AN appeal to raise £1 million to help and protect children in Japan following Friday’s devastating earthquake and tsunami has been launched.
The charity Save the Children aims to deliver psychosocial support to young people, helping them overcome the shock and stress that the disaster left in its aftermath.
The earthquake was one of the biggest ever recorded and the ensuing 20ft tsunami swallowed everything in its path - from houses and cars to trains and ships.
Strong aftershocks continued to rock the north-east area of the island nation, further hindering the multi-national rescue effort.
Save the Children will set up child-friendly spaces to provide a protective environment where children can spend time with other children and trained teachers.
It will allow parents much-needed time to find food, work and accommodation as well as locate other friends and family.
The situation at the Fukushima nuclear power plant is ever-changing, with a top official saying a partial meltdown is already “likely” to be under way at one reactor.
Save the Children will monitor the power plant and prepare contingency plans for any future changes, it said.
Hundreds of thousands of people have been evacuated and had to spend the night without electricity and water, according to the charity.
Steve McDonald, the leader of Save the Children’s emergency response in Japan said: “We know from experience that, especially with the ongoing aftershocks still being felt here and fears of another tsunami, children will be terrified and desperately in need of structured help and care.”