US Embassy #Japan Now on Authorized Departure

It looks like the US Embassy in Japan has just been declared on authorized departure for family members of mission employees in Tokyo, Yokohama and Nagoya. Authorized departure means voluntary evacuation, family members have the option to stay or go.

Via Twitter   

About an hour ago, from Laura Rozen of The Envoy:

State just called an 1130pm phone presser on Japan with U/S Pat kennedy, Deputy Energy Sec Dan Ponneman, Unusual late night presser   
about 1 hour ago  via web  

@lrozen Laura Rozen

About 600 dependents of US dip personnel in Japan affected, US will provide charter planes to help facilitate voluntary departures
32 minutes ago

@lrozen Laura Rozen

US authorizing not ordering voluntary departure of family members/dependents from USEmb Tokyo, consulate Nagoya, embassy continues to work
33 minutes ago

@W7VOA Steve Herman

US gov’t bringing aircraft to Tokyo for citizens who want to leave, authorizing voluntary departure of family members of embassy staff.   
20 minutes ago  via TweetDeck  

@chicoharlan Chico Harlan

The State Dept has authorized voluntary departure for employees in Tokyo, Yokohama and Nagoya.
18 minutes ago

Updated @1:07 am: State Department issued the following Travel Warning on March 16:

The U.S. Department of State warns U.S citizens of the deteriorating situation at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. The United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) recommends that U.S. citizens who live within 50 miles (80 km) of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant evacuate the area or take shelter indoors if safe evacuation is not practical. The State Department strongly urges U.S. citizens to defer travel to Japan at this time and those in Japan should consider departing. On March 16, 2011, the Department of State authorized the voluntary departure from Japan of eligible family members of U.S. government personnel in Tokyo, Nagoya, and Yokohama. This Travel Warning replaces the Travel Alert dated March 13, 2011.

Read the whole thing here.