a friend out there, but your post gave some peace of mind.

  • Praise God, Thank you for posting, we have family and friends in the military in Okinawa. Please keep us all up to date,

  • Thank you for this. My son is a Marine in Okinawa and this mother is ALWAYS concerned about her son.

  • LMH

    Thank you for this information. My brother in law just arrived their yesterday with the Marines. Glad we can relax a bit. Praying for others not so lucky.

  • May

    Thank you for posting this. My brother is in the NAVY there and I couldn’t reach him, this makes me feel more comfortable that he’s ok. Thanks!

  • I truely want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for this post. I, like many americans woke up this heart wrenching news.My brother is a sergent in the Marine Corps. stationed in Okinawa, and I of corse freaked out the moment I heard about this. I’ve been searching news on T.V. and on the internet tring to find out what condition Okinawas in,thanx to you I can now take a sigh of relife in knowing that my brother (for now )is safe.Again thank you for taking the time to let all of us concered families back in the states that all is well for now.THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

    • I felt the same way! At least we can breathe easy for bit. He is my little brother and in a way I still fell somehow I need to protect him!

  • Pingback: Japan Earthquake & Tsunami (Top News & Resources) – Planetsave.com: climate change and environmental news()

  • Thank you for this report! My family is on Okinawa and now I have great peace of mind since I can not get thru on the phone lines. Thank you, thank you!

    • Excellent! Hope it is all as good as reported there. Unfortunately, not all areas are so lucky.

  • Thank you so much for the information. Helped me to relax some. Our son is USMC stationed in Okinawa.

    • Good 😀 That was the purpose. I’m sure a ton of people are concerned. Of course, not all areas are so lucky 🙁

  • Thank you so much for this piece of information. Having a son in Okinawa (although I did talk to him, and he says he’s fine), it’s nice to hear from another source that you weren’t affected. I wish there was something I could do, but I will certainly keep everyone affected in my thoughts and prayers.

    • Thank You. Yes, I noticed a lot of concern about people there and from what I can tell, the area is quite far and completely safe from the disaster sweeping many areas of the world today.

      • Hello Zachary Shahan
        I was just wondering what your qualifications are? (I am citing this article as a paper for school and I was wondering if there are any qualifications I can add other than “online article” when presenting this source. Thank you.

        • Cool.. I’m the director of Planetsave, CleanTechnica, and EcoLocalizer. I have a Master’s degree in city & regional planning and a Bachelor’s in sociology/environmental studies. http://www.linkedin.com/profile?viewProfile=&key=29341949&trk=tab_pro

          • THANK YOU!!! I am more at rest as I have not been able to get any phone calls through to the folks I love on the islands. I was raised there any many, many of my extended “family” and their families still reside on Okinawa.

  • MB

    Thank you for the update.

    • dont know if my mom still stayed in okinawa havent talk to her in a while if someone knows my name heres my no.09184411164

Back to Top ↑