I'm going to keep you updated here with the latest news on what's happening in Japan right now, including travel and safety news.
The March 11th earthquake was ultimately measured at 9.0, and had a significant impact on Tokyo and northeast Japan. It is estimated that up to 20,000 people may have died.
Tokyo: there has been major infrastructure damage, and train and subway schedules have been reduced to save power. Service to Narita airport has been suspended. There is a shortage of electricity, food and water. There are continued aftershocks that could reach as high as 7 on the richter scale. Tokyo is at the moment unaffected by the radiation leak in Fukushima, 270km away.
Sendai: There is a shortage of power and water in Sendai, with many parts of the city without either.
Many towns and villages in the region are extremely difficult to get to, and rescue attempts are underway. Most governments have advised against travel to Japan at this time, and several airlines have cancelled flights.
AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon are offering free calls and texts from the US to Japan until the end of March.
If you would like to donate to relief efforts, you can do so through Google's crisis response site here
I'll keep this thread updated as news comes in!