Update On Japan

Kobi Malamud ('12)/ Eastside Staff

As horrible as things seem to be going around the world, it is safe to assume that within due time, things will get better. However, in Japan, where a massive 9.0 earthquake struck on March 11th, causing an immense tsunami, things are far from okay. In addition, as time passes, it seems the country’s future remains precarious for the months – and even years – ahead.
After Japanese citizens experienced the most devastating national disaster since the bombings during World War II, they figured that the worst of their troubles had passed and they had survived all the bad that was to come. Yet, they were dreadfully wrong. Once the storm had passed, the Japanese began facing a new threat in the form of radiation from exploded nuclear plants.

The large waves and destruction of the tsunami had actually caused three different nuclear plants to explode, including Japan’s Fukushima I and Fukushima II Nuclear Power Plants. This situation, similar to that of the tragic Three Mile Island accident in Pennsylvania in 1979, is one that simply complicates the already dire conditions Japan. People are stranded without food, water, shelter or clothing, and many who need medical attention cannot receive it due to long waiting lines. And to top it all off, these people now have to worry about radiation poisoning.

By drinking water, eating or even getting within miles of one of the explosion sites, they face the risk of being poisoned. The radiation is so prevalent in these areas that for several days after the blasts, the FDA blocked incoming imports of milk and other products from Japan. However, as much as the Japanese government is trying to help its people in this horrible situation, its attention has been focused on the countless other tasks at hand.

As of now, the question essentially is: what needs to be given full attention right now? The most intelligent thing to do in this type of natural disaster is to concentrate on the things that have time constraints. As of now though, it seems that Japan is in fact bent on giving its people all the help they can get, with a concentration on rebuilding plans coming second, after the whole nuclear mess is sorted out. It is a very difficult situation, and therefore, Japan really needs all of the support it can get. That is why it is fortunate that other countries are pitching in to help.

Nations such as the United States, Britain and even China, have been sending money, food and other supplies. Some countries have even been sending search and rescue efforts to help find the millions of missing people. Without these powerful countries’ aid, Japan would not be able to come back from this mess as well as it has thus far. Although aid is being continually sent into Japan, this does not mean that all the trouble is over. It seems the only thing that can be done is to wait and see…