Current Events Blog

Weather is one of the most unpredictable phenomenons on our planet earth today. As you have most likely heard on the news, seen in newspapers such as the New York Times, or read on a social networking site, Japan was demolished in a tragic earthquake and tsunami last year on January 11, 2011. After a devastating 8.9 earthquake shook and destroyed Japanese grounds, an enormous tsunami crashed upon the victims once again. Very quickly after this tsunami slammed down onto the ground, the internet and news stations were swarming with fear. The people of Japan were stranded and helpless against this overpowering wall of water and wind that was destroying everything that they had worked for. Most importantly and tragically, many thousands of people were unable to save their family, friends, and themselves. Houses and cars were swept into the roaring ocean and roofs were lifted off of homes and thrown miles away. Today, the citizens of Japan are continuing to rebuild their cities and homes, but they will never be able to make up for the losses of their loved ones.

As soon I heard of this horrible disaster, I felt deep sympathy for the victims struggling just to stay alive in Japan. Living in this part of New England, I have never encountered a storm of this extreme, such as an earthquake or tsunami. Just from viewing the videos and looking at pictures, I realized how horrifying this really was and still is, as the devastation has lasted for a year after. It will have very long term consequences in the years to come for people’s health and the environment. Putting myself in the shoes of a victim of this storm is very hard to imagine. But, one question I asked myself after this happened was,”How can I help?”

Many people who work for rescue services immediately flew down to Japan to help victims out of collapsed homes and to save lives. Even at Dodd, a place very far away from Japan, there are most likely relatives of students who traveled to lend a helping hand at the time of the earthquake and during its aftermath. Thirteen or fourteen years old is an age where we are too young to be at the site of the disaster, but that definitely shouldn’t keep you from assisting if you are able to. Many very popular stars such as Justin Bieber, Kim Kardashian, and Oprah Winfrey were promoting the message “Save Japan” and raising funds to support the people living in shelters after the storm. Sometimes, I think that people can become absorbed in their own lives and aren’t fully aware of the true state of others during a time of need. Raising awareness of ways to help others by giving donations, participating in fundraisers, or going on walks is a very important step in continuing to help the victims in Japan. So, even if you have a few spare minutes on a Friday afternoon, or have nothing to do on a Sunday, I would recommend researching this event to learn more about the tragic morning on January 11, 2011 and to find out more about ways to help. Also, Japan is not the only place in need of a helping hand. There are poverty stricken cities and places in need all around the world. As I have asked myself, what do you think you can do to save Japan?

~Micaela Estrada