On March 11 there was an earthquake approximately 250 miles northeast of Tokyo, Japan, triggering a devastating tsunami that swept over the northern part of the country, setting off warnings as far away as the west coast of the U.S. It reached 9.0 on the Richter scale and has been reported as one of the planet’s strongest earthquakes in a century. According to news reports, as of March 21, the official death toll rose to more than 8,600. The final toll is expected to reach almost 20,000, with more than 13,000 people listed as missing and more than 400,000, living in shelters.
Although Japan embarked on a rescue effort, sadly the country also faces a nuclear emergency with leaks of radioactive gas and explosions that have released radioactive material into the environment. Rescue efforts are underway but are complicated by weather conditions, aftershocks, tsunami alerts, radiation risks and electricity outages.
The accounts I’ve been reading are reminiscent of the descriptions of the wreckage of war, except this was not man-made; this was a natural disaster. One account I read was from AP reporter, Todd Pittman, who flew to Japan the day after the earthquake. Here, some excerpts from his report:
Video by Abrra
The Voice extends it’s heartfelt sympathy and support to the victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. With sadness, we’ve seen coverage of the horrific devastation and astonishing destruction. We invite you to join us in supporting the Red Cross’ relief efforts, if you are able. If you’re not able, then as David suggests, please keep those affected by this catastrophe in your prayers.
The American Red Cross is currently supporting and advising the Japanese Red Cross. You can help people affected by this disaster by making a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief.