Japan Earthquake & Tsunami
What Happened & How Can I Help?

Affected Areas of Japan

On Friday 11th March, Japan was hit by their worst earthquake since records began 140 years ago. Yet despite registering 8.9 magnitude on the Richter Scale, the earthquake itself caused relatively little damage, because Japanese building regulations mean that all high-rise blocks are designed to sway and withstand the force of earthquakes

What Happened?
What caused all the damage was a massive tsunami - triggered by the earthquake, a wall of water 20 to 30 feet high rushed in from the sea at an estimated 25mph and devastated the east coast of Japan. The television footage of the tsunami was horrifying, and I could only watch helpless as entire communities were destroyed under the relentless force of the wave as it demolished boats, ships, buildings, trucks, cars, trains, trees and even small planes, and swept the debris up to six miles inland

The earthquake itself was caused by a massive build-up of seismic pressure underneath Japan, which pushed the Pacific tectonic plate under the Eurasian tectonic plate, and forced waves of energy up to the Earth's surface. The epicentre of the earthquake, where most of the tectonic energy was released, was under the sea about 80 miles east of Sendai, the capital of Miyagi prefecture in north east Japan, and the impact is thought to have lifted the ocean floor up by about 10 metres. The energy radiated was equivalent to 1,500 one-megaton nuclear bombs exploding beneath the seabed - or enough to provide all the power requirements of the USA for an entire month. The impact even caused a rupture 186-miles long on the ocean floor, shifted the Japanese coast 2.4 metres, and moved the Earth's axis by around 10 inches

More than 125 aftershocks have also rocked the area, including one this morning that measured 6.2 on the Richter scale. Several large towns and cities are more than a third submerged by water and debris, and more than 1,700 people officially dead or missing, with many more unaccounted for. More than 215,000 people are living in temporary government shelters, over one million households are without water, and some four million buildings are without power. But as if that wasn't enough, Japan is now facing a nuclear crisis after the cooling systems of two reactors at the Fukushima No.1 nuclear power plant failed after the earthquake. On Saturday a huge aftershock-induced explosion blew apart the building housing one of the reactors, and around 170,000 people have been evacuated from a 12-mile radius around the plant

The Japanese Meteorological Association has announced that there is a 70% chance of a magnitude 7 or greater earthquake within the next 3 days, and this may trigger another tsunami and aftershocks of magnitude 6.0 and above. Because of this the Japanese authorities have issued a warning for people to stay away from low-lying coastal areas, and the UK Foreign Office is advising against all non essential travel to Tokyo and the north east of Japan

Current Situation
Mobile and landline telephone reception in the affected areas is intermittent, and there is widespread transport disruption as well as disruption to water supplies and food shortages in the affected areas. In addition, the Tokyo Electric Power Company has warned that three hour electricity outages will be applied to various regions from this evening. All this is all hindering the enormous multi national rescue effort that is gathering pace. Search-and-rescue teams have been sent from Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, USA, Singapore, Britain and Switzerland, and many other countries have sent or offered help too

More Information
For news updates and the very latest information on the situation, please refer to Japan’s NHK news network. If you want to check whether someone you know is safe, or if you have information about someone involved in the tragedy, check out the Google Person Finder website

How Can I Help?
We're all praying hard for the victims of this disaster, but what, if anything, can you and I really do to help? The most effective help and support we can give is a donation. Depending on where you in the world you are, here are some of the most reputable relief organisations you can donate to:
What Am I Doing?
In addition to the private donations I've already made, I'll be donating all the profits from sales in my Erika Price Etsy shop for at least the next 2 months to the relief effort. What are YOU going to do to help?


  1. Very informative Erika x

    off to visit just giving x

  2. Erika, this is an amazing account of the past days' "unearthing" disaster events. The longer-term devastation blows me away and thanks also for the relief funds.

  3. Those pictures are just so shocking. Thanks for posting this infomation and linking to ways to help Erika.

  4. Thanks for the summary, what a horrific event.

  5. Thank you for compiling ways that we can help the Japanese people. I pray and pray that they do not experience more disaster in the coming days. The sequence of events already, is unimaginable.

  6. 3 days of watching the news and you hit the nail on the head in one blog post.

  7. Thankyou for this post Erik, thinking of everyone affected. Thankyou for the links x

  8. Thanks Erika for the informative summary! Its nice to know they are ways to help.

  9. This is a very well written article and the photos are so shocking. I can not imagine what they are going through.

    I have some items to donate for the cause at my shop via Action Aid team. It seems straight forward to donate to the above charities. Thanks for posting


  10. I already made a Red Cross donation but was thinking this morning whilst beadmaking that I wasn't doing enough. Reading your blog, Erika, gave me an idea - would you like to choose 3 sets of beads from my SoozBeads Etsy shop, I'll send them to you free of charge to be made into jewellery for this cause.

  11. Good post Erica. This summarizes a vast amount of information for those who may have trouble internalizing the reports from all the media sources reporting on this cataclysmic event. The links to organizations to donate to, that we can trust, is also very helpful. You've provided a one-stop shop. Will you be updating this post as more information comes in?

  12. Oh my goodness, Sue - the power of giving in action - when we work together we can do so much more! What an amazingly generous thing to do - thank you very, very much indeed

  13. Erika, thank you for posting this.

    It's so hard to read with tears in my eyes and this ache in my heart, I can only imagine how difficult it must have been for you to write it.

    Also, thank you for the links to all these wonderful organizations!

  14. Thank you Jeanne - and that's a great idea so yes, I'll add updates as the situation changes

  15. Oh Mollie, you've no idea - I can't even begin to describe how I felt as I saw the awful images on TV - utter bewilderment, loss and desolation, sorrow and grief - such heartrending scenes.

    I wanted to help and searched the internet for advice - but got really upset when I saw page after page of sites that were basically just links to other sites - in other words, people were actually using the tragedy to get traffic to their sites. Can you believe that?

    So my intention in writing this post was to get the message about the tragedy across to as many people as possible, without exploiting the victims :)

  16. Wonderful post, Erica. I know we all watched in horror and helplessness as this all happened. Thank you for the links! xo

  17. thank you for posting Erika, and highlighting the relief organizations for helping

  18. Well written post, Erika! I am working on getting a few items together to donate in my shop as well.

  19. Great post, thank you for putting it together!

    I agree that the pictures are mind-blowing. I am sitting safely in a warm house with a kitchen full of food and my children are happy and safe - I cannot even begin to imagine what Japanese families are going through!

    You are a very generous person, Erika, thank you for all the information on how we can help!

  20. A strong and helpful and generous post here, Erica: thank you.. what a devastating situation to watch; I can't even imagine how people are dealing with this;You have compiled a useful list of "how-to's and 'wheres". Thanks you, again.

  21. Thank you Erika for all the information, and too for visiting my blog. xx Lets hope we can raise a lot.

  22. Mohon Dukunganya: Pesona Wisata dan Kerajinan Magetan 2011..tha Japan Earthquake & Tsunami What Happened is so bad ya we have to find a way to Help a Japan...


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Erika x