Please make a donation to the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Appeal via official humanitarian organisations such as the Red Cross/Red Crescent, World Vision, and Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontiers
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Relief workers from around the world are treating the injured, providing psychological support and distributing relief items in the aftermath of a massive earthquake which hit Japan on 11 March.
The earthquake, measuring 9.0 on the Richter scale, triggered a tsunami which hit the east coast of Japan with 7-metre-high waves. More than 7000 people are confirmed dead and many more are injured. The death toll is expected to rise to over 10,000.
With thousands still missing, search and rescue remains a priority.
Red Cross response
So far, the Japanese Red Cross has deployed 115 national disaster response teams, with more than 730 staff members, including doctors and nurses.
Sir Nick Young, British Red Cross chief executive, said: “Our supporters have responded to this situation with huge generosity and solidarity in their donations to the Japan Tsunami Appeal. We are extremely grateful for and humbled by their support. Thank you to everyone who has given.
“The costs of the relief effort, and of rebuilding the homes and lives of those affected, will be immense. Donations to the British Red Cross will be used towards helping the Japanese people recover from this devastating natural disaster over the coming months and years.”
More than 4,600 houses were totally destroyed and around 68,000 were damaged as a result of the earthquake and tsunami. Some 440,000 people have been evacuated or displaced and the Japanese government has opened around 2,500 evacuation centres.
The Japanese Red Cross has more than two million registered volunteers, many with specialist training. Volunteers are providing psychological and practical support to displaced people and providing medical transportation. They are offering people hot meals and distributing relief items, including more than 76,000 blankets.
The Red Cross specialist helicopter team has evacuated people from rooftops and is assisting with the logistics of transporting medicine and food to hospitals. The majority of patients being treated by Red Cross medical teams are elderly people, who may have conditions such as hypertension or diabetes, as well as ailments resulting from the tsunami such as hypothermia and pneumonia.
As concerns mount about radiation leaks from nuclear power plants in Fukushima, Red Cross staff and volunteers are helping care for the thousands of people evacuated from the 20-kilometre exclusion zone surrounding the affected plants.
images courtesy of MSF
Restoring family links
Thousands of people in Japan and elsewhere have lost contact with family members because of the earthquake and tsunami.
The International Committee of the Red Cross, working closely with the Japanese Red Cross, has launched a special family links website to help people seeking to re-establish contact with family members and friends.
People in Japan and abroad can register on the website to inform their family and friends that they are safe and provide their current contact details, while those looking for people can check the list for information. They can also register the names of family members and friends, encouraging them to get in touch.
If you have the mobile phone number of a relative who is in the affected areas, you can check the mobile phone company’s disaster message board to see whether your relative has registered a message. The services are available in English and Japanese. If you do not know your relative’s mobile phone company, you can try the following networks: DoCoMo i-mode SoftBank – English version and Japanese version
WILLCOM. The Google Person Finder site is available at: http://japan.person-finder.appspot.com/?lang=en
There are a number of official ways that you can donate: please find some useful links below:
MEDECINS SANS FRONTIER/DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS: click here
AMERICAN RED CROSS click here
AUSTRALIAN RED click here
BRITISH RED CROSS click here
WORLD VISION click here