Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Requiem for Japan

Empty-handed I entered the world
Barefoot I leave it.
My coming, my going -
Two simple happenings
That got entangled.

death poem by Kozan Ichikyo, 1360

"The current situation of the earthquake, tsunami and the nuclear plants is in a way the most severe crisis in the past 65 years since World War II,” said the Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan.

Japanese television showed cars, ships and buildings being swept away by a vast wall of water after a 8.9-magnitude earthquake struck the region last weekend. The destruction is beyond comprehension. Thousands of people perished in this unimaginable disaster, thousands more are now homeless and in need of blankets, food and clean drinking water.

Millions remain without electricity and authorities are stepping up relief efforts as the scale of the tragedy becomes clearer. US Marines, the US Navy's Seventh Fleet and diverse humanitarian aid organizations came to the rescue. But the worse is still to come as the authorities are struggling to contain the damaged reactors at the Fukushima nuclear power plant. The effects of radioactive contamination have yet to be assessed.

Meanwhile, more than 210,000 people have already been evacuated from areas around the Fukushima plant, and 160 were reported to have suffered radiation exposure. Seventeen US Marines were also exposed to radiation during their rescue mission.

We are living in difficult times, but if you want to do some good for the people of Japan, please join me and donate to a relief agency.

Dominique Allmon