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Convoy of Hope responds to Japan disaster area

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Following the 8.9-magnitude earthquake and tsunami in Japan last week, Springfield-based nonprofit Convoy of Hope has launched disaster relief efforts.

Rolling blackouts have swept the area as officials work to contain radiation exposure at Japanese nuclear power plants.

Meanwhile, Convoy of Hope waits to distribute 100 water filtration units and is working to secure food and supplies for the region, according to a news release.

“Our primary concern is to be sure that we have the right equipment and supplies for the situation,” Kary Kingsland, Convoy of Hope senior vice president of global initiatives, said in the release.

Initial relief efforts are being staged from Manila and the Philippines as officials in Japan work to clear potential radiation. Convoy of Hope is communicating with in-country partners in Japan to determine where its resources would make the greatest impact.

“It’s the fifth-largest earthquake ever recorded,” Kingsland said. “Now we are monitoring Hawaii and the West Coast, and we will respond to the needs in Japan and in the United States as needed.”

In the release, Kingsland urges donations to Convoy of Hope, which will use the gifts to expand its relief efforts.

Convoy of Hope has set up two ways to donate:
  • on its Web site; and
  • by texting TSUNAMI to 50555 to give $10 to the cause.
The earthquake hit Japan's coast near midnight CST on March 10. Aftershocks followed and have caused blackouts, fire and tsunami damage. More information, as well as an additional way to donate, is available on Google's Crisis Response Web site.
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