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IMO: Earthquake, Tsunami and Nuclear Accident in Japan
23/3/2011

Update 15 April 2011

The United Nations organizations closely monitoring the effects of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi plant remain confident that current radiation levels do not present health or transportation safety hazards to passengers and crew.

On 18 March, based on the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES), the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry assessed the significance rating of the accident at the plant as Level 5. On 12 April, this assessment was revised to Level 7 following information obtained from estimations of the amount of radioactive material discharged to the atmosphere.

Radiation monitoring around airports and seaports in Japan continues to confirm that levels remain well within safe limits from a health perspective. In addition, monitoring of passengers, crew and cargo from Japan carried out to date in other countries, in accordance with their national policy, does not suggest any health or safety risk. Therefore, screening of radiation for health and safety purposes is currently considered unnecessary at airports and seaports around the world.

Information concerning travel and transport to and from Japan by air or sea is not dependent on the INES rating.

Further information covering all aspects of the response of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan, as well as information regarding the radiation dose in Tokyo Bay and at sea in the region can be found on the following websites:

http://www.mlit.go.jp/page/kanbo01_hy_001411.html

http://www.mlit.go.jp/kowan/kowan_fr1_000041.html

http://www.mlit.go.jp/en/maritime/maritime_fr1_000007.html

IMO has issued Circular letter No.3175/Rev.2 on the situation.

For updates, travellers visiting Japan by air are advised to consult a dedicated website established by the Japanese Civil Aviation Bureau:

http://www.mlit.go.jp/koku/flyjapan_en/.

The UN agencies involved in the monitoring process are the World Health Organization, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the World Meteorological Organization, the International Maritime Organization, the International Civil Aviation Organization, the World Tourism Organization and the International Labour Organization.

Further information concerning health aspects is available on the website of the World Health Organization - www.who.int

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UPDATE 1 April 2011 IMO circular 3175

Earthquake and tsunami

IMO is monitoring the situation and has been in contact, since the earthquake and tsunami, with the NAVAREA and METAREA coordinators in the immediate region – Japan – and the adjacent regions – Australia, the Russian Federation and the United States.

Subsequently, IMO has engaged with bodies such as the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO, the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO)) and the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA) in order to assess what part we in the international maritime community can play in helping the people of Japan to recover from this catastrophe, within our spheres of competence and interest.

Nuclear accident

IMO is in close contact with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the World Health Organization (WHO), WMO and other relevant UN bodies to monitor the situation.

Information for shipping

Navigational warnings, danger zones and meteorological warnings are disseminated via the existing Worldwide Navigational Warning Service via automated alerts (NAVTEX and SafetyNet systems), in the relevant NAVAREAS and METAREAS, which are the geographic areas in which Governments have designated responsibility for issuing navigation and weather warnings. There are 21 such areas covering the world’s oceans.

The relevant NAVAREA XI coordinator is Japan. Navigational warnings can also be downloaded here: www1.kaiho.mlit.go.jp/TUHO/tuho/html/tuho/keiho_eg.html

Vessels were advised from 15 March to keep a 30 km distance from the Fukushima plant.

METAREA XI warnings are issued by China and Japan and can also be downloaded here: weather.gmdss.org

Further information and links

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Website www.iaea.org
IAEA Facebook account www.facebook.com/iaeaorg

World Health Organization (WHO)
Website: www.who.int

World Meteorological Organization (WMO)
Website: www.wmo.int

Japan: Official contacts and updated official information

Nuclear and Industrial Safety Administration press releases
www.nisa.meti.go.jp

Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs
www.mofa.go.jp

Japanese Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications
www.soumu.go.jp

Japanese Fire and Disaster Management Agency
www.fdma.go.jp
 
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