Japan, you're not alone

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 17 March, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 17 March, 2011, 12:00am

Since the massive earthquake, the global community has been responding quickly - from NGOs to celebrities.

Local and international NGOs are sending relief and support teams to Japan, where they are assessing needs and setting up emergency plans.

On the internet, Google has put up the People Finder platform (japan.person-finder.appspot.com). The website allows anyone to search and post information on people affected by the disaster.

Ushahidi created a crisis map (www.sinsai.info/ushahidi), which helps users locate citizens who are still trapped or listed as missing.

PayPal CEO Judy Chang announced that from now until April 10, the company will credit transaction fees to American and Canadian registered charities that are raising funds for Japan.

Several celebrities have also been quick to respond. Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, Adam Lambert and many others have offered their condolences and words of support via Twitter. Lady Gaga designed a 'We Pray For Japan' wristband, which sells for US$5 at her official website's online shop. All benefits go to relief aid in Japan.

South Korean television and pop stars, who are very popular in Japan, have donated millions of won to the quake and tsunami victims. Kim Hyun-joong, a member of the popular South Korean boy band SS501, and actors Ryu Si-won and Song Seung Hun have also made donations.

People in Hong Kong are also eager to help. Although most NGOs have not launched an official appeal, you can still donate money. Local organisations are still working on how they will spend donations to help the relief efforts. Young Post has compiled a guide to help you donate wisely. Visit yp.scmp.com to see what organisations are doing, and what's the best way to help.

Disaster watch:

In a rare bit of good news, rescuers found a 70-year-old woman alive in her swept-away home four days after the tsunami.

Hong Kong has widened its top-level black travel alert to three more Japanese prefectures after explosions at a nuclear plant deepened concerns of a meltdown.

A 6.0 magnitude earthquake hit Japan yesterday, with a force strong enough to sway buildings in Tokyo.

Taiwan said it expected to lose millions of dollars in revenue as Japanese tourists cancelled visits to the island.

Tokyo shares closed up 5.68 per cent yesterday due to bargain-hunting following a huge two-day sell-off.