Tag Archive | "american red cross"

Cherry Blossom Festival Commences to Help Victims of Tsunami

Cherry Blossom FestivalMany people walked under cherry blossom trees in Washington not only to kick off the National Cherry Blossom Festival held 26th of March until 10th of April every year, but also to raise funds for the victims of the March 11 tsunami in Japan. The 3,000 trees are gifts from the Japanese government 99 years ago as a symbol of friendship between the two countries.

The American people showed their support for the Japanese people and their country by lighting candles in a vigil. They got together in the Sylvan Theatre and marched along the Tidal Basin which is lined by cherry blossom trees.

The organizers of the said fund raisers in partnership with the American Red Cross aim to come up with enough money to support relief efforts for Japan. After the tsunami stroke Japan last March 11, many Japanese people were left cold, homeless, and hungry.

The Japanese ambassador, Ichiro Fujisaki, said on his welcoming speech that although search and rescue operations are going on in Japan right now, the government is still struggling to provide enough water, food, and warmth. He further said that if there is one good thing that tragedy brought them is that the realization that they can rely on the entire world, especially America, to help them in their time of need.

However, the activity did not please everybody. Priscilla Lee of California said that she is happy that the activity promotes friendship with Japan, but it is not America’s sole responsibility to improve the conditions in the country. Many also pointed out that the US should focus on bigger issues like Libya and even the America’s own economy.

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Rising Rivers in the East Force Evacuations

Rising rivers caused by several days of continued rain forced hundreds of families out of their homes in Maine and Maryland on Friday. However, flooding across the East is still far from a widespread catastrophe.

Currently waning out from the snowy winter season, areas outside of the city of New York were the most affected. Also, northern New Jersey, which is a notable flood-prone area, are still in water. The flood waters are not likely to dry for a couple of days.

State police reported that 1,300 homes had to be evacuated by midmorning Friday since they are situated in Pequannock close to the Pompton River. The same happened with 100 homes in Fairfield. By midday, several shelter homes opened as American Red Cross prepared for more.

Widespread  flooding is likely to occur along Pequannock, Pompton and Ramapo rivers in North Jersey. The rivers are still not likely to reach their peak until Saturday. However, Gov. Chris Christie said worst could happen.

Christie was condemned during a blizzard in late December when he was not in the state when it occurred. But now, he has announced a state of emergency even though the rain has not yet started.

According to weather agency National Weather Service, there will be no expected major rain for the next few days, which might give a chance for the area to get dry. The department also expected the Susquehanna River located northeast of Pennsylvania to rise as high as 8 feet near Wikes-Barre by Saturday.

Moderate flooding occurred in western Maryland while both Monocacy River near Frederick and Conococheague Creek in Fairview were already over their banks.

Minor flooding continued along the Ohio River and flood waters in Cincinnati were already 3 feet above the official flood level and still rising.

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