Triangle businesses with operations in Japan are working quickly to make sure employees are safe after the massive earthquake and tsunami.
Everyone at the Tokyo office of Raleigh-based Red Hat was accounted for, said spokeswoman Kara Schiltz. As of Friday morning, that area of Tokyo still had power, although employees have felt smaller aftershocks.
At Durham-based Quintiles, it will take time to contact all 2,300 personnel in Japan, said spokesman Phil Bridges. Many of those employees are sales representatives and not based at one of the pharmaceutical services company's seven offices in Japan.
Local Quintiles officials have reached some Japanese workers, mostly through e-mail because landline phones are jammed, Bridges said. One U.K. employee in was able to speak with a family member in Tokyo online using Skype.
All 204 SAS employees in Japan are safe and many stayed in the Tokyo office while public transportation and highways were shut down, said Allison Lane, a spokeswoman for the Cary software company. The building is new and constructed to withstand earthquakes. Employees in an Osaka office also have been confirmed to be safe, she added.
Wells Fargo & Co., the San Francisco-based bank with major North Carolina operations after buying Wachovia, has 50 employees in two Tokyo locations who are safe. The offices suffered minor damage, said spokeswoman Richele Messick.
In Durham, AW North Carolina vice president Will Collins said that his team is in e-mail contact with their counterparts in Japan. The company's parent, Japan's Aisin AW, is in the Nagoya area, farther south from where the earthquake hit. AW makes transmissions for Toyotas.
"The biggest concern is about our team members' extended families who might be in the disaster area," Collins said. "We're still waiting to hear more as things settle down."
Charlotte Observer staff writer Rick Rothacker contributed to this report.