How Nintendo is doing in Japan, and what you can do to help

There’s no way you haven’t heard about the massive earthquake in Japan at this point, which caused an untold amount of damage and set off a tsunami that hit not only Japan, but Hawaii and the West Coast as well (though no major damage has been reported in the latter two areas).

Nintendo Headquarters Kyoto Japan

As Wii 2 Blog is a flavour of Nintendo fan site, chances are that you’re wondering how Iwata and co. are doing up there amidst all the shaking and flooding. They eventually released the following statement, which (thankfully) confirms that the disaster didn’t hit them as hard as it could have, and implies that 3DS shipments won’t be affected.

We appreciate the concern shown in the aftermath of the recent disaster in Japan. We can confirm that at this time it appears that no one from Nintendo in Japan was injured and there was no apparent structural damage to our company headquarters in Kyoto. Business operations, including future product shipments, have not been affected. Our thoughts and best wishes are with everyone who has friends and family members who may have been affected by the earthquake or tsunami.

(source)

Nintendo’s offices are located in Kyoto and Tokyo, which are located towards a more southern area of Japan, out of the way of the truly destructive tsunami. While the 8.9 earthquake must’ve been a horrifying experience there, Japan has some incredibly rigorous building codes which ensured that structural damage there was kept to a minimum (hence explaining why Nintendo isn’t in any immediate trouble).

However, things are looking much grimmer up north. This isn’t a world news blog, so I’m not going to go too far into details here (there’s lots of good reports on all the damage like this one all over the Internet, anyway), but suffice it to say that a 30-foot ocean wave traveling 10 kilometres inland isn’t something that just blows over and disappears like, I don’t know, a Pachter quote. Not to mention that there’s a death toll approaching 10,000 at the time of this post’s writing, and that there are three nuclear power plants at the potential risk of meltdowns.

Hit the jump for some video footage and donation instructions.

Very real people up there are in very real danger up there right now, and it’s important that we all do our part to help. I have a personal friend there in Chiba, whom I’ve sent a postcard to (who knows what Internet access is like up there right now?). Yes, that’s a video of a fire right in her city. A.N., if you read this, I sincerely hope you, your family, and all your friends are okay and will recover from the disaster.

Myself, I donated all the money I had been saving for an copy of IP.Board for the forums towards GlobalGiving.org’s relief fund, in A.N.’s name (you can see my name on the donors page). They’re a legitimate and trustworthy charity that’ll work to distribute the funds to on-site organizations, so they have my personal endorsement. Huffington Post has also put together a comprehensive list of charities and non-profit organizations that are helping out, which is definitely worth a look.

If you don’t have enough money to donate anything, at least take the time to spread the word to others you know that can. Tell people to donate to GlobalGiving.org or any other charity you trust, through Twitter, Facebook, email, or even in person. You wouldn’t believe how many kindhearted people there are who genuinely want to help, but have no idea what they can actually do. I’m sure they’ll appreciate it if you give them a place to start.

Editorial note: I’ve hidden my friend’s full name for privacy reasons.

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