WASHINGTON DC, March 16, 2011. The March 11 earthquake that hit the Northeast regions of Japan was not only the largest in the country's recorded history, but it also resulted in damage spread throughout the Northeastern coast of Japan, including many rural communities now semi-isolated due to limited road access and a severe lack of relief supplies across the region.
Despite the official death toll (currently estimated to be around 8,000), the number is expected to climb to over 10,000. Tens of thousands of evacuees have spent the last five days in around 2,000 officially designated emergency shelters. Hundreds of thousands more people have been made homeless and are living in unconfirmed number of temporary shelters and camps, often without basic necessities.
On March 11th, shortly after the first earthquake, Japan Ecolodge Association, in collaboration with local experts, mobilized a relief team to collect and deliver basic necessities to the victims of what is now being called the Great Tohoku Kanto Earthquake and Tsunami. The Association has set up Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami Disaster Relief Fund and is accepting donations both online and via wire transfer.
"Japan's Eastern Pacific Coast and other regions affected by the earthquake and tsunami are in dire need of your generosity," said Mr Takayama, Japan Ecolodge Association’s Executive Director and Vice Chair of TIES Board of Directors. "Right now, many in the affected area are struggling to survive the extreme cold without shelter or food. We need all the support we can get, as quickly as possible."
Mr Takayama is a native of Awaji, Japan, and a survivor of the 1995 Kobe Earthquake (Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake). He and his colleagues have personally purchased relief packages with donations collected through the Fund to deliver the packages to Sendai (Miyagi Prefecture) in March. This first trip will focus on ensuring the emergency supplies will get to evacuees in the Sendai area. The Association plans additional delivery, rescue and relief trips in April.
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For additional instructions on how to donate, see PAYMENT INSTRUCTION for Tohoku earthquake & Tsunami Disaster Relief Fund (PDF) or contact TIES (firstname.lastname@example.org) for information.