Red Cross responds to Japan disaster

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The local chapter of the American Red Cross is keeping busy around the islands, as the state cleans up in the wake of the tsunami.

Volunteers and employees spent Friday assessing damage on the Big Island, Maui, and Molokai, and found that at least 40 homes were damaged to some extent. Of those, about half had major damage, and the other half faced minor.

Workers spent Saturday on various efforts from meeting immediate needs to further assessing damages, and fundraising.

Red Cross teams met with families whose homes suffered damage. They essentially went door to door, to learn individual's needs.

The Hawaii Chapter enlisted the Coast Guard's help to take food to about 25 boaters in Kihei. Those mariners cannot get back to shore, because of damages in the harbor.

As for funding, volunteers staked out space at the farmer's market at Kapiolani Community College on Diamond Head. They enlisted the help of passersby, as well as some farmers, who offered to donate all of their proceeds to the Red Cross.

In Japan, The Japanese Red Cross Society immediately began mobilizing volunteers after the earthquake struck on Thursday.

It's now mobilized eleven teams to destruction zones to asses the situation and needs. Plus, the teams will be working on first aid, and supporting victims emotionally.

As of now, the American Red Cross has not received any requests for blood or assistance from the Japanese Red Cross, the Japanese Government, or the U.S. State Department, but representatives say the are ready to help in any way possible.

To find your family members through the Red Cross, see our other story

We'll have more on what you can do to help on and tonight at 5 p.m. on Hawaii News Now.

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