Bitcoin Donations Accepted
At the time of writing, the fund had already received 26.865 BTC (around USD$11,615) from 146 donors.
At least 29 people were killed and almost 2,000 injured when two quakes struck near Kumamoto City on Kyushu island. The first quake, measuring 6.2 magnitude on the scale of energy released, occurred in the evening of April 14, killing 10 and demolishing several buildings.
That quake turned out to be only a foreshock, with a yet more powerful tremor (7.0 magnitude) hitting the region again just after midnight on April 16, causing more death and damage. Aftershocks continue to terrify residents.
Still Many Unknowns
The death toll continues to rise as rescuers work to clear the rubble from collapsed buildings. More than 44,000 people have been evacuated from the area and are now sheltering in community centers, school gymnasiums and even open parks.
While there was no significant tsunami as a result of the quake, landslides caused several roadways to suffer major damage, a large bridge collapsed and sections of the historic Aso Shrine, and a Kumamoto Castle wall were destroyed. All of Kumamoto City is without water services and there were also fears a local dam may collapse and cause a flood.
Japan’s military, the Self Defense Force, has deployed 20,000 troops to the region to assist with rescue and cleanup.
Coincheck’s donation drives
Coincheck will convert bitcoin donations and send the money to Peace Winds Japan (PWJ), a non-governmental organization (NGO).
The company, which has operated since September 2014, is a consumer-friendly bitcoin exchange that has grown to be one of the most popular in the local market. It invites others to use its service for bitcoin donation drives when required.
Japan & Natural Disasters
The second Kumamoto earthquake was the most powerful recorded on Kyushu under the current measuring system, and the most powerful in the entire country since a 2011 quake in northeastern Tohoku triggered a tsunami that killed over 15,000 and wiped out coastal towns.
About 20% of all the world’s most powerful earthquakes (above 6.0) occur in Japan. While the country has some of the world’s strictest building codes for buildings built in the past few decades, many structures in regional areas are much older, and homes build in a traditional style with wood and heavy roof tiles.
Japan’s regional towns also have a far higher percentage of older residents, which causes casualty rates in natural disaster areas to soar – and increases the difficulty of evacuee care.
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Image courtesy of Coincheck, wikipedia.org