A major earthquake off the coast of Japan doesn’t typically directly affect Mobilians, but today’s 7.1 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Honshu, Japan occurred while two city councilors and the city’s chief of staff are in the country.

On Oct 24, Chief of Staff Al Stokes and councilmen Fred Richardson and CJ Small flew to Tokyo to spend an extended weekend in Mobile’s sister city Ichihara, Japan, which is about 175 miles south of Honshu. The trio are there to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Mobile and Ichihara becoming sister cities. The three Mobilians are safe but keeping a watchful eye on the situation.

City spokeswoman Barbara Drummond spoke to Small after the earthquake and he reported they were fine. “I talked to Councilman Small who said they are OK,” Drummond said. “Everyone is on guard.” The main parade for the 20th anniversary of the Mobile and Ichihara sister city union was cancelled.