Asia Society: Earthquake in Japan: How to help, best ways to reach family and friends
The devastation caused by the earthquake and tsunami that hit northeastern Japan last week has touched the world. In response to the news of the disaster, Asia Society President Vishakha N. Desai issued the following statement:
"Asia Society extends our deepest sympathy and concern for the devastation caused by the earthquake and ongoing traumas.
"The scale and power of this earthquake and tsunami disaster are truly horrific and the news coming out of Japan is heart-breaking.
"Since its founding more than 50 years ago, Asia Society has worked with many individuals and institutions in Japan as part of our central mission to broaden understanding and build relationships across the Asia Pacific region.
"As we watch developments unfold, our thoughts and prayers are with our friends there and all the peoples of Japan as they grapple with the enormity of this catastrophe."
People everywhere are asking how they can help. Many are worried about friends and loved ones in Japan. The Consulate-General of Japan in Houston has released the following information.
(1) First, how you can help.
The American Red Cross has already set up an online donation site to provide assistance to the victims of the earthquake and tsunami at http://american.redcross.org/site/PageServer?pagename=ntld_main. You probably also have heard that President Obama has promised all possible assistance to the people of Japan. U.S. military assets, including the USS Ronald Reagan, an aircraft carrier, and other ships are moving to the region, ready to provide aid.
(2) Second, how to find out about your friends and family.
People should not to try to use the regular phone lines to find out if family and friends are safe. Use Twitter, Skype, Mixi, etc. and save the phone lines for someone who really needs it in the Tohoku area.
Google has created the site, "Google Person Finder."
It currently has records for 7,200 individuals, and you can type in the name of person you are looking for and find out if he or she is safe.
If the person you are looking for has a cell phone in Japan, and you know which company has the cellphone account, you can check each company's website below and type in the phone number to see if the person has left a message. The available areas are Aomori, Miyagi, Yamagata and Fukushima prefectures.
For Docomo users: http://dengon.docomo.ne.jp/top.cgi
For KDDI (Ezweb) users: http://dengon.ezweb.ne.jp/
For Softbank users: http://dengon.softbank.ne.jp/
For Wilcom users: http://dengon.willcom-inc.com/dengon/Top.do
For Emobile users: http://dengon.emnet.ne.jp/
Another way to find out: http://dengon.emnet.ne.jp/
(3) To locate U.S. citizens in Japan:
The U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Japan are working to obtain information on the status of U.S. citizens and to provide assistance as necessary. If you have concerns about a specific U.S. citizen in Japan, please send the State Department an email at JapanEmergencyUSC@state.gov.
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