Patrick Newell, organizer of TEDxTokyo, has been collecting and sharing news from TEDx communities affected by the recent tragic events in Japan. He sends this report:
The effects of the earthquake that struck the Tohoko region of Japan on Friday, March 11, has had an impact all around the world.
Here in Tokyo, thousands were stranded as transport systems came to a sudden halt. A shortage of water, food, fuel and electricity continue to cause anxiety, while uncertainty over the situation at the Fukushima nuclear plant has led to health concerns for millions across the east of the country. In the hardest hit areas, over 20,000 people are dead or missing, and hundreds of thousands are now living in shelters.
Whilst many upcoming events in the region have subsequently been cancelled, the TEDxTokyo community feels more determined than ever to hold our big annual event as originally planned on May 21. In times of crisis, there is no understating the importance of sharing ideas, solutions and stories of human resilience and unity. TEDxTokyo will enable this to take place against the background of the huge upheaval we are now seeing.
Beyond our event itself, the TEDxTokyo community are working reactively and proactively to help those in the Tohoku region, through the establishment of a reconstruction planning team, partnership to provide immediate support for existing orphanages, children who have lost their parents, a disaster relief supply center at a local international school, and through personal donations of money, goods and time to local relief organizations.
To find out more about these efforts please read this post on the TEDxTokyo blog.