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UT Austin International Office Global Risk and Safety


Overview of Risks

Thousands of people were killed in March 2011 due to a 9.0-magnitude earthquake off Miyagi prefecture on Japan’s north-eastern coast. The massive earthquake, which was followed by a tsunami, caused widespread damage and disruption to vital infrastructure and services such as power, communications and transport. The risk of frequent tremors and aftershocks remains, as Japan is one of the most seismically active areas in the world. Aftershocks following an earthquake of this magnitude can be expected to continue for more than a year.

The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant was damaged by the earthquake/tsunami and the situation there remains serious and dynamic.  The U.S. State Department recommends that U.S. citizens avoid travel within a 50-mile radius of the facility.

Note: This summary is not exhaustive. Please visit the U.S. Department of State Country Specific Information and the State Department Travel Warning/Alert for Japan.

Please also take a moment to visit the U.S. Embassy website for the region you will be visiting:



Naha, Okinawa

Updated: 14 November, 2011

UT Restricted Region Map

Click to view Japan in a larger map

Map Legend

category1 Extreme Risk - 50 mile (80 kilometer) radius surrounding the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant
category3 Variable Risk - Northeastern areas affected by earthquake/tsunami

Useful Links

Links to International News Sources

BBC - Japan Country Profile

Reuters - Japan

CNN - Japan

NPR - Asia

NY Times - Japan

The Washington Post - Asia

The Huffington Post - Japan

MSNBC - Japan

The Economist - Japan

Links to Local/National News Sources

News on Japan
Japan Today
Japan Times
Asahi Shimbun
The Mainichi Daily News
Yomiuri Shimbun
Sankei Shimbun
Nikkei Net

The well-being of UT students, faculty, and staff is the primary concern of the UT-Austin International Oversight Committee.  We realize that some areas of the world present heightened health, safety, and security risks, and so the resources above are provided to help UT travelers make informed decisions regarding their international travel.