Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Earthqauke/Tsunami Disaster in Japan

      As I'm sure you've all heard, a 8.9 magnitude earthquake hit on Friday, March 11th and caused a 30 foot tsunami to hit Japan. Thousands are dead, thousands more are missing. If that wasn't enough the the damage to the infrastructure is palpable. If THAT wasn't enough part of that infrastructure includes nuclear power plants.

      In short this is a true disaster and a true tragedy and as reports continue to come in things just keep looking worse.

      If all this death, sadness, loss, and fear wasn't enough, I just read an article informing me that some people are making fun of the disaster. Some even going as far as to say it was a karmic incident and that Japan deserved it. To put this in a perspective that Americans can directly relate to, does anybody remember September 11th? Think back to how you felt when that happened and think about how you would have felt if someone was told you that those people deserved to die. It is not okay to say people deserve to die. And it is not okay to put aside our humanity for the sake of embracing our ignorance.

      Sometimes incidents occur that are so fundamentally devastating to our human nature that we can hardly begin to comprehend their scale. It is often easy and natural to want to ignore these events or to try to reason them away for the sake of our own peace of mind. However, we cannot give in to such impulses. Though it may shake our nature to confront these ideas, the least we can do is to deal with what happened; to not run away and ignore the situation.

      I'm not a journalist, so if you'd like to learn more about this ongoing tragedy here's a link to the Huffington Post page where they have a live update page concerning the quake and tsunami.

      If you want to do something to help, here's a link to the Red Cross where you can make a donation. They operate hospitals in Japan and have deployed 700 relief workers across the country already.

      Or, if you prefer, here's a link to Doctors Without Borders where you can make a donation. They don't accept any earmarked contributions, but their general support will enable them to carry out their response work there. They send out teams of doctors into hardest-hit and most difficult-to-reach regions and support the government led response in Japan.

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