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University of the Pacific Statement Regarding the Japanese Earthquake

Mar 11, 2011

Updated at 9 a.m. Saturday, March 12, 2011

University officials are deeply saddened by the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan late last night. Our hearts and prayers go out to the citizens of that nation as well as to all who have family, friends and loved ones in Japan.

Since word of the earthquake and tsunami was reported in the United States, Pacific has reached out to our students who are studying in Japan, those who are scheduled to head to Japan soon, and to Japanese students studying here. We are checking to make sure they are safe, asking if they have contacted their families, and offering any assistance that they may need to get through this crisis. The University has been using e-mail, Facebook and phone numbers to contact those students, though currently the phone system in Japan is overwhelmed by calls in and out of the country.

Pacific has seven students studying in Japan. All seven have been contacted and are safe. They either are in areas of Japan that had minimal earthquake damage or were in another country during the recent school break.

Pacific also has three students scheduled to start studying in Japan in the next two to three weeks. We have heard from allt hree of those students today - all are still in the United States.

Pacific has 11 students from Japan studying in California, a mix of undergraduate, exchange and professional degree students. While Pacific is on Spring Break this week, none of those students requested the necessary paperwork that would allow them to travel out of the United States during this time. We have heard from three of those students. All are still in the United States and reported that they have contacted family in Japan and those family members also are safe. We are still reaching out to the other eight to check on their conditions and to offer them any support they need while they try to contact their families in Japan.

Pacific also has sent out messages to students studying in countries that currently have tsunami warnings or watches to make sure they also are safe.

We will continue to update the status of the students as we can. That information will be posted at http://emergency.pacific.edu.