The devastation wrought by the 9.0-magnitude Sendai Earthquake and resulting tsunami is massive, and the international relief response is huge as well.
Nearly 100 countries and six international organizations have offered help in many forms money, manpower, and supplies. Badly needed food and water are pouring in from around the world, as Japan tries to cope with a natural disaster whose death toll might be in the tens of thousands of people.
Urban search and rescue teams from Australia, China, Germany, Hungary, Mexico, Singapore, South Korea, the United States, and the United Kingdom were on the ground and pitching in wherever they could. Also included in those efforts was New Zealand, which had its own devastating earthquake, a 6.3-magnitude disaster that leveled hundreds of buildings in the urban center of Christchurch and killed nearly 200 people. Japan's search and rescue team was in Christchurch when the Sendai Earthquake struck. Not long after they returned home, the New Zealand team arrived.
No remnants of the recent territorial dispute were evident in China's offer to help in any way it could. In fact, a large search and rescue team was on the ground and working hard in the hard-hit area of Ofunato, in the northeast part of the main island, Honshu.
Several U.S. Navy ships, including two aircraft carriers, are pitching in, sending personnel and supplies to shore along with helicopters and reconnaissance teams.
The International Red Cross, flush with recent donations, including $500,000 from the General Motors Foundation, had nearly 100 teams of workers treating survivors in hospitals and mobile medical clinics across the region and looking after survivors in thousands of evacuation centers. Japan's own Honda Motor Company has pledged nearly $4 million, including 1,000 generators, to relief efforts. Toyota has pledged millions of dollars in relief as well. Donations from private individuals has come flooding in and numbers in the tens of millions of dollars.
Other international organizations working furiously on the ground in Japan include the Salvation Army, the International Medical Corps, Americares, and Save the Children.
Assistance is coming in the form of scientific experts as well, as officials from the U.S. Department of Energy and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission are being brought onboard to help with the possible nuclear meltdown threatened at several reactors.
AT&T and Time Warner Cable announced that they would waive user charges from America to Japan for the next several weeks.