Icelandic Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurdardóttir sent her Japanese counterpart Naoto Kan her deepest condolences on behalf of the Icelandic government and nation on Friday because of the natural disaster currently devastating the country.
Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurdardóttir. Photo by Geir Ólafsson.
She said in her letter that the thoughts of Icelanders are with the Japanese people—tens of thousands of people are believed to have died after earthquakes and a subsequent tsunami hit the country on Friday, Morgunbladid reports.
President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson also sent a letter of condolence to Japanese Emperor Akihito on behalf of the Icelandic nation last weekend.
Japanese authorities have neither requested the assistance of the Icelandic Red Cross nor the Icelandic Crisis Response Unit, whose alert level was upgraded to “stand-by” at one point on Friday but later lowered to “monitoring” again, ICE-SAR described on its website.
Crisis response units from the US, Australia, New Zealand and South Korea have been called out as has the International Red Cross.
Icelandic Ambassador to Japan Stefán L. Stefánsson said all Icelanders residing in Japan are safe. One Icelander, Einar Andreas Helgason, was in Sendai when the tsunami hit but outside the disaster zone. It is recommended that he stays there for now.
Click here to read more about the Icelandic Crisis Response Unit’s alert level.