Like everyone around the world I watched in dismay as the events in Japan started to unfold. For me it started with twitter, a sudden surge of tweets about an earthquake. With recent events in New Zealand with their destructive earthquake in and around Christchurch still fresh the Japan earthquake tweets caught my attention more than normal. Worse was to come with the confirmation of a tsunami, we all know what happened next.
The amateur video footage of that tsunami will live with us as a frightening reminder of how feeble mankind is in the face of mother nature. I have spent hours watching the news for updates, clinging to hope of some miracle stories of survivors yet inundated with incredible scenes of cars, boats and houses flattened, fighting the thought that yes there are people in there. Now with the rest of the world we watch as the Fukushima reactor does its best to meltdown and the brave few who battle the radiation, fire and threat of explosion. Sitting here in Sydney writing this, we really do not know how lucky we are.
All I can say is that the thoughts of the world are with our friends in Japan. Our governments are doing all they can to help but the average person in the street, what can we do? Sure there is the usual disaster funds but this time donating cash just does not feel like enough. People in Tokyo and in the North are already, i’m sure, starting to stress about food, water and fuel. Shops that are usually full of convenience are empty or running out. Fuel supplies are not getting out, petrol stations are running out, a comment I recently heard on a news bulletin was “refugees in their own country” – what an incredible thought. Cash donations in this situation are not enough. But what can we do? I have already suggested to one large corporate that I have regular dealings with that maybe a staff donation of sealed bottled water would be a good start. Food and especially water will be key for Japan in the short term, lets get some together and shipped over.
Our major supplier for Dictate Australia, Olympus Imaging, obviously has close ties with Japan with the Olympus head office located there. In recent months senior management from Olympus Japan have been in Sydney for meetings with the Olympus Imaging and voice departments. On the day of the earthquake a couple of Olympus employees from Australia were in Tokyo when the earthquake struck, an extremely frightening experience for them, they are now back in Australia. I, on behalf of Dictate Australia, have offered any help that we can practically provide to Olympus Japan, not sure what a small business like us can do but if there is anything the offer has been made. Fortunately I have heard that the Olympus staff in Japan are all safe, although I am sure that can not be said for some of their family and friends who likely lived in the tsunami and quake affected areas of the North.
Be strong Japan. 強い日本をください
You can donate to assist the people of Japan via the Australian Red Cross via the following links: