After taking to Twitter en masse to offer personal , idiosyncratic tributes and prayers for the people and nation of Japan in the moments after a deadly 9.0 earthquake rocked the industrial giant on Friday (March 11), celebrities are today using the popular social media venue to rally behind a single, unifying message: donate.
“Remember as you go about your day please #prayforjapan & if you are able, text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10 to Japan’s emergency relief,” rocker Katy Perry tweeted early Sunday morning (March 13).
“EVERYONE KEEP TEXTING!! The quake & tsunami victims in Japan NEED US!!!” P. Diddy extolled multiple times on his verified account.
The message was echoed throughout the morning and afternoon by stars ranging from Conan O’Brien, to Chris Brown and George Takei, each asking their followers to donate to the humanitarian organization, which has three times won the Nobel Peace Prize for its relief efforts.
The Red Cross and other relief organizations will face a unique challenge in the aftermath of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, which in addition to a massive loss of life now estimated at upwards of 14,000 people, has caused a developing nuclear crisis in the Pacific island chain, with partial meltdowns and explosions occurring at several of Japan’s nuclear reactors, according to The New York Times.
Facing explosions due to the build-up of hydrogen, technicians, racing to cool overheating reactors, have taken to flooding them with sea water, according to a report on CNN.
Less resolvable, but perhaps equally devastating, was news Sunday afternoon that the Shinmoedake volcano on Japan’s southern island of Kyushu resumed activity and erupted, spewing ash and lava into the air and breaking windows up to miles away. It is not known if the eruption is linked to the earthquake.
As large swaths of territory remain all but unreachable due to water, Japan has planned to dispatch more than 100,000 of its defense forces to aid in recovery.
But with roughly 1,300 people already confirmed dead, several thousand more reported missing, several hundred thousand more evacuated from their homes, and several million more without access to power, food or water, Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan took to the airwaves Sunday, calling the earthquake the “toughest and the most difficult crisis for Japan” since the end of World War II.
“We Japanese had a lot of difficulties in the past, but we were able to overcome those difficulties to reach this peaceful and prosperous society we have been able to build,” he said, as reported by CNN. “I ask each one of you, please have such determination, and deepen your bond with your family members, your neighbors and the people in your community to overcome this crisis so that Japan can be a better place. We can do it together.”
The destruction may not be over. The earthquake, the largest in recorded Japanese history, is expected to cause several devastating aftershocks, the largest of which could reach 7.0 on the Richter Scale.
For more information on what you can do to help with earthquake and tsunami relief efforts in Japan head to MTV Act, or text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.