The State Department says the first evacuation flight of U.S. citizens has left Japan in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake and tsunami that sparked a crisis at a nuclear power plant.
Undersecretary of State Patrick Kennedy told a news conference Thursday that the flight left Tokyo for Taipei, Taiwan, on Thursday.
He said fewer than 100 people were onboard, mostly dependents of U.S. officials, and also some other private citizens.
Kennedy said the U.S. would provide at least one other aircraft on Friday, depending on need.
The U.S. has warned citizens to defer all non-essential travel to Japan and for military personnel providing aid and others still in the country to evacuate from a 50-mile radius around the stricken nuclear plant.