On March 11, 2011, a huge 8.9 earthquake and subsequent tsunami hit Japan, causing widespread destruction.
President Obama has already released a statement sending "deepest condolences" and promising support to the stricken country.
"The United States stands ready to help the Japanese people in this time of great trial."
Additionally, many organizations and funds have mobilized to provide relief to those affected by the disaster.
In response to the quake, The Red Cross has already launched efforts in Japan. Visit Redcross.org or text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10 from your phone.
Save the Children has also responded. Eiichi Sadamatsu of the organization released a statement, saying:
"We are extremely concerned for the welfare of children and their families who have been affected by the disaster. We stand ready to meet the needs of children who are always the most vulnerable in a disaster."
The organization is currently organizing efforts and donations to its Children's Emergency Fund will support outreach.
UNICEF is also coordinating efforts to help the children of Japan. Use this form on UNICEF's website to donate 100 percent of your desired amount to their fund designated for victims of the earthquake or text JAPAN to 864233 to donate $10.
International Medical Corps is responding to the health needs of the disaster's victims. Nancy Aossey, President & CEO, International Medical Corps said in a statement:
"We are putting together relief teams, as well as supplies, and are in contact with partners in Japan and other affected countries to assess needs and coordinate our activities."
To donate or learn about other ways you can contribute to its medical response, visit Internationalmedicalcorps.org. Also, text MED to 80888 from any mobile phone to give $10.
The Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund was launched at GlobalGiving.org to garner funds that will be given to a variety of relief organizations helping victims of the earthquake. It has already raised over $100,000, particularly from concerned Twitter users around the world. The project page explains:
We are working with International Medical Corps, Save the Children, and other organizations on the ground to provide support. Our partners on the ground are working hard to provide immediate relief.
Salvation Army personnel are organizing efforts in Tokyo and will soon send a team to help the severely damaged city of Sendai, Japan. To contribute to earthquake relief, text 'JAPAN' or 'QUAKE' to 80888 to make a $10 donation or visit SalvationArmyUSA.org.
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is sending two three-person teams to the Iwate and Miyagi prefectures in Japan. To learn more about the organization's efforts or make a donation, visit Doctorswithoutborders.org.
Other relief organizations are also sending representatives to disaster sites, including AmeriCare and Shelterbox.
MercyCorps is gathering donations for its overseas partner, Peace Winds Japan, which currently has personnel on the ground distributing emergency relief in Japan.
Operation USA has also announced efforts to collect bulk corporate donations of health care supplies. Their first major shipment of supplies includes 130,000 pieces of winter clothing along with hand-crank radios, flashlights, hygiene supplies, portable lights and miscellaneous medical supplies. The organization is encouraging monetary donations through their website, OpUSA.org, so additional supplies can be purchased closer to disaster sites.
The International Fund for Animal Welfare will soon be deploying a team to assess needs regarding animal rescue. Dick Green, the organization's emergency relief manager for disasters, wrote on IFAW's blog:
"As we saw most recently in Haiti, major disasters require long-term planning and a concerted effort between NGO and governmental ranks to ensure that the greatest number of animals and humans benefit from the intervention."
They are encouraging support through donations, which will be used to buy pet food, veterinary supplies, vaccines and other necessities for animals needing help.
For any who have loved ones abroad, Google has stepped up to help. Along with a tsunami alert posted on its front page, Google has launched the Person Finder: 2011 Japan Earthquake to help connect people that may have been displaced due to the disaster. Google has also launched a crisis response page filled with local resources and emergency information.
Judy Chang, head of PayPal's nonprofit group, announced that transactional fees incurred by money transfers to US 501(c)(3) organizations (or charities registered with the Canada Revenue Agency) between March 11 and April 10 will aid relief efforts in Japan.
World Vision has announced global mobilization in response to tsunami warnings. Geoff Shepherd, the organization's humanitarian and emergency affairs director for the Asia-Pacific region, released a statement on World Vision's website, saying:
“We’ve also alerted our Global Rapid Response Team and have put team members on standby for possible deployment to affected areas. This could be a very serious disaster in multiple countries and our staff are prepared to respond.”
To donate to World Vision, follow the Impact links below: