“I’m heartbroken by this tragedy. I think when you see what’s happening in Japan you are reminded that for all our differences in culture or language or religion, that ultimately humanity is one. And when we face these kinds of natural disasters, whether it’s in New Zealand or Haiti or Japan, then you think about your own family and you think how would you feel if you lost a loved one, or if your entire lifesavings were gone because of the devastation.” President Obama (News Conference this morning)
The terrible tragedy of the last 18 hours has left many dead and much devastation in the wake of an 8.9 massive earthquake that triggered a tsunami in an area north east of Tokyo, Japan. In Sendai, a ward in Miyagi Prefecture, 300+ bodies were found, in Natori City and Kesennuma City fires raged, and Minanisoma, Ichihara area and many communities in the Miyagi and Fukushima Prefectures, the death toll will undoubtedly rise as the ships, cars and homes we saw washed away by the roiling tsunami, on TV, are searched for those who last occupied them. My heart breaks as we watch the news updates and send prayers and healing blessings to the people of Japan; a country I love dearly. Google has initiated its Japan People Finder to help those looking for friends and family in what is being assessed as the 6th deadliest earthquake to date; earlier today reverberations were expected in many countries on the pacific coastal line.
I think of Megumi, Yuko, Akiko, Mika, other friends and classmates, bloggers, everyone really, and pray that all are safe. It is still hard to reach people and our collective heartfelt wishes for safety and survival goes out to all in Japan. The earthquake and subsequent Tsunami hit Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures causing horrendous damages in many communities in those areas. I kept imagining how enormous the tremors must have been for people to experience the scary aftershock in buildings, stores and homes in Tokyo and elsewhere. Tokyo has lots of skyscrapers, huge hotel and shopping edifices and a complex, highly efficient underground train system. I can’t imagine how frightening it must have been to be underground at the Shinjuku Station, in Tokyo Tower, or in any of the affected areas in Miyagi, Fukushima and throughout Japan.
Less than a month ago, I had a post about tough times around the world; written after the Christchurch earthquake and with the ongoing political upheavals in North Africa. At the time, I had added a picture of what I had termed an impending Tsunami and so, in a sad and haunting way, the events in Japan remind me again how precarious life is and how nature continues to howl and rage at us; against man. Why?
The New York based Japan Society.Org has created a dedicated page for donations and information. The Red Cross has initiated a relief fund with similar updates. Causes Exchange compiled a list of 10 non-profits offering aid. As I suggested in that post on February 22nd, I hope we find comfort in the Serenity Prayer (see below) and in the collective global community effort to support Japan at this difficult time… I believe the President spoke eloquently for us all.