“There are two big forces at work, external and internal. We have very little control over external forces such as tornadoes, earthquakes, floods, disasters, illness and pain. What really matters is the internal force. How do I respond to those disasters? ”
— Leo Buscaglia —
On Friday 11th March 2011 a massive earthquake, measuring 8.9 on the Richter Scale struck off the north-east coast of Japan. This earthquake in itself was the biggest to hit this ‘earthquake-ready’ country in it’s entire history. However, in the minutes and hours following, tsunami’s with 10 metre high waves began to sweep into coastal areas, taking cars, trucks, trees, houses…..anything in it’s path. Current estimates are that over 10, 000 lives have been lost. In addition to this devastating natural disaster, Japan is also now facing a nuclear disaster as damage to nuclear reactors begins to take it’s toll.
Globally this devastating event was seen on news channels, YouTube, Twitter and other social neworking websites, and instantly the people of the world wanted to find ways of helping.
I think it’s a part of being human – something inbuilt in our consciousness – that when we see other people suffering, or we are faced with the incredible, uncontrollable power and force of nature, we want to do all that we can for our fellow human beings.
Within hours, international humanitarian assistance teams were being assembled and made ready to go out and help. Within hours, donations to international aid charities were pouring in. Within hours, social networking was already playing a major part in helping, with Google People Finder being set up, updates flying through Twitter, and YouTube videos being shown on BBC News.
It’s in the worst of times that we can often see the best of humanity.
Ways of helping:
ShelterBox – http://www.shelterbox.org/
ShelterBox provide emergency shelter and lifesaving supplies for families around the world who are affected by disasters at the time when they need it the most. ShelterBox were on the ground in Japan within 24 hours and ready to assist.
Japan Tsunami Appeal with the Red Cross
Save The Children – Children In Emergency Fund