Sendai earthquake, tsunami impact Pokémon officials

Sugimori stuck at airport, Harada stuck for three days
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  • Saturday, March 12, 2011

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This article brought to you by Bulbanews, your community Pokémon newspaper.

The 8.9-magnitude earthquake that struck Japan on Friday 11 March has affected everyone, including several Pokémon officials.

Midori Harada, an artist for the Pokémon Trading Card Game as well as the main series games, has tweeted that:

Not allowed to leave the building. It is OK if I use the stairs, given that there is no problem at other floors. Hmm, I would like you to work in about 3 days now elevator.
  -- Midori Harada  

Ken Sugimori, illustrator of the artwork for Pokémon games, has also tweeted that he is stuck at the Naha Airport.

After traveling March 10 and 11 to Okinawa for business travel, I have not suffered. The flight was canceled on March 11, and unable to fly. Presently waiting at the Naha airport since cancellation.
  -- Ken Sugimori  

Despite numerous reports on various social networking websites, Pokémon creator Satoshi Tajiri is still alive and is well.

Nintendo of America has also released a tweet stating:

Thanks for your concern! During the earthquake no one at Nintendo in Japan was injured and there was no apparent structural damage.
  -- Nintendo of America  

If Bulbanews learns of any other Pokémon Company, Game Freak or Nintendo staff that have been affected by the earthquake, or if it will have any effect on the franchise (as did a 2004 earthquake), this article will be updated.

Update: Ken Sugimori has confirmed that Satoshi Tajiri is in fact alive in response to someone asking if he had passed away, to which Sugimori tweeted Tajiri was alive.

He is alive
  -- Ken Sugimori  

T.V. Tokyo has not announced programming for the coming week. A cancellation of tomorrow's airing of Pokémon Smash is likely.

Sendai earthquake is one of the worst natural disasters to ever affect Japan. The death toll is currently over 1,000, with thousands still missing or unaccounted for. The event has also triggered an explosion at one of Japan's nuclear power plants, leaving officials concerned about the possibility of a meltdown.

Update 2: Ken Sugimori has tweeted that he has returned home safely.

I safely returned home last night. Thank you very much to everyone who was worried.
  -- Ken Sugimori  

He has additionally confirmed the safety of all Game Freak staff.

Furthermore, all Game Freak staff members are confirmed as safe.
  -- Ken Sugimori  

Update 3: Midori Harada has tweeted that she is fine and that her elevator has been fixed.

@bulbanews Thank you every time. I'm fine, my elevator is recovered. Many people worry me. And thank you pokemon fan all the world.
  -- Midori Harada  

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