Concerns for two NZers in Japan

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) has concerns about the safety of two New Zealanders in Japan following last Friday's magnitude 9.0 earthquake and subsequent tsunami.

But, there have not been any reports of New Zealand deaths or injuries, the ministry said today.

The quake triggered a tsunami that flooded the coast of northeast Japan.

Up to 10,000 people are missing, with thousands feared dead.

Authorities are also racing to combat the threat of multiple nuclear reactor meltdowns, with more than 180,000 people evacuated as fears mount about the spread of possible radioactive contamination.

So far, 1570 New Zealanders have registered as being safe and well in Japan.

MFAT consular staff are based at Narita International Airport in Tokyo and Sendai in the northeast to provide assistance to New Zealanders.

Meanwhile, the 46-strong New Zealand Urban Search and Rescue team are due to arrive in the northern Japanese coastal town Minami Sanriku, where many thousands of people are missing, about midday today (NZT).

The team is part of an international group of rescuers who have been tasked by the Japanese Government to work in this area.

They are supported by five Defence staff and one MFAT representative.

Anyone who cannot contact family in Japan should contact MFAT on 0800 432 111.


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