The following alerts are based on ISA's direct observation, U.S. Department of State recommendations, Overseas Security Advisory Council, WHO reports, and expert consultation.
Tuesday, April 19, 2016
Tremors have significantly decreased in the Oita Prefecture since last week's major earthquakes in Kumamoto. ISA's Beppu Resident Director and the APU reported that all transportation and other essential services have resumed to normal across Beppu, and the local community has not incurred any notable damage. While APU's campus and facilities have returned to normal working hours, the university has announced that classes will not resume until Monday, April 25th, in order to allow students who departed the city as a result of the earthquakes enough time to return to Beppu. The university closure is not expected to impact the semester dates at this time.
ISA students have returned to their dorms, while several have used the university closure as an opportunity to travel outside of Beppu. The ISA Beppu Resident Director met with a group of students on Monday and reported they remain very positive. ISA's Beppu Resident Director will continue to closely monitor communications from APU and advise students accordingly.
Monday, April 18, 2016
The ISA Beppu Resident Director has reported that some tremors were felt in Beppu throughout the night on Sunday, April 17th, however, no new earthquakes nor storms have been reported near the Beppu area. The weather remains calm and all ISA students are accounted for and safe. While student dorms have re-opened, Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (APU) has canceled all courses until Thursday, April 21st as a precautionary measure given the occasional aftershocks that are being experienced. ISA will continue to monitor the situation and remain in contact with APU regarding any instructions related to this week's closure.
Sunday, April 17, 2016
The Japan Meteorological Agency has downgraded the wind and rain warnings for southern Japan to gale wind advisories. The weather warnings for the Beppu area, that prompted Saturday night's precautionary evacuation of Asia Pacific University's dorm buildings, have been lifted and students have returned to their dorms. All ISA students are accounted for and safe and the ISA Beppu staff will remain in close contact with all of them.
Saturday, April 16, 2016
Throughout the day on Saturday, April 16th, minor aftershocks were felt in Beppu, though the ISA resident staff has reported that these have become less frequent and the last major tremor was felt around 11:30 a.m. local time. On Saturday evening, the Japan Meteorological Agency issued a wind and rain advisory for most of Kyushu island. As a safety precaution, ISA's host institution, Asia Pacific University, asked students to evacuate the dorms, though no official evacuation has been ordered by city officials. The university is coordinating the evacuation efforts and has been escorting students to designated evacuation sites further up the hillside. All ISA Beppu students are accounted for and ISA resident staff remains in close communication with the university and students. ISA's Tokyo Resident Director reports that the situation in Tokyo remains calm. ISA will continue monitoring the situation and providing students with instructions.
Friday, April 15th, 2016
On the morning of April 16th, at approximately 1:30 AM (local time), a magnitude 7.1 earthquake struck approximately 1 kilometer from the city of Kumamoto according to the U.S. Geological Survey. This follows Thursday's fatal earthquake and aftershocks in the same area where rescue operations remain ongoing. A tsunami warning was initially issued for surrounding coastal areas but has since been lifted.
Though Kumamoto is about 130 kilometers/ 81 miles away, minor aftershocks have been felt throughout the early morning in Beppu. All ISA Beppu students have checked in as safe with their resident staff and the ISA Tokyo Resident Director reports that no effects of the earthquake have been experienced in their area this morning. Beppu and Tokyo students have been reminded of safety and preparation measures in regard to earthquakes as a result of these recent tremors. Students have also been advised to check in with family and loved ones at home. ISA will continue to monitor the situation closely and advise students accordingly.
Thursday, April 14th, 2016
On the evening of April 14th, at around 9:30 p.m. local time, an earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.4 hit Mashiki, Japan, located on the island of Kyushu in Kumamoto prefecture, followed by an aftershock of 5.7 magnitude, according to Japan's Meteorological Agency. Mashiki is 123 km (76 miles) southwest of Beppu (also located on the island of Kyushu) and around 1300 km (800 miles) southwest of Tokyo.
Although damage is currently being assessed, the Chief Cabinet Secretary of Japan has stated that a there were no abnormalities at nearby nuclear facilities, and no casualties have been reported. Most recent reports have indicated that around 19 houses have collapsed and 12 people have been reported as injured. No tsunami warnings have been issued and travel disruptions are only anticipated in the Kyushu prefecture.
All ISA Beppu students are safe and accounted for, and in touch with their Resident Director. The ISA Tokyo Resident Director reported that Tokyo remained almost entirely unaffected. ISA will continue to monitor the situation closely and advise students accordingly.
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