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The world is mobilizing to help victims of Friday’s 8.9-magnitude earthquake that unleashed a devastating tsunami on Japan.
The U.S. State Department is urging any U.S. citizens to contact friends and family as soon as possible. They can also e-mail the State Department at JapanEmergencyUSC@state.gov. Those seeking information on security in or travel to Japan can call 1-888-407-4747 or 1-202-501-4444.
Google also is assisting in helping victims touch base with friends and loved ones. Its People Finder, which was tracking about 114,000 records as of Sunday morning, allows users to look for victims or post information about people. It works in five languages.
As myriad nations offer monetary aid, condolences and rescue teams, many people around the world are seeking ways to ease the burden on the Japanese government and people.
The humanitarian group World Vision is rushing personnel into the affected areas and providing food, water, medical supplies and shelter for victims.
It also plans to establish one or more “child-friendly spaces” for kids “affected by disasters to resume normal childhood activities and experience structure and security that are often lost following emergency situations.
The American Red Cross also accepts donations via text message. Text “redcross” to 90999, and you can make a $10 donation to the organization.
The Salvation Army, which has had a presence in Japan since 1895, is sending a team to Sendai to assess damages and hopes to provide food, water and other necessities. In Tokyo, the Salvation Army opened its main building to house and feed commuters who were unable to reach their homes.
The aid organization is issuing updates via its blog, its Twitter feed andFacebook page. It also is accepting donations via text message. Those interested in contributing $10 to the group’s efforts can text “japan” or “quake” to 80888.
The group AmeriCares, which is also accepting donations, said it is mobilizing resources and sending an emergency response manager to the region.
Save the Children is sending an emergency team to assist its staff in Japan.Donations to the group’s Children’s Emergency Fund will help preserve the welfare of young ones, who “are always the most vulnerable in a disaster,” Eiichi Sadamatsu in central Tokyo said in a statement.
Globalgiving.com, another aid organization that allows donors to select the causes they want to support – including climate change, economic development, human rights and natural disaster relief – has established a Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund. GlobalGiving will disburse funds to organizations providing aid and relief to victims.
Among those organizations are Save the Children and the International Medical Corps. The Corps, which focuses on “health care training and relief and development programs,” is speaking with local partners to determine Japan’s most pressing needs. It will send supplies or emergency teams based on those communications.
To contribute to the Corps’ efforts, visit its website or text “med” to 80888 to send the group a $10 donation.
Photo via Gizmodo.com