Like millions around the world, I've been closely following the news updates and footages of the Sendai earthquake and tsunami that struck last Friday, 11 March 2011. There's something fundamentally horrific and yet devastatingly compelling about a natural disaster that draws people together, especially when majority of the earthquake news footages are being filmed by ordinary, normal people living through it.
I don't even know how to describe it, watching news footage of immense, unstoppable black waves, filled with debris and cars, houses, engulfing everything in its path. I was briefly reminded of the Sept 11 attacks although one is a man-made tragedy while the other is nature at its most catastrophic. The similarity in both events for me was that it engendered feelings of disbelief that something of this magnitude has happened. Like the 2010 Chilean earthquake, proof of how cataclysmal the Sendai earthquake was, is that the full brute power of it has caused our planet's axis to shift by 4 inches and the coast of Japan to move by 8 feet.
As ever more photos are emerging of the aftermath, of survivors trying to locate missing family members, the raising death toll count, of Japan still trying to grapple with the very present danger of a nuclear meltdown, what can the masses sitting in front of the TV, computer screen, reading the tragedy from the newspapers, do right now? To be honest, nothing much except prayers and more tangible forms of support through monetary aids.
It's inevitable that as time passes, news coverages of the disaster will start to dwindle and disappear, and the shock and horror gradually wears off in the international community. So it's what you do now that's crucial and urgent.
There's quite a few organisations collecting donations and raising relief funds right now. Some would be:
American Red Cross
Red Cross International
Save the Children
Global Giving (accepts Paypal)
For locals, the Singapore Red Cross is also accepting donations: http://www.redcross.org.sg/Japan-Disaster-2011.phtml
It seems so sadly mercenary to talk about lolita buying and the Sendai earthquake in the same sentence but I believe every bit helps so here goes, Juliette et Justine is also having a fund-raising fair. 40% off sale items, profits will go to aid while 10% of profit of regular non-sale items go to aid.