I know, we all have disaster fatigue now – but the fourth biggest earthquake in recorded history hit Japan a couple of weeks ago and was followed up with a tsunami chaser. The situation on the ground in the worst areas is bad: roads are gone or covered in debris, there’s no food, water or electricity, and they are getting some unseasonably cold weather.
At this point in time the only way to get water, food, blankets, etc. into the hardest hit regions is by helicopter. The Self Defense Force and US Military are doing what they can but they are stretched pretty thin with clean-up, search and rescue and the nuclear situation at TEPCO Daiichi. The word we are getting here is that the situation for the people in the most isolated quake affected regions is grim – such is the scope of the disaster.
The Zen Koku Jikayou Helicopter Kyougika (Helicopter Pilots’ Association) of Japan has been making mercy flights to areas that had not been contacted by authorities – filling civilian helicopters with life-saving provisions and getting them to people who are trying to survive the aftermath of the quake and tsunami. You can check out the Facebook page for their Mercy flights program here.
The problem is that they are running out of aviation fuel. Helicopters burn a lot of gas and that gas is expensive. If you want to donate to their cause, head over to HOPE International. You should specify that your donation is for Tohoku Quake Relief / Japan Mercy Flights. You can do that by selecting “Other” from the drop box and writing details at the bottom. If you live in Japan, you can donate to them directly (details are on their Facebook page).
They are working on an easier way to handle international donations – but opening accounts takes time and they really, really need all the help they can get. At the time of writing they have three days of gas money left.