Japan tsunami: Here's how you can help
Nations are responding to the devastation in Japan, sending aid workers, rescue equipment, and humanitarian supplies. Individuals can help too by donating to legitimate charities.
In Pictures Japan's 9.0 earthquake
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But nations also are responding quickly to the devastation, sending aid workers, rescue equipment, and humanitarian supplies to the beleaguered Japanese people. From the United States, that includes US Navy and Marine Corps units as part of what’s been dubbed “Operation Tomodachi” – Japanese for “friendship.”
"We have units from all of our services, with a multitude of capabilities, from medical to communications to civil engineering, poised and ready to support where needed," John Roos, US ambassador to Japan, said Saturday.
The aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan and its support ships arrived in the area over the weekend. Helicopters from the aircraft carrier are delivering food and water to stricken communities, and the ship can act as a platform for refueling Japanese helicopters involved in rescue and recovery efforts ashore.
Initial help from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) includes two search-and-rescue teams – one from Fairfax County, Virginia, and one from Los Angeles County – each with 72 workers, 75 tons of rescue equipment, and dogs trained to detect live victims.
Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have responded quickly as well.
Doctors Without Borders has sent three-person teams to some of the hardest hit areas in Japan. The Los Angeles-based International Medical Corps has deployed an emergency response team as well. Mercy Corps, based in Portland, Oregon, and working with its Japanese partner Peace Winds, will be setting up “balloon shelters,” which can accommodate up to 600 people, and it’s also sending large emergency tents, water, food, and blankets.