As you are surely aware, Japan was struck by a very powerful earthquake off its eastern coast near the city of Sendai on Friday. The quake, measuring a whopping 9.0 magnitude, is among the five strongest ever recorded. It spawned a devastating tsunami up to thirty feet high that further decimated areas of northern Japan less than ten minutes after the quake.
Already, more than 1,500 are confirmed dead and thousands are missing. The death toll is expected to rise. In the aftermath of the quake and tsunami, at least two nuclear reactors at Japanese power plants went into partial meltdown, and at least some radioactive material has escaped from one of them. It is unknown at this time how serious the nuclear accident is, or will become.
As I did after the Haitian earthquake just over a year ago, I call on my readers to donate to quake relief efforts. Personally, I recommend donating to Catholic Relief Services (which will distribute funds through its partner, Caritas Japan) or the American Red Cross. Both are trustworthy organizations that will quickly and efficiently distribute your donations to the people who need it most.
Thank you for your support and generosity. God bless you.