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Archive for : Earthquake

Reflecting on the Japan Tsunami, One Year Later

This Sunday, March 11, marks the one year anniversary of the magnitude 9 earthquake, and the resulting tsunamis and nuclear meltdown that devastated large swaths of coastal Japan. In just a few chaotic hours, tens of thousands of people were killed and hundreds of thousands were left homeless. (Watch this video which shows what the damage looks like a year later.)

Japan’s story touched the hearts of people all over the world, and many donated money or time to help out. The Jewish community alone raised millions of dollars of support, and sent trained search and rescue teams to Japan. Repair the World featured a photo slideshow showing rabbinical student Andrew Scheer’s journey in Japan with a delegation of volunteers. And thanks to a initiative, 2 million paper cranes and well-wishes were sent to Japan, along with more than $500,000 in support. Check it out below:
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Help Turkey Recover from the Earthquake

Yesterday, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck Turkey, killing hundreds of people and wounding thousands more. The quake also damaged scores of homes and knocked out power across the southeastern part of the country.

Turkey is known as a seismically active country, sitting atop two major fault lines. And yet, this is shaping up to be the worst earthquake the country has seen since 1999. It’s also the latest in a series of high-profile and highly-destructive natural disasters that have struck over the last few years.

Each new disaster that hits headlines is a reminder of how fragile life can be. It’s also a reminder of how interconnected and dependent we are with and on each other. Right now, a rescue mission is underway with Turkish relief teams searching for survivors under the rubble while there is still a chance of finding people alive. According to an article in the JTA, Turkey has, for now, rejected all offers of international aid. But there are still ways to help:

The following organizations and relief funds are accepting donations on behalf of victims, which will be distributed in the coming weeks.

Want more info? Check out Do Something’s post, 11 facts about earthquakes.

Chile and Volunteer Fatigue

When an 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti in January, it seemed like the entire world jumped up to help. As the media swerved its attention to the devastated country, donations poured into relief agencies via websites and text messages, volunteer medical teams and people wanting to help flew in, and stars like Wyclef, Justin Timberlake, and Alicia Keys headlined high profile benefit concerts, all in support of Haiti.

The global response to last week’s earthquake in Chile, in contrast, has been rather muted. There have been no flashy benefit concerts and far fewer volunteers and donations funneling to the area. One tragedy captured the world’s heart, while the other seems to have fallen just below the radar screens.

And it got me wondering, have we been overcome by volunteer fatigue (and its cousin, donor fatigue)?
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