The Japan Disaster.

By now, I think most of you out there would have heard about the incredibly sad and scary list of calamities plaguing Japan. Whether it be from news media or social networks like Twitter or just word of mouth, pretty much everyone has heard of the 9.0 earthquake (which is the strongest in history for a country prone to strong earthquakes) to the resultant tsunamis, nuclear reactor meltdowns, a (relation unknown) volcanic eruption and (possibly) more tsunamis and aftershocks to come.

In this time of devastation, it is heartening to hear of the aid that has been pouring into Japan as well as reports of the resilience and strength of the Japanese people in the face of the sudden destruction.

While this blog might not have a very high readership, I’d like to do my part in helping out, the least of which would be appealing to whatever readers I have to lend a helping hand in any way you can. I’m no expert on what to do in such situations but I think there’re three suggestions we can work on:

1. Keep yourself updated on the situation

Whether it is to know what to pray for or where to channel your donations to or even just to keep things in perspective, it’d be a good idea to keep up to date on at least significant developments on what is happening over there.

As expected of a disaster of such a magnitude, information can be gotten from several outlets (although do be warned that places like Twitter are prone to the spreading of inaccurate information, for example, the supposed death of Satoshi Tajiri in the quake, a statement which has been proven false by Nintendo). For those who do not want to be overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information in news outlets, you can take a look here. Other than up-to-date, reliable (at least it looks that way to me) news from Japan, this blog also contains several photos taken at the disaster sites, which serve as a grim reminder of what has really been taking place there.

2. Pray

Being a Christian, I’ve always believed in the power of prayer and, while it might not appear to be of much tangible value, I know that the collective prayer of millions around the world will be of help to the people of Japan.

3. Donations

Of course, on top of prayer, those of us who can could offer more tangible assistance as well. While it might be unsafe or impractical to head over there to join in the rescue efforts, those of us who can spare a little change can contribute donations to different organisations to help out.

While Japan has not asked for international help yet and past cases have shown that funds donated to certain organisations don’t actually end up where they should, it would be good to cough up some dough for the reliable ones first, on the basis that Japan, no matter how self-sufficient and prepared they claim to be, would not be able to handle the situation should it continue to deteriorate and that it would eventually ask for assistance and, by that time, enough funds should have already been collected to be put to good use immediately.

For those who want to donate money but do not know where to do so (or for those who just want to keep themselves abreast of the situation or who want to know the status of relatives/friends living in Japan), head to Google’s Crisis page to see the available options.

It might sound cliché but, though each of our contributions might be small, together they’d really be a great help to a country that looks like it’ll be in need of a lot of help pretty soon. For those who can spare some change, do donate. For those who can’t, please keep Japan in prayer.

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