Japan 2011: String of Disasters and How We Can Help
The internet and all other media have been abuzz with news of Japan’s tsunami and 8.9 magnitude earthquake combo. It’s taking me a while to digest all the information that these tragedies imply because Japan, known for its obsessive-compulsiveness when it comes to organization, has very good Disaster Risk Reduction Management programs. And yet they’re still rounding up dead bodies that multiply by the thousand. This on top of the main island moving by 8 feet and shifting the entire planet’s axis, thereby affecting the world.
Click to enlarge image. This photo, from CNN, was taken by NASA. It shows a comparison of Japan’s shoreline before and after the incident. As of this photo’s release, hundreds and thousands of people were feared to be dead, with death tolls that may alarmingly rise above 10,000.
I’m looking at the videos in CNN right now and the titles are not very promising:
- Finding more bodies than survivors
- The remains of a Japanese town
- Minamisanriku, Japan: Nothing left
- Tsunami turns airport into island
- Most difficult crisis since WWII
And now they’re also talking about nuclear reactor meltdowns in the wake of all these. But scaring ourselves silly instead of acting will not really help matters. Lounging in Facebook and making usyoso isn’t really going to help either. So what can we do?
For one, Google has tools that can help track down missing people.
Two, you can also donate to various organizations that are mobilizing to aid Japan. I’ve been a Red Cross donor since Hurricane Katrina and this is one organization that keeps me abreast of developments. I’m having a bit of problem donating through the main site now (it’s no longer accepting my credit card for some reason), so I used Amazon.com’s Red Cross portal.
If you want to look at other options, you can check out Network for Good, which has a huge list of other charities that are responding to this crisis.
For BLOGGERS, you can run an application called the Hello Bar. I’m running it right now and you can see the “Help Japan” alert at the very top of this page. If you’re signing up for it, use the invite code “helpjapan” because it’ll take you quite some time to get an account otherwise.
For now, my prayers are with all of the people who are residing and have yet to be found in Japan.