Soon after the 9.0-magnitude earthquake crippled the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, the mayor of Minami Soma City, which sits next to Fukushima, issued a call for help over YouTube. The city lacked supplies and had no way to help its citizens as they evacuated their homes,the mayor said. This video was filmed back on March 24, but it continues to resonate as Japan, which was just hit today by another powerful earthquake, continues to struggle with the aftermath.
"The video ... became an instant sensation, and has since drawn more than 200,000 viewers," according to the New York Times' piece about the video, published this morning. "Almost two weeks later, the city hall is still getting phone calls, most from non-Japanese calling from abroad with offers to help. The city has also received hundreds of boxes of food and other supplies from individuals, and truckloads of relief goods from nonprofit organizations."
The success of Katsunobu Sakurai's 11-minute recording, which was filmed with a small digital camcorder, clearly demonstrates the power of social media and its ability to transcend boundaries.