Friday, March 11, 2011

The Situation on Okinawa

by Pa Rock
Citizen Journalist

Below is the text of an email that I just sent out to friends and family.  It will have to serve as today's blogpost.  If there are any significant updates from this part of the world I will post them on Twitter @PaRock.

Hello All, 
First of all, I am fine and the Japanese Prefecture of Okinawa where I reside appears to have come through the current earthquake crisis without a scratch.  However, aftershocks are still rocking mainland Japan, so Okinawa could yet experience some of the natural disaster turmoil that is spreading across Japan.  At this point I feel relatively confident that we are in no danger here, but my heart breaks over the devastation that has struck Japan. 
Six years ago when the disastrous earthquake hit Indonesia, my response was to send a donation to Doctors Without Borders, a group of selfless and dedicated humanitarians who are often the first helping agency to make it into a region after a catastrophe happens.  I remain so impressed with the good work that this group does, that I send them a small, automatic donation on a monthly basis.  If you want to do something that would directly be of benefit to the earthquake victims, I recommend Doctors Without Borders.  The Red Cross and UNICEF are also quick to respond to these natural emergencies. 
(As I was writing this sirens began going off in my neighborhood.  I walked out onto my sixth floor balcony - that has a clear view of the East China Sea - and saw nothing significant - except for a long line of commercial ships and boats that appear to be parked across the horizon.   I have been out and about today and the most noticeable difference that I observed is that weekend traffic is much lighter than usual.  Okinawans scoff at typhoons and go right on driving through the torrents of wind and rain, but this earthquake and tsunami stuff seems to have them spooked.) 
Thank you for the emails and phone calls of concern.  I feel safe in my current environment and am not overly concerned.  Mainland Japan, however, remains a major worry.  Please consider sending them a couple of dollars for the relief effort if you are able - and keep the people living on Japan in your prayers. 

My best to you all.

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