A magnitude 6.7 earthquake struck Hokkaido at approximately 3:08 am Japan Standard Time (JST) on September 6, 2018. No tsunami warning was issued. The region continues to experience aftershocks and landslides, which may continue over the coming week. Information on affected areas is available in English from the Japan Meteorological Agency.
U.S. citizens in the area should notify their friends and family that they are safe. At this time the American Embassy is not aware of reports of injured U.S. citizens.
Transportation in the area continues to be severely impacted. Some train lines have begun to resume minimal service, but disruptions will last through the weekend. Flights have begun to resume at Shin-Chitose International, Sapporo’s primary airport. Asahikawa, Hakodate, Obihiro, Memanbetsu, Kushiro, and Sapporo-Okadama Airports are open with various levels of service. Travelers should work with their airline in regards to any flight reservations. Ferries linking Hokkaido and Honshu have resumed regular operations.
Major power outages occurred as a result of the earthquake, and authorities are working to restore power throughout Hokkaido. At this time, power now reaches about fifty percent of households in Hokkaido.
The City of Sapporo as well as other municipalities in Hokkaido have reported areas where water service is not functioning. We recommend that citizens conserve water where possible. Citizens may also wish to maintain a backup supply of water by filling bathtubs, sinks or other containers. If citizens are without water, contact local authorities to find the locations of emergency water supply points or evacuation centers.
The U.S. Consulate General in Sapporo remains closed today for routine, previously-scheduled consular services, but staff remain onsite to provide emergency assistance to U.S. citizens. U.S. citizens traveling or living in the affected region: Please let friends and family know you are safe, and update your status on social media. Any related inquires can be directed to the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo.
03-3224-5000 (from Japan)
+81 3-3224-5000 (from the US)
All U.S. citizens living in or traveling to the area should monitor local reports, follow directions from local officials, and take other appropriate actions as needed. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government has published a safety guide for earthquakes and their aftermath. Hokkaido has established emergency shelters across the prefecture to serve residents. Additional information from the Hokkaido government can be found online here.
The Japanese government’s “J-Alert” emergency broadcasting system can provide early warning emergency alerts on earthquakes predicted in a specific area, sometimes seconds before the earthquake hits. This government issued emergency information is available through mobile phone apps in English. See the Japan Tourism Organization’s “Safety tips” app that “pushes” information alerts to users about disasters in multiple languages, including English. The NHK World app also provides Japanese government emergency alerts via “Push Notification” service in English. Both of these apps push “J-Alerts” in English to your cell phone. Additional information on Emergency Preparedness for Americans in Japan is available on U.S. Embassy Tokyo’s website.
For further information about safety and security in Japan:
- See the State Department’s travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Japan Country Specific Information.
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler-Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- For any emergencies involving U.S. citizens, please contact the American Citizens Services (ACS) Unit of either the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo or one of the U.S. Consulates in Japan.
U.S. Embassy Tokyo
American Citizen Services
1-10-5 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-8420
After Hours: 03-3224-5000
The U.S. Embassy serves Americans in Tokyo, Chiba, Fukushima, Gunma, Ibaraki, Kanagawa, Nagano, Niigata, Saitama, Shizuoka, Tochigi, Yamagata and Yamanashi.
11-5, Nishitenma 2-chome, Kita-ku, Osaka 530-8543
Serving Americans in Osaka, Aichi, Ehime, Fukui, Gifu, Hiroshima, Hyogo, Ishikawa, Kagawa, Kochi, Kyoto, Mie, Nara, Okayama, Shimane, Shiga, Tokushima, Tottori, Toyama, and Wakayama prefectures.
Nagoya International Center Bldg. 6th floor
1-47-1 Nagono, Nakamura-ku, Nagoya 450-0001
Tel (052) 581-4501
Fax: (052) 581-3190
Providing emergency consular services only (including death and arrest cases) for Americans living in Aichi, Gifu, and Mie prefectures.
5-26, Ohori 2-chome
Chuo-ku, Fukuoka 810-0052
Serving Americans in Fukuoka, Kagoshima, Kumamoto, Miyazaki, Nagasaki, Oita, Saga and Yamaguchi prefectures.
Kita 1-jo, Nishi 28-chome
Chuo-ku, Sapporo 064-0821
Serving Americans in Akita, Aomori, Hokkaido, Iwate and Miyagi prefectures.
2-1-1 Toyama, Urasoe City
Serving Americans in Okinawa and the Amami Oshima Island group