One Month After Disaster, Red Cross Donations to Japan Reach $100M

Friday, Apr 15, 2011  |  Updated 7:01 AM EDT
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Aid organizations are accepting money as medical crews continue to assist the hundreds of thousands hurt or displaced in Japan following an 8.9 earthquake and massive tsunami that  washed away thousands of homes and killed hundreds last month.

The American Red Cross announced plans April 11 to make an additional commitment of $40 million to the Japanese Red Cross, which brings its total contributions to $100 million.

“The American public has responded quickly and generously to help the survivors of these tragedies, providing almost $158 million in donations and pledges to the American Red Cross for the Japan earthquake and tsunami response,” David Meltzer, senior vice president of international services at the American Red Cross, said in a statement. “We will continue to transfer funds as they come in to our counterparts in Japan for continuing relief activities as well as early recovery programs."

The American Red Cross continues to accept donations from those who want to assist in first aid, assessment, recovery and rehabilitation.

More than 154,000 people are still displaced by the disaster with the majority staying in over 2,200 evacuation centers spread across 17 areas, including the three worst-affected areas of Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima. 

While electricity and water service are being restored and some survivors are returning to their homes, the evacuation centers are likely to stay open for months to come.

As part of the Red Cross relief operation, more than 125,000 blankets, 183,000 items of clothing, 26,000 emergency relief kits and 11,000 sleeping kits have been handed out to survivors staying in Red Cross evacuation centers.

Those who want to help can go to www.redcross.org and donate to Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami. People can also text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation to help those affected by the earthquake in Japan and tsunami throughout the Pacific.

If you are searching for a loved one, the Red Cross also has a tool that allows you to register on its "Safe and Well" system that connects families and friends in an emergency.   

There are several easy ways to register yourself or search for a loved one on the Safe and Well website: from a computer, visit www.redcross.org, from a smartphone visit www.redcross.org/safeandwell or from any phone, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) for help registering.

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