After the massive 8.9 earthquake and ensuing tsunami, Japan is left in total devastation right now. Two nuclear reactor cores have exploded, partially melting down, and another one is in serious threat of doing the same. The death toll has risen to over 10,000. Millions are left without water, power, heat, or transportation. Early damage estimates have put the costs at nearly $35 billion. Radiation near the downed power plants is leaking into the towns, exposing radiation to the survivors. Donating money is one of the easiest ways to help out, and even a little donation goes a long way.
Here's how to locate people over there:
If you are looking for information on people in the quake zone, Google has opened a Person Finder page.
Ushahidi, a crowdsourcing mapping tool, has set up a local platform for Japan that allows people in the area affected by the earthquake to text the location of people who may be trapped in damaged buildings.
Inquiries concerning U.S. citizens living or traveling in Japan should be referred to the U.S. Department of State, Office of Overseas Citizens Services at 1-888-407-4747 or 202 647-5225.
Here are five organizations that you can donate to:
1. The American Red Cross: Red Cross officials say donors can text REDCROSS to 90999 and a $10 donation will automatically be charged to donor's phone bill, or donations can be made directly on its Web site.
2. Waves 4 Water: Jon Rose is working on a plan for ground relief efforts coordinated with the Japanese military and anyone with boats, helicopters, or the means to reach stranded people. Help them gather the resources by donating.
3. Global Giving/International Medical Corps: Global Giving is working with International Medical Corps, Save the Children, and other organizations on the ground to disburse funds to organizations providing relief and emergency services to victims of the earthquake and tsunami. Donors can text JAPAN to 50555 to give $10, and larger increments can be submitted on Global Giving's Web site.
4. Doctors Without Borders: They don’t have donations set up specifically for Japanese relief funds, but they have sent large numbers of medical teams to the area and donating will surely help continue their efforts.
5. The Salvation Army: The Salvation Army has been providing food and shelter to Tokyo commuters who were stranded when public transportation was interrupted by the earthquake. They are to send a team to Sendai, a city about 250 miles Tokyo, to assess the situation there. Text JAPAN or QUAKE to 80888 to make a $10 donation. (Make sure to respond "YES" to the Thank You message you receive.) Donations can also be made on the organization's Web site or by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY.