I am deeply shocked and saddened by the news of the tragic 8.9-magnitude earthquake and ensuing tsunami that struck Japan today. This major catastrophe has caused heavy damage, apparently mostly in the northeastern portion of the country. My thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected, certainly the people of Japan and those here in the U.S. who have friends and family there.
In addition, tsunami warnings have been issued throughout Pacific Rim countries including California. Members of the UC Merced community should exercise caution if they are at locations along the coastline during the coming days.
The U.S. State Department has set up a toll-free telephone number (1-888-407-4747) for Americans seeking information about individuals in Japan.
I know that UC Merced is a very giving community, and it is at times like this when people need our help the most. I encourage you to lend any assistance you can.
Below is a list of some charities that are accepting donations for earthquake relief.
American Red Cross, http://www.redcross.org/, 800-RED-CROSS
CARE, http://www.care.org/, 800-521-CARE
Catholic Relief Services, http://crs.org, 800-736-3467
Operation USA, http://www.opusa.org, 800-678-7255
Salvation Army, http://salvationarmyusa.org, 800-SAL-ARMY
U.S. Fund for UNICEF, http://www.unicefusa.org, 800-FOR-KIDS
World Vision, http://www.worldvision.org, 866-280-6587