Stories of strength and support emerge from Japan after earthquake and tsunami disaster

Jessie King Fredel, Staff Writer

On March 11, Japan was hit by one of the greatest natural disasters in recent history: a combination of an earthquake and a tsunami (and now threats of nuclear explosions) that are comparable to 2005’s Hurricane Katrina. However, stories of heroism and bravery of the Japanese people have surfaced through Facebook, Twitter and blogs — one of the most memorable being that of the Tokyo Apple store.

A letter from an Apple employee who works in the Tokyo shopping district stated that Apple Inc. rose to the occasion, offering the Apple store as a place to stay for both retail and corporate workers. In addition, this particular Apple store supplied food and water for employees, Wi-Fi, and support for families. Apple told all workers that they would “pay for any food, drink, or transportation fees that [people trying to get home] incurred on the way” and that “your safety is most important.” An email that Steve Jobs sent to the employees read, “If you need time or resources to visit or care for your families, please see HR and we will help you. If you are aware of any supplies that are needed, please also tell HR and we will do what we can to arrange delivery.”

Apple workers gave frightened shoppers access to the Internet and the ability to connect with the rest of the world, read about developments, and charge appliances through hundreds of aftershocks.

This story of humanity provides hope that Japan can rebuild itself in light of the recent disasters.