The devastating 7-plus magnitude earthquakes
in Ecuador and Japan in the last week have left thousands upon thousands missing, injured and displaced and hundreds more dead.
According to AP
, more than 400 people are estimated to be dead following the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit the country on Saturday, April 16. The Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa is estimating $3 billion in damage—3 percent of the country's GPD. Rebuilding after this massive natural disaster could take years and crews are still searching for survivors in the wreckage, while humanitarian aid groups are working on getting clean water, food, temporary housing and mosquito nets (which are needed especially now due to the Zika infection risk
in the area) to those who need them.
Over in Japan, twin earthquakes have left over 100,000 still in temporary
housing and thousands injured days after the final earthquake stuck on Saturday. The streets of the Japanese city Fukuoka were coated in a mysterious foam
following the event.
Here in Tucson, Yume Japanese Garden
(2130 North Alvernon Way) is hosting a candlelight vigil in remembrance of the victims of the earthquakes that will also serve as a fundraiser to help those who have survived the devastation.
“Japanese gardens are deeply healing places, and having lived for 15 years in Japan I wanted to honor the quake victims,” said Patricia Deridder, founder and executive director of Yume Japanese Gardens in a press release. “The Ecuadorian quake only makes this need more compelling and when the Japanese Association of Tucson asked to use the Gardens for a vigil and concert, I immediately said yes and thought to commemorate victims in both countries.”
On Wednesday, April 20 beginning at 7 p.m., the garden will host the 30-minute vigil, which includes a violin performance by Toru Tagawa, director of the Tucson Repertory Orchestra, and classical Japanese songs by tenor Yuki Ibuki. The garden's koi pond will be covered in floating candles in honor of those lost. Those in attendance can donate to the garden, which will send funds to an account for the purpose at the Kumamoto Bank (Kencho Branch) in Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan or to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF for Emergency Relief in Ecuador, as the donor specifies.
If you can't make it to the vigil, there are plenty of ways
you can help donate to the recovery and aid efforts.