Mayor John Heilman released a statement sending heartfelt sympathies to those affected by the earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan on March 11. He also sent his condolences to the families and friends of those who lost their lives in the disaster on behalf of the City of West Hollywood.
The 2011 Tohuku earthquake had a 9.0 magnitude that was followed by a 7.1-magnitude aftershock. The quake triggered a tsunami with waves up to 33 feet. The disasters have left an estimated death toll up to 10,901 as of Monday, March 27, a rise from 10,668 the previous day, according to The National Police Agency. The count of missing persons has also increased from 16,574 to 17,649 on the same date, which is an increase of almost 1,100 people in one day. The staggering numbers will keep shifting and overlapping considering approximately 5,000 of the bodies collected are on the missing persons list. The dead and the missing combined are at an appalling 28,550, with numbers increasing daily.
“I want to personally encourage our residents and businesses to join in the efforts to help the people impacted by this disaster in any way they can,” Mayor Heilman stated in a West Hollywood press release. “We will include information on the City of West Hollywood’s website on how you can help. Unfortunately, this is also a painful remainder to us all to make sure we are prepared for an emergency in our own lives.”
The city website provided a list of organizations where people can make donations to help those who have been left homeless, hungry and hurt by the disaster. The American Red Cross opened Emergency Operation Centers in the affected areas. Global Giving established a fund to disburse donations to organizations. Save the Children provides immediate humanitarian relief in the shape of emergency healthcare and provision of non-food items and shelter. Oxfam America responds if disaster strikes vulnerable countries. AmeriCares is an emergency team, mobilizing resources and dispatching an emergency response manager. Convoy of Hope establishes connections with in-country partners. International Medical Corps has put together relief teams, as well as supplies. Finally, Shelter Box is in Japan with response efforts. To make donations to any of these organizations, go to networkforgood.org.
The city also released a statement reiterating that there is no increased danger of harmful radiation exposure from the nuclear power complex explosion in Japan, according to Los Angeles County Health Officer Dr. Jonathan E. Fielding. “We want to reassure everyone that multiple agencies at the local, state and federal levels are working together to monitor this situation out of an abundance of caution,” said Fielding. “Our position has not changed: we still do not expect to see an increase in harmful levels of radiation in California.”
Residents are reminded to be ready for any kind of disaster. Emergency kits should include water, food, cash, important documents, clothes, flashlight, First Aid Kit, prescription medication, radio, toiletries and tools as recommended by the Emergency Survival Program in L.A. County’s Office of Emergency Management. To learn more, visit publichealth.lacounty.gov.