On March 11, 2011, one of the worst natural disasters occurred when a 9.0 earthquake struck off the northern coast of Japan. The earthquake produced a powerful tsunami which struck many northern coastal communities, particularly the city of Sendai. Although Japan has extensively prepared for a large earthquake, the tsunami was devastating, sweeping away buildings, wiping out coastal villages and affecting thousands of lives. A nuclear power plant was severely damaged by the tsunami and is near the brink of a nuclear meltdown. The radiation contamination has the potential to affect the surrounding areas and the entire region for many years to come. The Japanese government has forced the evacuations of residents living in the communities immediately surrounding the nuclear power plant. Aftershocks continue to hit the area distressing many residents who are displaced and are now homeless. Half a million people have been evacuated to the more than 2,000 shelters which are supported by the Japanese Red Cross.
The Irving I. Moskowitz Foundation was quick to respond with a donation of $100,000 to the American Red Cross. The money will go to the Japan earthquake and Pacific tsunami response, specifically the Japanese Red Cross, which is providing direct emergency relief, medical services and emotional counseling to affected communities.
Immediately after the earthquake and tsunami, the Red Cross dispatched relief items from stocks to assist those affected, and has provided 125,500 blankets and 25,000 emergency kits. Donations will also help with medical and housing costs, shelter relief and other emergency items such as clothing, flashlights, blankets and first aid supplies The Red Cross is increasing its relief operations for survivors in evacuation centers and is planning to provide supplies for 100,000 people. It is also working with local authorities on ways to help people still living in evacuation centers.
Red Cross volunteers and staff in Japan continue to provide health care, emotional support activities and relief items to people affected. The Japanese Red Cross has dozens of medical teams operating in Red Cross hospitals and mobile clinics treating those affected by the disasters.
The American Red Cross is the nation’s premier emergency response organization. It is a volunteer-led, humanitarian organization that provides emergency assistance, disaster relief and education inside the United States. Financial support received in the United States is being directly transferred to Japanese Red Cross to provide an immediate positive impact.
The donation of the Irving I. Moskowitz Foundation will have a lasting positive outcome on many lives that were affected by the earthquake and tsunami. This is not the first time the Moskowitz Foundation has provided financial assistance for humanitarian aid and emergency response.