Canadians have already donated $77,000 to help victims of the worst earthquake in Japan's history.

The Canadian Red Cross is reaching out online and through social media to raise funds for victims of the 8.9-magnitude quake. Donated money will go into an international fund to get short-term relief into affected areas.

Pam Aung Thin of the Canadian Red Cross told CTV's Canada AM that the Japanese Red Cross Society has emergency plans in place to prepare for earthquakes.

"Before something like this even hits they have trained volunteers, they do exercises, they have things in place ready to go," she said.

"When something like this happens they're ready to respond to local areas that are affected."

She said that international relief workers are on standby in case there is an appeal for more assistance.

More than 500 people, including some Canadians, are missing after the quake, and police have found between 200 and 300 bodies in the coastal city of Sendai. At least 137 people are already confirmed to be dead.

Those wishing to make donations can call 1-800-418-1111 or go to the Red Cross Canada website.

People can also text the word ASIA, in all capital letters, to 30333.

About 1,500 Canadians have registered with the foreign affairs ministry to say they're living in Japan. If you are worried about a loved one, call 613-943-1055 or 1-800-387-3124 for information.

With files from the Canadian Press