I was planning to write a blog tonight about something that has irritated me in a while. But then I turned on the TV when I got home to catch up on the BBC news and my irritation turned to tears of despair. It doesn’t matter what is going on with your lives right now but there are people that have just died, lost their livelihood and/or loved ones due to a humongous earthquake and awe-shockingly huge tsunami. Everything this weekend has paled in comparison to what we have witnessed in Japan.

I woke up late Friday morning and turned over to read my twitter timeline and all I could see were tweets saying “#prayforjapan” or giving the magnitude of the earthquake so of course I ran to the tv and started watching. What I saw was the tsunami live going towards Sendai. I had to stop watching after a while. But the full force of that wave didn’t hit me until later on in the evening when I watched the news again. The devastation that these two natural disasters caused to one country was astounding. The fact that not many people died from the earthquake is testament to the sound government planning and stringent building regulations in the country. The “beaucracy” as some have ridiculously called it, saved the lives of thousands of people. However, despite having one of the best infrastructures to disperse a tsunami, it was still powerful enough to destroy cities and remove villages from the map of Japan.

Tonight I watched in a voyeuristic manner, the BBC and NHK channels following people looking for loved ones in North Japan. Some found their loved ones and others have yet to be successful. Then there were stories of people who were in the tsunami and by some miracle survived. It was tearful to watch. Like all outside Japan we are watching with fascination, despair and a morbid curiosity.

Whilst we watch please think of those people who have lost their homes, their livelihood, their families/friends and their way of lives. The Red cross has asked so far for no material goods to be provided and for money only for now until the charities and Japanese government can assess what is needed for the people who have been affected. Please help if you can.

Here are some websites that are taking donations:

Red Cross UK – http://www.redcross.org.uk/

American Red Cross – http://american.redcross.org/site/PageServer?pagename=ntld_main&s_src=RSG000000000&s_subsrc=RCO_ResponseStateSection

Google crisis response – http://www.google.com/crisisresponse/japanquake2011.html

If there are any other charities that you know are taking donations please let me know so we can add to the list.

For any British citizens – please contact the Foreign and Commonwealth office for British nationals in Japan and their relatives in the UK +(44) 207 008 0000