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Peru: Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Affect Peruvians

This post is part of our special coverage on the Japan Earthquake 2011.

The earthquake that struck Japan on March 11th, 2011, affected other parts of the world as well.

Peru has a large community of citizens living in Japan. According to estimates published online [es], there are about 60,000 Peruvian citizens, mostly of Japanese descent, living in the Asian country. That is why many Peruvians are worried about how the earthquake may have affected their family and friends.

People in the city of Fukuoka, Japan watch the latest news about the earthquake. Photo by Luis Jou García, Flickr user LuisJouJR. (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

The blog Huaral en línea [es] has enabled a communication link for those who are worried:

Si tienes familiares en Japón y quieres comunicarte con ellos, o a lo mejor eres tu uno de nuestros compatriotas que se encuentra en el lugar del desastre, huaralenlinea.com [h]a creado esta sección donde puedes escribirles aquí e informar de cómo esta la situación por allá.

If you have relatives in Japan and want to communicate with them, or maybe you are one of our fellow citizens in the disaster zone, huaralenlinea.com has created this section where you can write and report how the situation is over there.

The blog Poder político tells different stories [es] about Peruvians that live there or have relatives living there:

Aunque no se reportó ningún peruano fallecido, cientos de compatriotas, de los 60 mil que residen en Japón, enviaron dramáticos mensajes a través de redes sociales informando al resto del mundo sobre su situación.

[...]

El embajador Juan Carlos Capuñay señaló que hasta el momento no se han registrado compatriotas entre los fallecidos.

Veintiocho peruanos que residen en la zona norte de Sendai, ciudad donde fue el epicentro del terremoto de 8,9 grados que azotó el último viernes Japón, no han podido ser contactados por la embajada del Perú en Tokio.

Even though there are no reports of any Peruvians killed [in the earthquake], hundreds of fellow countrymen, of the 60 thousand living in Japan, sent dramatic messages using social networks informing the rest of the world about their situation.

[...]

Ambassador Juan Carlos Capuñay pointed out that up to now there are no Peruvians among the casualties.

Twenty-eight Peruvians living in Northern Sendai, the epicenter of the 8.9 degree earthquake that struck Japan last Friday, couldn't be contacted by the Peruvian embassy in Tokyo.

J Carlos Villacorta, the blogger at Traxxo [es], shares some tweets and his observations about the earthquake:

Arranco a escribir este post con lo que ha pasado en los últimos 10 minutos desde que he encendido mi computadora hasta ahora. ¿La noticia? El terremoto en Japón ¿Las fuentes? Twitter y Popurls.

[...]

Twitter de lejos se ha convertido en la mejor fuente de noticias en tiempo real. Las noticias ya no las buscamos, ellas llegan a nosotros.

I start writing this post with the events of the last 10 minutes since I've switched on my computer until now. The news? The earthquake in Japan. The sources? Twitter and Popurls.

[...]

By far, Twitter has become the best source of news in real time. We don't look for the news anymore, they come to us.

Miguel Higa, from the blog Miguel Higa 7 minioblog [es], lists sites providing information and some recommendations for netizens:

Si siguen los hashtags #terremoto , #japon , #tsunami y otros, a tener cuidado. Mucha gente irresponsable haciendo comentarios irrelevantes y noticias sin confirmar. Si leen algún RT, fíjense quien es la fuente original, para saber si es un medio reconocido y confiable.

If you are following the hashtags #terremoto [#earthquake], #japon [#japan], #tsunami and others, be careful. There are irresponsible people making irrelevant comments and unconfirmed news. If you read any RT, check out who the original source is, to know if it's a well-known and reliable source.

Silvia Osorio, on her self-named blog, posts testimonies [es] of Peruvians living in Japan. While Percy, from the blog Lima era una fiesta [es] tells us about his concerns for his family:

El teléfono sonó a las 2 de la mañana, lo dejé sonar un rato (no quería levantarme) pero la sensación de culpa, de no atender el teléfono a sabiendas que es una emergencia, algo urgente o una mala noticia, me obligó a hacerlo.

Contesté. Era mi padre. Era una llamada de Japón. “Te llamo porque ha habido un terremoto, bien fuerte, se ha sentido bien

[…]

Ahora me preocupan mis amigos, algunos de ellos, acaban de tener niños. Algunos de ellos viven muy cerca de la costa de Japón. Espero que se encuentren bien, que todo no haya pasado de un susto.

The phone rang at 2 in the morning, I left it ringing for a while (I didn't want to get up) but the feeling of guilt for not answering the phone knowing it was an emergency, an urgent matter or bad news, made me do it.

I picked up. It was my father. A phone call from Japan. “I'm calling you because there has been an earthquake, very severe, it was very severe here, but we are alright, your mom, your aunt, your sister, everybody is fine,” he told me.

[…]

Now I'm worried about my friends, some of them have become parents recently. Some of them live very close to the coastline in Japan. I hope they are OK, that it may all be no more than a scare.

Finally, Marita de Fátima Layme del Solar, from the blog Ingeniería Civil [es] leaves us with a reflection:

Y por ultimo me pregunto qué hubiera pasado si es hubiese sucedido en las cos[t]a de nuestro país. Eso que Japón es un país preparado para este tipo de desastres al contrario que Perú no lo es, en que “CATÁSTROFE” se hubiera convertido el Perú.

Lastly, I wonder what it would be like if this would have happened in the shores of our country. Japan is a country that is prepared for this kind of disasters, unlike Peru, which is not, what a”CATASTROPHE” Peru would have become.

This post is part of our special coverage on the Japan Earthquake 2011.

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