March 11, 2011 has become a day we will never forget.
At 2:46 p.m., Japan was hit by a massive earthquake, originating in the Sanriku, Tohoku area. The 9.0 - magnitude earthquake, which was the strongest in the history of Japan, claimed many lives and caused massive destruction. People felt helpless and feared the devastating force of the earth and seemingly endless aftershocks.
The images shown on TV and newspapers have exposed our vulnerability, despite our modern civilization and the conveniences we so often take for granted. Many of the technologies we take pride in proved powerless before the power of nature. Despite advanced transportation systems, many of us had to walk home in the dark and cold because the trains were not running. Rushing to the convenient store, only to find empty shelves reminded us how fragile we are.
This earthquake and its impact have not yet ended. Recovery starts now, and we have a long way to go. We must aid the injured and sick. Provide care for the physically and mentally traumatized. There are shortages of food, water, electricity and shelter. Sanitation problems also threat those in the affected areas with leaving us more vulnerable to disease.
We must focus on quickly rebuilding a healthy environment to educate the children in these areas, as many schools have been destroyed. They are the hope for the future of these devastated communities.
In a seemingly hopeless situation, there are still many ways each of us can contribute. There is hope in the decent way people wait patiently in line for water, not in a selfish disorderly fashion. Patience, cooperation and consideration of one another will move us forward in a positive direction. We must also make an effort to not panic, to conserve electricity and water, and to share resources and information.
We mudef, pray for quick recovery of the affected people and areas, and will continue to do our best to provide as much assistance as possible.