News / Asia

Private Companies on Standby to Aid in Evacuations From Japan

Evacuees Kazuko Hiraushi (r) and her husband Yoshidaka, who lost their house in the massive earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan a week earlier, cry after observing a minute's silence in memory of the victims, at an evacuation center near a devastated
Evacuees Kazuko Hiraushi (r) and her husband Yoshidaka, who lost their house in the massive earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan a week earlier, cry after observing a minute's silence in memory of the victims, at an evacuation center near a devastated

Multimedia

Audio
Sharon Behn

Private security companies that specialize in civilian rescue operations say that despite the horrific scenes coming out of Japan, the country is probably better prepared for disaster than almost any other nation in the world.

Thousands of foreign nationals are trying to get out Japan and away from its rising chaos and nuclear threat. And help is available - from private companies with experience in such situations.

Daniel Richards, CEO of Global Rescue, based in Boston, Massachusetts, said, "We obviously do know that the country, Japan, for a long time has suffered from earthquake and tsunami threats and that these events do sometimes occur. So, as a company that has clients who rely on us for these types of crisis response services in this region, we have been preparing for these kinds of events in this region due to the frequency with which they occur."


Global Rescue has been involved in a number of large scale evacuations, most recently in Libya. The company currently has three clients in Japan, but unless the radiation threat from the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant gets considerably worse, Richards feels Japan is well prepared.

"The Japanese government was probably more prepared for this type of event than any other government in virtually any country in the world" said Richards.

But even Japan is having difficulty coping in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami that swept its northeastern regions a week ago. Food and fuel are in short supply. And there are growing fears of radioactive fallout from the overheating nuclear reactors.  

Northcott Global Solutions in Britain also is monitoring the situation. It specializes in evacuations from remote or challenging areas, and employs former British soldiers to carry out operations.

Northcott CEO Ted Jones has advised the British government on evacuations and crisis management in Tunisia, Libya, Yemen, and now, Japan. Jones said he has spoken to British officials about land, sea and air evacuation options, but so far Northcott is not involved on the ground in Japan.

"The infrastructure of the country, within Japan, as hideous as that situation is, is still up and running," said Jones. "You can, for instance, still fly out of Tokyo and various other airports there."

So for now, these companies remain on standby, waiting to see if the Japanese government can bring the nuclear problem under control while keeping roads and airports open.

You May Like

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid