See ATTA's COVID-19 Guide for the Adventure Travel Industry

Mega Quake and Tsunami Hit Japan

4 Minute Read


On behalf of the Adventure Travel Trade Association, we wish to express our concern and condolences for those affected by last night’s (March 10) devastating 9.0 earthquake in Japan. Following such crises, the ATTA reaches out immediately to members in the region affected to learn if there’s anything the trade association and/or its membership can do to support relief efforts.  In this case, ATTA members in Japan include the Japan Ecolodge Association, Overlander Co., Ltd., and Canyons, Ltd. If you are in Japan and wish to report updates concerning adventure travel matters to, please write to [email protected].

March 16, 2011 Update: Immediately following the disaster, the ATTA reached out to our members in Japan to see how the tourism industry might assist in these troubling times. A recommendation was made by Ryutaro Takashima of Overlander Co., Ltd., who suggested that donations be made to Red Cross Japan – for members who may wish to give donations to the relief effort, please visit that site or one of those listed below.

We have also heard from Masaru Takayama, Executive Director of Japan Ecolodge Association, who recommends a similar approach.The Japan Ecolodge Association is also leading a collaboration of tourism networks in a grassroots effort to get aid to Northeastern Japan… Learn More.

All ATTA member organizations in Japan have reported that damage to their operations has occurred but fortunately no one was seriously injured within these organizations.

Meanwhile, the ATTA suggests that those who wish to support relief efforts also consider supporting the following organizations:

International Disaster Relief Organizations:

International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, providing assistance without discrimination as to nationality, race, religious beliefs, class or political opinions.


AmeriCares is a nonprofit disaster relief and humanitarian aid organization which provides immediate response to emergency medical needs – and supports long-term humanitarian assistance programs – for all people around the world, irrespective of race, creed or political persuasion.

International Medical Corps

International Medical Corps is a global, humanitarian, nonprofit organization dedicated to saving lives and relieving suffering through health care training and relief and development programs. Established in 1984 by volunteer doctors and nurses, International Medical Corps is a private, voluntary, nonpolitical, nonsectarian organization.

Relief International

Relief International is a humanitarian non-profit agency that provides emergency relief, rehabilitation, development assistance, and program services to vulnerable communities worldwide. Relief International is solely dedicated to reducing human suffering and is non-political and non-sectarian in its mission.

Safety Guidance Release from ATTA Member
~ WorldNomads

As reported on

A massive earthquake measuring 8.8 on the Richter scale has hit Japan. At least 60 people are confirmed dead and hundreds are unaccounted for. The quake struck just under 400 kilometres (250 miles) northeast of Tokyo, the US Geological Survey said. It was followed by more than a dozen aftershocks, one as strong as 7.1.

The quake created a tsunami which sent a wall of water 10 metres high inland, and devastating coastal communities. Telecommunications in Japan are crippled as millions attempt to use a system affected by the tremor. Nuclear power plants have shut down and some residents have been evacuated from surrounding areas.

All of Tokyo’s suburban train network has been brought to a standstill, stranding hundreds of thousands of workers in the city. The airport is also closed with flights cancelled and no inbound services. The 8.8 magnitude is Japan’s largest and one of the top 5 quakes recorded in the last 100 years.

What To Do

  • Expect aftershocks.
  • Each time one is felt, drop, cover, and hold on.
  • Check yourself first for injuries and get first aid if necessary before helping injured or trapped persons.
  • Assess your home or workplace for damage. If the building appears unsafe get everyone out. Use the stairs, not an elevator and when outside, watch out for fallen power lines or broken gas lines.
  • Stay out of damaged areas.
  • Look for and extinguish small fires if it is safe to do so. Fire is a significant hazard following earthquakes.
  • Listen to the radio for updated emergency information and instructions.
  • Do not overload phone lines with non-emergency calls.
  • Help people who require special assistance – infants, elderly people, those without transportation, families who may need additional help, people with disabilities, and the people who care for them.

What is happening to me and who do I call?
It is important to remember that the situation you are in can be extremely stressful.

Call home and your country’s Consulate or Embassy to let them know where you are, if you are alright and if you need any assistance.

Keeping an item of comfort nearby, such as a family photo, favorite music, or religious material, can often offer comfort in such situations.

Call the emergency assistance hotlines should you need immediate attention (phone numbers below for WorldNomad’s policy holders).

When you get out of there or get back home

If you become unwell within 6 weeks of returning with fever, rash, respiratory illness or any other unusual symptoms seek medical attention and tell them that you were recently in a Disaster affected region.

For more information on travel safety in this region has Phil Sylvester, chief travel safety specialist, available for interviews. Contact [email protected] 303 898 3376.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *