Roughly one week after the disastrous earthquake and equally devastating tsunami, it's still impossible to give anywhere close to a precise estimate of the catastrophe's full scope. They attested to the helplessness of the helpers in this otherwise thoroughly organized state. The estimated amount of money lost by people and business owners because of the disaster is more than $180 billion, not to mention the many lives that have been lost and the people who have been injured or lost their homes. There is also a special group of doctors and nurses, called “Doctors Without Borders,” who go into countries affected by wars or disasters, to help the injured.
However, since the situation is so bad in Japan right now, helpers are being asked to go with their own food, water and sleeping equipment.


Richter says it depends on how strongly people can identify with the consequences of a disaster. Few in the disaster-struck areas of the Philippines know when - or whether - aid will arrive. After natural disasters, Germans are usually quick to answer the calls for donations from aid organizations.
These days, major aid organizations travel to disaster areas accompanied by quite a few members from their press offices.
The Japanese are also telling people from other countries to come prepared with translators, since many people in Japan do not speak English and would not be able to communicate with the helpers.


It took rescue workers and soldiers days to make their way into some disaster-struck areas. The disaster has paralyzed not only the devastated northern region facing the Pacific, but also the country's industrial base further south.



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