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Japan Earthquake: Los Angeles Rallies to Help, Raise Cash

A crack in the earth in Japan.

jefferson via TwitpicA crack in the earth in Japan.

Japanese Americans rallied over the weekend in Little Tokyo for victims of Japan's devastating 8.9 earthquake. People set up collection boxes in shopping areas, and one woman told TV crews she raised $3,200 Saturday alone.

The Dodgers announced the team would organize a "drive-through" relief effort at Dodger Stadium Tuesday from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. where folks can drop off donation to the American Red Cross' Japan relief fund.

The efforts in L.A., with one of the largest populations of people of Japanese heritage in the nation, are particularly pronounced.

According to an L.A. Economic Development Corp. study on "Japan & Los Angeles County: Growing Together," there are at least 102,000 Japanese Americans in the area.

Toyota, Honda, Mitsubishi, Union Bank, Asahi Beer, Epson, and Pioneer electronics all have their North American headquarters in the L.A. area.

People wait it out at Disneyland in the Tokyo area.

mrdaps via TwitpicPeople wait it out at Disneyland in the Tokyo area.

Burbank-based Disney over the weekend announced it would close its two theme parks in Japan for at least 10 days as visitors at the venues camped out for shelter.

An L.A. County Fire Department urban search and rescue team reached Japan over the weekend.

Reports of bitter cold paired with a lack of electricity and gas for areas hit by the quake and tsunami meant that hundreds of thousands of Japanese continued to suffer days after Fridays' quake.

CNN reported that many store shelves were bare and foodstuffs were hard to come by.

Tens of thousands are feared dead.

On Saturday Caro, founder of Japanese pop art gallery Sweet Streets LA, announced an online fundraiser, "#PrayForJapan" that will migrate to a storefront as well on March 19 at pop culture shop JapanLA, 7320 1/2 Melrose Ave.

The Japanese Consulate-General in L.A. has a list of Japan-quake relief funds here.