by Brian McAfee
March 15, 2011
The severe blow from nature with which the Japanese people were struck with on Friday, March eleventh purportedly took the lives of over ten thousand people while forever altering the lives and emotional well-being of hundreds of thousands more. The need to address the multifaceted nature and ongoing complexity of Japan’s disaster is evident with each day’s news updates. Within minutes after the 9.0 earthquake, northeastern Japan was engulfed by a tsunami that has done more damage then the initial earthquake.
This event was quickly followed by news of possible meltdowns from at least one damaged nuclear power plant and resultant contamination. Today’s reports speak of over half a million now homeless in addition to shortages (and need for) water, food and blankets in the still harsh winter conditions. Emotional needs, too, will be an important issue for many as new discoveries of deceased are being made.
Along with the needs for many kinds of support, another area of concern is the breakdown of the cooling systems in a number of Japan’s nuclear reactors. Aside from aftershocks and the threat of more tsunamis, the threat and effects of more meltdowns remain an ongoing concern. The questionable placing of nuclear power plants in geologically unstable regions of the world is exemplified in the U.S. with the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power plant located directly on a fault line near the shores of the Pacific in California.
As the tragic discoveries of bodies along the beaches of Japan continue and ongoing searches by survivors for their loved ones continue, the Japanese people will continue to need our love and material support. Therefore, please consider reaching out to personally help through making a donation to one of many fine groups providing assistance to the stricken Japanese people.
Several aid organizations are already there and active in the relief effort. Here is a list of several of them: International Medical Corps www.imc-la.com, Red Cross http://www.redcross.org/, Oxfam http://www.oxfam.org/, Americares http://www.americares.org/, Doctors Without Borders http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/.
I strongly encourage you to support the Japanese during this critical and tragic time. I, also, welcome any comments or suggestions, and can be reached at Brimac6@hotmail.com.
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Note: just received this from MSF (Doctors without Borders):
Immediately after Friday’s earthquake and tsunamis hit northeast Japan we dispatched a medical team to help in the relief effort.
They have initially been identifying unreached pockets of people who are in need of medical care and are now setting up a base in Tome, Miyagi prefecture from where they will conduct mobile medical clinics to these isolated communities.
We currently have eight doctors, two logistics specialists and a nurse working in the area and have donated 200kg of drugs as well as the use of two vehicles.
Although the death toll is high and the devastation is large-scale, the authorities in Japan were well-prepared for a disaster of this nature, and had well-defined emergency response plans.
Japanese Self Defence Forces (SDF), police, national rescue teams, and Disaster Medical Assistance Teams have all been involved with the combined response amounting to around 250,000 people to date.
The MSF response is tiny in comparison and at present we are not appealing for funds for our work in Japan.
For more information and a timeline of our activities please visit www.msf.org.uk