My name is Elle. I live on the beautiful island of Kyushu.
Our beautiful island was struck by tragedy recently when a series of earthquakes devastated Kumamoto and surrounding areas. It was a very unwelcome and unexpected surprise.
I am in Fukuoka and therefore a fair distance from the epicentre. The damage here was minimal but the fear was fierce. I found myself wondering what to do if there was another large quake. Could I get to my children in time? Where was the nearest evacuation centre? Did I even have a fire extinguisher? I was constantly feeling earthquakes that were almost always only in my mind. Noises at night became louder and going to bed became a scary experience.
I can't even imagine the fear that the people of Kumamoto felt and continue to feel. For them the fear is a reality. People have lost their homes, their loved ones, their everything....
In times of crisis Japan does as amazing job of coming together to support those in need. This time was no different but we must remember that support is still needed. We can only do so much, but we have to do all that we can.
Life is so unpredictable. Every day is a blessing. We need to tell our loved ones how much they mean to us and hug our kids as tight as we can, as much as we can.
For those who would like to donate to the victims of the earthquakes here are some sites that you can check. Please consult the organisations' FAQs carefully before donating.
Association for Aid and Relief, Japan
Civic Force (Japanese language)
Japanese Red Cross donation (Japanese language)
Kumamoto Japan Earthquake Bitcoin Relief Fund
The Nippon Foundation (Japanese language)
Support Peace Winds America
Yahoo Japan donation (Japanese language)