I cannot imagine what an 8.9 earthquake would feel like. I cannot imagine an earthquake lasting 5 minutes. The tsunami's that hit afterward were obviously devastating and even though some of those also hit our west coast, the damage and loss of a life here is minor in comparison. The aftershocks continue in Japan as evidenced by the seismic maps. Latest Earthquakes, World Wide . The ongoing devastation from aftershocks, fires, nuclear reactor emergencies, is just mind numbing.
The Northridge quake scared the heck out of me and it only lasted several, escalating in intensity, seconds. For years after, the rumbling of a truck would provoke an adrenaline response. I still always expect a minor quake to continue to grow in intensity like that. I cannot imagine the psychological damage this disaster will cause for Japan's citizens and residents.
Ways to contribute in the U.S.:
Send a text message "REDCROSS" from your cell phone to the American Red Cross at 90999 to donate $10 to donate through your cell phone or call 1-800-RED-CROSS or visit the American Red Cross web site.
Global Giving will provide funds to several different agencies helping in the Relief effort: Text "JAPAN" to 50555 to donate $10 through your cell phone, or visit the web site at Japan Earthquake Tsunami Relief to donate directly
This Huffington Post has a whole list of agencies and ways to donate to the Japan Relief Effort.