Monday, 14 March 2011

#PrayForJapan

First off, sorry for the lack of blog updates. My computer got eaten by a virus! But it's had a good doctor seen to it, had a motherboard transplant and now it's all good!

Now, onto the blog entry.

It saddened me deeply when I heard the news of Japan's earthquake. It's a magnificent country that has given the rest of the world so much; TV's, game consoles, animé, vehicles, karaoke, martial arts etc. It's a powerful country with the best technological advances and to see parts of Japan's towns reduced to nothing is heartbreaking. It's a huge realisation to know that, even though the Japanese are prepared for Mother Nature, it doesn't matter how much your buildings are capable of withstanding earthquakes or how much training you've had, nature still has the upperhand.

I have literally been glued to the news since Friday. I have so much love for Japan my heart could burst and to see such a beautiful country (that I've yet still to visit) going through such hardship and to see so many lives lost is just awful.

The earthquake was first recorded with a magnitude of 8.9 - the worst earthquake to hit earthquake prone Japan - but has since been recorded with a magnitude of 9 instead, and is in the top 10 of the Earth's worst natural disasters. The earthquake happened underwater a few miles away from the north east coast. An earthquake happens when the tectonic plates under the Earth's surface collide. As this happened underwater, when the plates collided it caused a tsunami which caused the most amount of damage. As seen in the pictures and footages below, you can really see the destruction caused by a 33ft wall of water. Although the earthquake was extremely strong and made ceilings collapse, furniture to fall over etc, the tsunami was so powerful it destroyed thousands of homes as it took the houses and buildings off their foundations and broke them down into tiny pieces.







































Embedding disabled by request but click here to view the magnificent destructive force of Mother Nature.

Incredible footage of the tsunami waves hitting Japan's coastline. At 1:25, you can see the waves pushing homes away from their foundations and the sheer force and speed the water travels at (reports have said the water was travelling at 500 mph when it hit land - that's the speed of an aeroplane.)


The whirpool


Amateur footage of the earthquake affecting a supermarket


Before and after photos: The shocking image of green, habitated Japan and the ruins then left behind.

The earthquake has also caused a number of fires and several nuclear powerplants to be affected and shut down, with many residents nearby forced to evacuate.

Now onto factual figures. It has been reported that 1, 886 deaths have been confirmed, 1, 919 injuries with 2, 369 missing across 16 prefectures. As high as these numbers are, it is expected that these figures are due to rise above 10, 000. Around 4.4 million households in northeastern Japan were left without electricity and 1.4 million without water.

Many people are left homeless, jobless and without family members. How do you even begin to rebuild your life when you have lost so much? And how do you even begin to repair the damage? The mess that has been left behind is simply indescribable. Where do you begin? It is going to take approximately tens of billions of US Dollars to build up the places that have been destroyed. It has been reported that Justin Bieber has donated $1,000,000 towards Japan, Lady GaGa donated $16,000,000 and has now brought out "Pray for Japan" wrsitbands with proceedings going towards the country. Many have encouraged their fans to send donations by texting. If you wish to donate, you can by texting REDCROSS to 90999.

I'm very proud of my country and other countries for having their troops fly out to help Japan in their time of need. Despite the wars and conflict that goes on, it is heartwarming in this dark time to know that we do all still care about each other's wellbeing and are willing to give a helping hand to those who are reaching out for help.

Japan has suffered over 70 aftershocks since the earthquake and they are also due for another big one any time soon, apparently. I hope and pray that the effect that the second one has (if it happens) is significantly lower than the first and that the nightmare will soon be over for them, although I know that it will take years for the country and it's people to recover.

I send all my love, hope and strength to Japan and its Japanese citizens.

3 comments:

Michael East said...

Hi Caroline, Sorry this for the length of this comment.

As you've probably gathered by now, I share your love of Japan, for as long as I can remember I've been fascinated by everything that Japan has to offer - It's history, the culture, language, food, martial arts, music, manga, anime and video games.

My love of Japan started with Nintendo, I grew up with the NES, Gamy Boy and SNES, from this I discovered anime, due to the video game magazine "Super Play", it had a anime section that I used to read avidly, even though at the time I was too young to watch most of the anime they were reviewing! I remember reading about titles like Ghost In The Shell, 3X3 Eyes, Guyver, Domination Tank Police and of course Akira - the first anime I ever watched, and still one of my favourite movies of any genre.

One of my more vivid memories regarding Japan is: I can remember watching a programme on the Technology and Geography of Japan as a child and being absolutely fascinated by it all. At one point the they used a piece of Japanese electronic background music that I loved. I searched in vain for a long time to find it, but years later I discovered that it was the theme to "Merry Christmas Mr.Lawrence" by Ryuichi Sakamoto. I still love that track to this day:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NkWjsT_SJNI

I've yet to visit, but I have wanted to for years. I had been planning to visit this year or next. Looks like I'll have to put that plan on hold for a while. :'(

Like you I have been glued to the news, the days since the earthquake and tsunami have seemed like a most horrible nightmare, the destruction and death toll is on unimaginable scale, whole towns and cities have been obliterated. It looks worse than a scene from a post-apocalyptic disaster movie. It has been so painful and heartbreaking to watch.

It's not even over yet, they still think there could be another large quake soon, and the nuclear plant problems still look very serious.

I hope and pray they can bring the power plants under control and that they do not suffer any more disasters so they can begin to rebuild their lives. The Japanese people have proven themselves to be very resilient and resourceful in the past, and I'm sure they will recover from this disaster, but it is going to take time.

Today I saw some beautiful pictures of Iwate prefecture from before the earthquake, I hope that one day it will look like this again: http://www.flickr.com

It is heartening to see that the rest of the world has stepped in so quickly to offer assistance to Japan, I read the other day that even the very poor city of Kandahar in Afghanistan pledged financial assistance to the Japanese people.

For anyone who is in a position to help, The British Red Cross, Save The Children, and World Vision are accepting donations are part of the earthquake and tsunami relief effort.

British Red Cross:
http://www.redcross.org.uk

Save The Children:
https://www.savethechildren.org.uk

World Vision
https://www.worldvision.org.uk/server.php?show=nav.3001&giftId=47

Maiko said...

I'm Japanese who lives in Tokyo.

I promise to survive this disaster and make our life and Japan better.

Thank you so much!!



http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/17/opinion/17Murakami.html?_r=1

CazStacey said...

Thank you for the extra links, Michael!

Arigatou gozaimasu Maiko-san, genki desu ka? Ganbatte kudasai! x