Crisis in Japan

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-11-2010
Crisis in Japan
4
Tue, 03-15-2011 - 10:32am
Been watching the nuclear crisis escalate these past few days in Japan, and I'm not in any way optimistic that we've seen the worst of it yet. My stomach is absolutely in knots. If radiation levels get so high that the workers cannot even remain in the nuke plants to work on the reactors, the Japanese, relief workers, and neighboring countries are in a lot of trouble. My heart is just breaking for the Japanese people. What a nightmare to have to cope with their biggest earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear crisis all at the same time. Many have lost everything. Homes, loved ones, sources of income as their work places no longer exist, the ability to move around as transportation infrastructure has been wiped out and roads are impassable, the ability to communicate via phone to check on family and friends, etc. Entire communities are now completely unrecognizable. There have been numerous press reports of Japanese people expressing gratitude towards members of the international press who've shown up to cover the stories unfolding there . . . they are simply amazed that anyone even cares about them or what they're going through enough to actually go to Japan with video cameras. I've always been impressed by the character of the Japanese . . . especially by the way they treat their elderly and look after one another. They will get through this without any societal break down, I am sure. But as the days pass, it's clear that they have fewer and fewer resources to share amongst themselves. So I hope that everyone who can spare even $5 or $10 will consider making a donation to the Red Cross or some other reputable charity that is working to provide food, water, shelter, clothing, and other necessary aid to the people affected.
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-28-2009
Tue, 03-15-2011 - 10:49am
I totally just did. A lot of people talk about how saddened they are by all of this and how they wish they could help. Well, put your money where your mouth is.

http://www.redcross.org/portal/site/en/menuitem.1a019a978f421296e81ec89e43181aa0/?vgnextoid=f9efd2a1ac6ae210VgnVCM10000089f0870aRCRD
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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-11-2010
Tue, 03-15-2011 - 11:52am
Awesome. And I hear you on those who say they wish they could help . . . I know that some people just can't spare anything, but there is always a way to help for those who can. Honestly, I can't fathom how much worse of a humanitarian crisis is needed in order to motivate some to act and help their fellow human beings. I mean, Haiti was just horrendous, but even that didn't affect such a large portion of the country as what we're seeing in Japan. Looking at Japan, you'd think that a fourth of the the country has just been wiped off the map. Really, the only thing better than donating would be having the capacity to be there and physically hand people the things they are in need of. But the Red Cross is a great organization and 91 cents of every dollar donated goes directly to the people affected. Shady "charities" always pop up during natural disasters, so I do get why some people are a little skeptical about their money going where they want it to. The Red Cross is always a safe bet for that reason.
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-10-1999
Thu, 03-17-2011 - 1:14am
Julia and Chelle,

I completely agree with both of you. I always donate to the Red Cross and Doctors without Borders (Medicins sans Frontiers), and I will continue to do so with each paycheck.

I have been in tears watching the videos and the coverage.... yeah some of that may be PMS but honestly, I cannot conceive of having to cope with that kind of devastation. In addition to the quake, tsunami and nuclear issues, in some places they have up to a foot of snow. It's freezing cold. They don't have extra blankets, clothes, cars, shoes, etc. Many of the shelters that these people are staying at are only set up to be used for short periods of time. Where are all of these people going to go?? Logistically everything is a mess. Relief supplies are not getting where they are needed most simply because of the scope of the devastation.


Like with 9/11 I feel helpless, and unable to help in any meaningful way. It breaks my heart to see what they are going through.

 


 


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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-11-2010
Thu, 03-17-2011 - 11:35am
Courtney - I love Doctors Without Borders, too. An excellent, excellent group they are. And yes, it's hard to feel like there's nothing any of us can do, but you did do something by increasing the financial resources of those who are able to physically help. Besides that all that any of us can do is hope and pray that somehow, power is restored to the nuclear plant so that they don't have another mega-disaster on their hands. It seems less and less likely that it will happen as more time passes and the integrity of the reactors, their containments, and spent fuel pools are increasingly compromised. People keep downplaying the gravity of the situation by saying it will not be another Chernobyl, but what they don't say is that the amount of fuel in just Reactor #4 (the one with the blown-off roof and low level of water in the spent fuel pool) is more than what Chernobyl had--it had 180 tons; there is 90 tons in Reactor #4 and another 130 in its spent fuel pool. The 6 reactors of the Fukushima plant contain a reported 1,240 tons of nuclear fuel all combined. If 4 of 6 reactors are in a critical state of crisis and they melt down, how is that not as bad as Chernobyl?! I wish they'd substantially increase the evacuation zone, but then again, what do you do with all of those people? Where do you move them?