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The Scholastic Kids Press Corps is a team of about 50 Kid Reporters around the nation.  The interactive site brings daily news to life with reporting for kids, by kids.
scene of devastation in japan A man walks along a road lined with debris at Onagawa town in Miyagi prefecture on March 14, 2011, following the tsunami and earthquake of March 11. (Photo: JIJI PRESS/AFP/Getty Images)

Earthquake Relief Efforts Begin

Worldwide, people rush to Japan's aid

By Cassandra Hsiao | March 14 , 2011

As Japan begins its recovery from a massive earthquake, people around the world are mobilizing to help.

This weekend, Valerie Stern and Hidehito Ikumo took to the streets of Little Tokyo, a Japanese community in Los Angeles, California, to raise funds for Japan's earthquake victims.

"It's kind of scary, because I live in Los Angeles, and we're prone to earthquakes as well," said Stern, a professional musician. "They're always saying there's going to be a huge earthquake coming, but you never know if an 8.9 earthquake is coming your way. There's still going to be massive destruction."

A magnitude 9.0 earthquake shook Japan on Friday for two seemingly endless minutes. The quake triggered a 13-foot tsunami that hit the city of Sendai the hardest. Sendai is on the east coast of Japan. This natural disaster was also followed by more than 275 aftershocks with a magnitude of 5 or greater.

"I saw the strong waves of the tsunami [on TV]," Yuki Suzuki, a student studying nursing in Los Angeles, told the Scholastic News Kids Press Corps. "I cried a lot. It was very sad."

Millions of Japanese are without power, water, or telephone service. And as the full scope of the destruction is revealed, officials in Japan expect the death toll to exceed 10,000.

People around the whole world are watching anxiously as Japan struggles to recover—and they are coming to the country's aid. The American Red Cross, World Vision, Save the Children, International Medical Corps, and other corporations have reached out to the devastated country.

"Our Japanese are encouraged by people like you who pay attention to the Japanese event," 33-year-old Shiho Kubota Duggan told this Kid reporter. Duggan attends English language school in Los Angeles. "That really helps victims."

People are using social media like facebook and twitter to learn if their loved ones in Japan are okay.

"My mind went completely blank," said Ryo Okamura, whose family lives in Shizuoka, about 300 miles away from where the earthquake struck. "My hometown is experienced with earthquakes. When they told me it was an 8.9 magnitude earthquake [later changed to 9.0], I knew how devastating it was."

It was a relief to him when he learned that his family and relatives are safe and sound.

Parts of the United States also felt the aftermath of the earthquake. Tsunami waves roared across the Pacific Ocean on Friday, flooding parts of Hawaii and damaging coastal areas along the West Coast.

Twelve-year old Ephrem Perez, who lives near the shore of Santa Monica, West Los Angeles, California received an evacuation order at 8:28 a.m., about seven hours after the earthquake struck. The Perez family was asked to evacuate to higher grounds for their safety, but the order was not mandatory. They decided to stay where they were. The National Weather Service canceled its tsunami warning Saturday morning.

"We were very shocked and sad for those people who died and those who are stranded," said Perez. "All we can do is pray and hope for the best."

You, too, can help with the relief efforts by checking out a webpage put up by InterAction, an alliance of US-based international NGOs. The site list reputable organizations now accepting donations for relief work.

EARTHQUAKE IN JAPAN

A magnitude 9.0 earthquake struck northeast Japan on Friday, March 11, causing a destructive tsunami that reached the west coast of the United States. Scholastic News Kid Reporters are collecting information about the quake and its aftermath and talking to people who have family and friends in Japan and looking into how kids can help with relief efforts. Find their stories in the Earthquake in Japan Special Report.

NEWS FOR KIDS, BY KIDS

Get the latest on national and international events, movies, television, music, sports, and more from the Scholastic Kids Press Corps.

NEWS FOR KIDS, BY KIDS

Get the latest on national and international events, movies, television, music, sports, and more from the Scholastic Kids Press Corps.

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