ENA Statement on Japan Earthquake and Tsunami
The most powerful earthquake to impact Japan during recorded history occurred Friday, March 13, at 2:46 pm local time. The United States Geological Survey recorded the event at 8.9 on the Richter scale with an epicenter approximately 250 miles north-northeast of Japan. By contrast, the January 12, 2010, Haitian earthquake was a 7.3 and killed 227,000 people.
March 13, 2011, OCHA Situation Report #2 reports that equally devastating tsunamis and after-shocks followed the catastrophic earthquake and a nuclear emergency was declared as the earthquake damaged one or more coastal nuclear power stations. Initial earthquake-related casualties in Japan include 1600 deaths, 1419 injured, and 10,000 remain missing.
380,000 people have been evacuated from earthquake and tsunami affected areas while another 210,000 have been evacuated from around the Fukushima nuclear power plants. Hospitals are reported to be coping with patients as 145 of 170 designated emergency response hospitals are fully functioning. ( http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/rwb.nsf/db900sid/MCOI-8EWGS7/$File/full_report.pdf ) While a significant international response has begun earthquake-related casualties will likely rise as situation assessments, rescue and recovery efforts continue.
Our hearts, prayers and thoughts go out to the people of Japan and the many responders during this traumatic time. Characteristically in this and other disasters, emergency nursing comes to the response forefront. As we are all aware, our association does not operationally respond to disasters. At the same time, many ENA members are participants in organized DoD, federal and civilian medical response teams. Many of our colleagues have been put on standby and some may have already deployed. ENA is closely monitoring responses to the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear developments, and is ready offer our collective experience, knowledge and other supporting resources.