The Korean Red Cross reported Monday that it has collected more than 10.5 billion won ($93.3 million) less than a week after starting a fundraising campaign to help victims of the deadly earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan’s northeastern coast on March 11.
The amount surpassed the 8.65 billion won collected in a month last year to help earthquake victims in Haiti, the charity added.
Lump sum donations were made by Korean Wave stars, with Lee Byung-hun and Choi Ji-woo, both extremely popular in Japan, giving 700 million won and 200 million won, respectively.
KB Financial Group Inc. and Woori Finance Holdings Co. also donated 1 billion won each through the charity, while Hyundai Motors Group and GS Group offered 100 million yen ($1.23 million) and 50 million yen, respectively.
Individual donations are also flowing in to help Japanese quake victims.
Rep. Chung Mong-joon (left) consoles Japanese Ambassador Masatoshi Muto after paying tribute to quake victims at the Japanese Embassy in Seoul on Monday. (Kim Myung-sub/The Korea Herald)
One office worker, who recently cancelled a trip to Japan, sent 500,000 won from her travel budget, while a couple donated 1 million won in the name of their baby who marked its 100th day of birth.
The charity added that more than 100 individuals and organizations have applied for volunteer work in Japan through its online website. Second Korean found dead
A second South Korean death in quake-hit Japan was confirmed on Sunday, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
The 37-year-old woman, who was married to a Japanese man, resided in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, one of the areas hit hardest by the quake and tsunami. She was the second Korean death confirmed as of Monday.
On March 14, a 40-year-old Korean worker was found dead near the construction site of a thermal power plant in Ibaraki Prefecture.
Of the 1,019 Korean nationals reported missing to the Korean Consulate General in Sendai, 41 people were still missing, the ministry said.
Amid a growing nuclear scare over the stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant, the 107-person Korean rescue team completed its search from Sendai to the western coastal city of Niigata on Saturday.
“Other than dangers of radiation leaks, we almost finished the relief work in the region requested by the Japanese government,” said a Foreign Ministry official.
“The team will be waiting for an additional request in Niigata while overcoming fatigue.”
The Korean crew has found 17 bodies in the northeastern coast region since March 14.
By Lee Ji-yoon (email@example.com