Have you heard of #quakebook?
You have heard that the March 11 earthquake and tsunami devastated northeastern Japan. The earthquake hit 9.0 on the Richter scale and shifted the geographical position of Japan, and the tsunami almost completely razed the Tohoku coastline. The explosions, leaks, and power failures at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station have made Japan’s nuclear crisis the most serious nuclear emergency since Chernobyl. Even in Tokyo, traces of radiation have been found in the water, and for days, the densely populated capital was silent. The death toll has risen to 13,800 people, 14,000 people are still being reported as missing, and tens of thousands of people have been displaced from their homes, because they were evacuated or because their homes were destroyed. Japan in still experiences aftershocks, some as high as 7.2 on the Richter scale, and power outages and food and water shortages are still serious problems in Japan.
The actual number of people affected by the earthquake and tsunami is of course much greater. Many Japanese students studying abroad were unable to return home, and many could not contact their families and friends for days. I spent the first half of my spring break trying to get in contact with my host family and all of my friends in Japan, watching news updates from both the US and Japan, and sharing and following links to missing person finders, photos, and information sources on facebook.
So what is #quakebook?
#Quakebook started from a single Twitter post, and under the leadership of Our Man in Abiko, a blogger and foreign resident of Japan, in only a few weeks grew into a best-selling ebook on Amazon.
Published with the title 2:46: Aftershocks: Stories from the Japan Earthquake, #quakebook is a collection of first-hand accounts, narratives, blog posts, tweets, photographs, and stories from people affected by the March 11 Japan earthquake and tsunami. Contributors to the ebook are professional and citizen journalists, authors, bloggers, witnesses, survivors, an 80-year-old Sendai grandfather, a family who told their son they might never return home, Jake Adelstein, William Gibson, Barry Eisler, and Yoko Ono.
#Quakebook is available for purchase and download on Amazon for the Kindle, but even if you don’t own the Kindle (like me) you can download the Kindle reader for your computer for free and read #quakebook on your personal computer. #Quakebook costs $9.99 on Amazon, and all proceeds go to benefit victims of the earthquake and tsunami through the Red Cross. Amazon waived all additional fees, and neither Amazon nor Our Man in Abiko and the #quakebook contributors receive any cut of the payments. Let me say that again. ALL PROCEEDS GO TO THE RED CROSS. Every single cent goes to benefit victims and survivors in Japan.
Buy #quakebook. Read something interesting. Donate some money. Change some lives.
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