HELP – 2011 Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Efforts

Posted: Monday, March 14, 2011 in News
Tags: , , , , , , ,

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.


USGS maintains the live real-time worldwide earthquake monitoring updates:

USGS Earthquake Monitor


ESRI has this interactive Japan incident map , showing some of the earthquake and tsunami incidents:

ESRI Incident Map - Japan 2011 - EarthQuakes & Tsunamis


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 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: is donating $1 for every Like that they get, up to $100,000.


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.


The UK-based organization has 18 international affiliates and it has launched an online fundraiser for the earthquake and tsunami relief efforts. Shelterbox provides assistance to afflicted countries by delivering large utility boxes that contain a shelter and other emergency relief tools. To donate online, simply go to the ShelterBox website, choose your country’s site under INTERNATIONAL section of the front page, and click DONATE .


The group is the largest alliance of U.S.-based international nongovernmental organizations and lists many ways to help on its site,


Buying virtual digital crops can help children affected by the earthquake. Zynga, has joined forces with Save the Children’s Japan Earthquake Tsunami Emergency Fund to get its users to donate money through the purchase of virtual goods in CityVille, FrontierVille, FarmVille and its other games. All of the money from the sweet potatoes purchases in CityVille, radishes in FarmVille or kobe cows in FrontierVille will go towards Save the Children’s efforts in the Pacific.


To donate to this global non-profit’s Emergency Response Efforts fund , simply go to their site and select the amount you wish to donate (be sure to note if you want your donation to be a “recurring gift” for future relief efforts) and fill in your information.


This non-profit focuses on disaster relief efforts and you can donate online at their site or via text message by texting TSUNAMI to 50555 (you’ll also be prompted to confirm with a follow up text of YES).


The aggregator of charities has a list of programs and ways to donate to relief efforts. Visit


The Japan branch of the Salvation Army has been working in Tokyo to offer shelter to stranded commuters and they are reportedly organizing a team to send to Sendai Friday night. They also have their Hawaii branch standing by, ready to help. You can help their relief efforts by texting JAPAN or QUAKE to 80888 to make a $10 donation.


Harness the power of your Twitter account to do some good for the people of Japan.

Earlier this morning, Twitter published a blog post detailing ways you can help with the relief efforts. Not only have they updated Japan’s mobile website with the latest information on the disaster, but they have also published a list of hashtags to tweet and/or follow related to the crisis.


Buy a specially designed “We Pray For Japan” prayer bracelet by Lady Gaga for $5, and all proceeds will be donated to the Japan relief efforts.

Celebrities like Britney Spears, Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, Adam Lambert, Diddy and many more sent their prayers via Twitter, to those affected by the disaster.


Verizon and Sprint have also launched separate text-messaging-based donation schemes.

Verizon announced today that customers can use their mobile phones to make $10 donations to a host of non-profit organizations responding to the earthquake and subsequent tsunami. Customers can easily make a $10 donation by simply sending a text message and may choose from nine organizations aiding those in need in Japan, including the American Red Cross. Simply text the specific word to the organization’s designated short code:

* ADRA Relief: text SUPPORT to 85944
* American Red Cross Relief: text REDCROSS to 90999
* Convoy of Hope: text TSUNAMI or SUNAMI to 50555
* GlobalGiving: text JAPAN to 50555
* International Medical Corps: text MED to 80888
* Mercy Corps: text MERCY to 25383
* Salvation Army: text JAPAN to 80888
* Save the Children Federation, Inc.: text JAPAN or TSUNAMI to 20222
* World Relief Corp. of National Association of Evangelicals: text WAVE to 50555
* World Vision, Inc.: text 4JAPAN or 4TSUNAMI to 20222

Sprint is waiving text-message fees for Sprint customers who send mobile donations to a number of short codes and organizations participating in the relief and recovery efforts. Currently, Sprint text messages sent to and from the following short codes will not be charged standard text-messaging fees:

* Text “REDCROSS to “90999” to donate $10 on behalf of the American Red Cross.
* Text “TSUNAMI to “50555” to donate $10 on behalf of Convoy of Hope, Inc.
* Text “WAVE” to “50555” to donate $10 on behalf of the World Relief Corp. of National Association of Evangelicals.
* Text “JAPAN” or “QUAKE” to 80888 to donate $10 on behalf of The Salvation Army.


To follow live updates from the Epicentres of the disaster, you can subscribe to these Twitter accounts…

In English:

* @HawaiiRedCross
* @SayaJRCS
* @hlimor
* @Federation (IFRC)
* @RedCross
* @CNNLive
* @alertnet

In Japanese:

* @earthquake_jp
* @bosai_kesennuma
* @aomoripref
* @pref_iwate
* @nhk_pr
* @twinavi

  1. […] HELP – 2011 Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Efforts ( […]

  2. […] HELP – 2011 Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Efforts ( […]

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