Japan Disaster Relief

Dear Friends,

As all of you know, an unprecedented earthquake and tsunami recently devastated a large area of the Tohoku region of Japan. Over 15,000 people died or are missing, and over 100,000 houses were washed away. There are over 300,000 people displaced and living in temporary shelters; many of them lost everything, yet relief supplies are slow to arrive. In addition, the tsunami-damaged nuclear reactors in Fukushima prefecture are causing enormous problems in the area and hindering the relief efforts.

As a native of Japan, the scenes of the tsunami were horrifying and unbearable to watch. The relentless, raging torrent swallowed everything in its path, tossing the cars, houses and large ships like twigs. It even completely overwhelmed three-story buildings. It left eerie, ghostly mountains of destruction and despair.

However, I have also been encouraged by the acts of kindness shown in our community during this difficult time. For example, the students at Front Range Community College set up tables to sell homemade cookies and cupcakes, raising money for a relief fund to help the people affected by this disaster. If I were to find something positive in this calamity, it would definitely be in our innate human nature of humanitarianism and sympathy.    

In an effort to help the people left in this terrible predicament, I would like to ask the people of Longmont to make a donation to the American Red Cross or any other trusted disaster relief organization. Your kindness will be greatly appreciated by the people of Japan.

Hiroyuki Tanabe