Breaking News, Environment

Disaster In Japan: Doctors, Helpers And Donations

Japan's flagAfter the tragic earthquake in Japan last Friday, things there are in turmoil. The tsunami (a huge wave caused by the earthquake) has left some villages and towns completely under water. Homes and buildings were destroyed.

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.

Many countries around the world are helping this suffering nation in its time of need, including Canada.

Canadian Prime Minister Steven Harper said that the government has been doing a lot to help Japan since the tragedy. Canada is proving to be a country filled with helping hands.

In fact, Japan’s ambassador to Canada said the Canadian government was one of the first to offer aid to Japan.

Canada is sending some military troops and army workers to rescue people and help the survivors. The Canadian army is also offering to send workers, police and planes.

A special group of people with the tools and skills to help find lost victims is also being offered from Canada. The Victim Identification Plan has a team of 11 people who can he

Disaster relief in Japan

lp find lost family members and friends, who went missing after the disaster. They are currently waiting to hear from Japan, to see if they want Canada to send this team to help out.

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. There are 10 doctors in Japan now, and they will send more if needed.

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. That way they will be self-sufficient. 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.

The Internet is making it easier for everyone to help out by allowing people to donate money to Japan online. The Canadian Red Cross is thankful for websites like Twitter and Facebook which have increased awareness of the situation and raised a lot of money for the country.

The Red Cross is also allowing people to donate money from their cellphones. By texting a certain number, people can automatically send money to Japan.

So far the Red Cross has gathered $1-million for Japan, and the Canadian Salvation Army has raised $75,000.


Writing/Discussion Prompt
What can you do to help? Try to think of an easy but effective  way that you could help raise money for Japan. If you think you can put your plan into action, get started and help make a difference!

Reading Prompt
Retell the problems that Japan is facing. Next, describe the solutions that countries like Canada have offered. Does understanding the problems and solutions mentioned in today’s article help you understand the story?

Identify the main idea and some additional elements of texts (OME, Reading: 1.7).

Analyse texts and explain how various elements in them contribute to meaning (OME, Reading: 1.7).

Grammar Feature: Infinitives
An infinitive is the root part of a verb. When an  infinitive is in a sentence, the word “to” is often used just before it. For example,

“Canadian Prime Minister Steven Harper said that the government has been doing a lot to help Japan since the tragedy.”

Reread today’s article and underline all of the infinitives (“to” + verb).