Irish urged to leave Tokyo - SEE VIDEO
Read more: Irish community in worst hit area of Japan ‘safe and well’ - SEE VIDEOS
Irish residents of Tokyo have been advised to consider leaving the city by the Department of Foreign Affairs amid the threat of a major nuclear disaster.
Officials at the Dublin office and at the embassy in Tokyo have tried to contact as many of Japan’s 2,000 Irish residents as possible.
As the repercussions of last Friday’s earthquake mount, Irish citizens have been asked if they want to leave Tokyo and the North-East of the country.
The Department has also advised against all non-essential travel to Japan amid fears of a nuclear meltdown at a major power plant outside of Tokyo.
“We have asked Irish citizens in Tokyo and the north-west of the country to decide whether they need to remain in those areas,” said a spokesman for the Department of Foreign Affairs.
“We have also advised those seeking to leave to make travel reservations as soon as possible, particularly those with small children.”
As yet there are no reports of Irish casualties in the areas worst affected by last Friday’s disaster.
A group of students from the University of Limerick are currently on work placement in Japan and have been moved away from Tokyo by their employer according to the Irish Independent.
The paper reports that Eileen Shanahan from Thurles, Caroline Winters of Ballincollig, Co Cork, and Jennifer Callan from Dooradoyle, Limerick, experienced a magnitude 6 aftershock in Siatama near Tokyo on Tuesday.
They have since contacted their families and the College to say they are well.
Their Japanese language lecturer Barbara Geraghty said: “All of them are fine. I spoke with one of them via a Skype video and they have also been in touch by email.
“They had a large aftershock about 1.45pm our time, but said it was not as bad as they expected it to be.”
An Irishman living in Japan has also spoken of the state of utter confusion and fear.
Clare native Mike Loughnane works for a software and robotics company in Chiba, 40 minutes from the centre of Tokyo.
“Nobody knows what’s going on here in Tokyo, which is an absolute pain because the government, we reckon, don’t want to cause panic to 30 million people so they’re not giving much information,” said Loughnane.
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