On March 11, 2011 an earthquake measuring 9 on the richter scale occurred off the coast of northeastern Japan, triggering a tsunami 26 minutes later. There were seven major waves recorded over a six hour period, the first and largest, reaching 30 metres in places.
Close to 28,000 people are missing or confirmed dead. Hundreds of thousands of people were left homeless, many of whom continue to live in evacuation centres in 17 prefectures. They include hundreds of children, some of whom will have been orphaned by this disaster.
The Japanese Red Cross responded immediately, mobilizing medical teams from across the country. They continue to provide health care in Red Cross hospitals, evacuation centres and through mobile teams which visit more remote areas.