Hope Among the Ashes: Our Children and Natural Disasters
Love Through A Child's Heart Files
After the devastating Indonesia earthquake and tsunami in 2004, Michael released this statement of compassion and concern to his friends and fans in Indonesia, and around the world.
My family and I would like to send our prayers and heartfelt sympathy to the families, friends and loved ones of those who recently perished from the horrific earthquake and tsunami which swept through Indonesia, Asia, India, Somalia and other countries. Our love is also being sent to those who have miraculously survived this tragedy and to those who are so courageously on-site, helping to spearhead the relief efforts. We pray for your strength, your safety and the success of your life-saving missions of love. Words cannot adequately express the shock, horror and grief we've felt while watching news reports which have captured the massive devastation and despair. It has been especially painful for me, as I have visited these areas many times and I remember the love, kindness and warmth of the people I met there. I would like to encourage all of my friends and fans to contribute to agencies and organizations assisting in these efforts. In times like these, we need each other... we must bond together in spirit and in service. God Bless.
Since Michael's passing, the world has experienced several natural disasters. The most prominent in our memories are probably the earthquakes that took place in Haiti, Chile and last month in Japan. (March, 2011)
On January 12, 2010, Haiti experienced a magnitude 7.0 quake; the worse that region had seen in over 200 years. It is the 3rd deadliest quake on record with a death toll topping 316,000. It is estimated that 3 million people were affected; 300,000 injured and more than 1.5-1.8 million people left homeless.
Many charities and organizations world-wide came to Haiti's aid with food, clothing, shelter and medical supplies. A super group of artists also came together to record, “We Are the World: 25 for Haiti”, which helped raise funds for relief efforts. This charity single was a remake of Michael's “We Are the World”that was originally recorded in 1985, to benefit famine relief in Africa.
The fifth largest earthquake in recorded history is the recent catastrophic 8.9 quake and tsunami that shook Japan on March 11, 2011. The Japanese police say that the death toll tops 9,400, with over 14,700 still missing, and the numbers are expected to rise in the days ahead.
Just barely over a year ago, these two Haitian boys, Geoffrey and Joseph of Port-Au-Prince, had their home destroyed in the Haiti earthquake and tsunami. In the video below, they are watching a live feed of the events that took place in Japan, on March 11, 2011.
Haiti Stands With Japan
Video Credit: By David Darg and Bryn Mooser
That sense of shock, urgency, and feelings of helplessness that filled our souls as we watched these terrifying stories unfold on TV and the Internet, can become overwhelming for some. In the midst of such chaos, our children need us more than ever. They look to us for answers; those answers we honestly are still struggling to comprehend ourselves.
For our children who have witnessed such horrendous tragedies before, their brains (when triggered) tend to replicate those emotions that they felt from the last encounter with danger. They can become sad, depressed, angry, feel hopeless and even in some cases become suicidal. We must learn healthy ways to communicate with our children. It is very important to tell our children that there are people taking care of the situation.
And for those children just exposed to the recent events in Japan, they will look to us for guidance. If they see us overcome by grief and fear, the child may become anxious and panicky. The child's imagination may "run wild" with fearsome and racing thoughts of terror. Our children need to be reassured that we love them and they are safe. We mustn't try to over-explain to our child, but gear our explanations toward their level of understanding. Now is the time for us to listen and communicate on a healthy level with our children. We need to be reminded as adults, our thoughts are so complex and we have encountered more tragedies in our life time.
Remember the two young Haitian boys from above video, Geoffrey and Joseph? Well, their story doesn't end there; they have captured the hearts of other children around the globe. Watch the video below and you will see how adversity can spark hope among the ashes...
Kids Pitch in to Raise Money for Japan
Michael's message to the victims of the Indonesian earthquake and tsunami in 2004 still transcends to us today.
In times like these, we need each other... we must bond together in spirit and in service.
Talking to Your Child About a Natural Disaster
Talking to Your Kids About Natural Disasters, War, and Violence
How to Talk to Young Children About Natural Disasters
Preparing your family for natural disasters:
Teach compassion and Volunteerism:
Some Quick Facts About Earthquakes:
Earthquakes rank at various levels on the Richter scale. When an earthquake registers under 2.0, they usually are not felt. Also, any quake below 4.0 usually does not cause damage. But, when a quake registers over 7.0, it is considered a major earthquake.
Here are the top five earthquakes ranked by strength:
1. (1960) Vivaldi, Chile - 9.5
2. (1964) Prince William Sound, Alaska - 9.2
3. (2004) Off the Coast of Sumatra, Indonesia - 9.1
4. (1952) Kamchatka, Russia - 9.0
5. (2011) Off the Coast of Japan - 8.9
Finding Love Through A Child's Heart,
- Heather, Director of Children's Awareness
© Heather Nutt, 2011, 2012 Revised. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction without Permission from Author(s).
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