Earthquake Update from United Church of Christ in Japan (UCCJ)

From UCCJ offices in Tokyo

As you are surely aware, since the night of April 14 a series of earthquakes has been occurring in Kumamoto and Oita prefectures, on the southern island of Kyushu. Several of the quakes, which have measured as strong as magnitude 7, have caused landslides and the damage/collapse of structures and homes. At the time of this writing, 48 deaths have been attributed directly to the quakes. The tremors do appear to be tapering off, but residents of affected areas are still very tense. This morning we received news of another quake during the night, this time magnitude 4.

Several churches have sustained structural and/or furniture damage, and one church member suffered complete collapse of their home.  Several of the churches are serving as shelters for neighbors whose homes were damaged, or might be at risk from further tremors.

UCCJ formed a Kumamoto Earthquake Response Committee on April 15, and has been assessing damages affecting UCCJ churches and members.  The Secretary of World Mission traveled to Kumamoto on April 15 and visited as many of the UCCJ churches in affected areas as possible.  On the following day the UCCJ Moderator also traveled to Kumamoto, taking emergency funds to aid Kyushu District’s response to the situation.

We give thanks for your precious partnership, and ask for your prayers of support toward brothers, sisters and neighbors in Kumamoto and Oita.


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