2011 Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Efforts
5th largest Earthquake ever rocks Japan, with huge Aftershocks and towering Tsunamis
On March 11, 2011, at 05:46:23 UTC, a magnitude 8.9 earthquake hit off the Oshika Peninsula of Japan, an island that is home to about 100 million people. This is the largest earthquake to hit Japan in recorded history and one of the largest in the world since records began. The earthquake has triggered huge tsunamis, which have hit coastal areas of Japan and causing huge losses to life and property. The rule of thumb for seismologists is that an earthquake’s largest aftershock will be one magnitude smaller than the main shock, but major aftershocks have been recorded in other countries before, even more than a year after the initial main quake!
The Japanese earthquake ruptured near the boundary between the Pacific and North American tectonic plates — huge, moving slabs of the Earth’s crust. The quake was a megathrust earthquake, where the Pacific plate dove underneath Japan at the Japan Trench. The seafloor was pushed away from Japan sending waves roaring toward Hawaii and the West Coast of the United States. One expert said that the tsunami wave speed in deep water, open ocean, is about the same as a commercial jet’s ground speed!
Support for Japan
Presidents and official representatives of many countries have offered their official condolences and prayers to the families of the victims, and major countries have promised Japan of any assistance needed.
Technical reviews of Nuclear Plants
Japan is struggling to avert a major nuclear disaster, as explosions rocked some of its nuclear reactors. Nearby countries are worried about radiation fallout. Some countries with aging nuclear reactors and failsafe mechanisms, have ordered internal technical review of their nuclear plants, to check if they can withstand the impact of large natural disasters such as tsunamis and earthquakes.
LIVE INCIDENT MAPS
USGS maintains the live real-time worldwide earthquake monitoring updates:
ESRI has this interactive Japan incident map , showing some of the earthquake and tsunami incidents:
How You Can Help
Google‘s Crisis Response Center, has links to the Japan Person Finder (to locate affected/missing family/friends) and an easy option to donate directly to Japan’s Red Cross Society, which is assisting in relief and rehabilitation efforts.
Similar to their efforts to help Haiti after the earthquake in 2010, American Red Cross is accepting donations online or via text message.
Simply text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10 from your phone (you’ll be prompted to confirm with a second text reading YES). Any spare relief funds will be used for other disasters.
Working with other organizations such as the International Medical Corps, GlobalGiving organization has launched the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund , which will give aid to on the ground organizations providing emergency services. They are accepting donations online.
The relief effort providing food, medical care and education to children is accepting donations through mobile phones by texting JAPAN to 20222 to donate $10. People can also call 1-800-728-3843 during business hours or visit www.savethechildren.org to donate online.
Perhaps one of the easiest and cheapest ways to donate is to just hit the “Like” button for the “Dog Bless You” Facebook page:
Explore.org is donating $1 for every Like that they get, up to $100,000.
TECH GIANTS – MICROSOFT, GOOGLE & APPLE
Microsoft has donated $100,000 to Japanese relief agencies, while Google will donate $250000.
Apple have created a donation page in iTunes [warning: iTunes link] that makes it simple to donate anywhere from $5 to $200 to the Red Cross with just a few clicks.