This morning I wasn’t woken up by an earthquake. I was feeling fine until I started to read my email. It’s full of messages telling me that the UK press and media are saying that we need to leave Tokyo right now. I’ve even been told that the Foreign Office are telling people to leave Tokyo right now.
This is not what we are hearing in Tokyo and we are registered with the Foreign Office. They are certainly saying that there should be no non-essential travel to Japan:
We advise against all non essential travel to Tokyo and north eastern Japan given the damage caused by the 11 March earthquake and resulting aftershocks and tsunami.
They are also saying the following about the health risk in Tokyo:
The most recent advice from the UK’s Chief Scientific Adviser remains that for those outside the exclusion zone set up by the Japanese authorities there is no real human health issue that people should be concerned about. This advice is kept under constant review. However, due to the evolving situation at the Fukushima nuclear facility and potential disruptions to the supply of goods, transport, communications, power and other infrastructure, British nationals in Tokyo and to the north of Tokyo should consider leaving the area.
This information comes from the Foreign Office website and not from sources like The Sun newspaper, whose headlines are horrifying.
I would also say that the exclusion area is 20km and that we are more than 200km from the area.
As well as the Foreign Office we are getting information everyday from Marty’s employer. At the minute I am listening to a conference call with a nuclear expert explaining what is happening and he has a very similar opinion to the British scientists. The Foreign Office has stated the following:
The Chief Scientific Adviser said the Japanese Government’s advice is entirely proportionate and appropriate to the risk.
Those of you who are living in Tokyo, you are a long way away from the reactor, and although there have been reports that there have been slightly increased levels of radiation, this is trivial in terms of a health effect. So we would like to reassure people that well away from the reactor there is not an issue for people living around there.