Major Earthquake Hits Japan – Summary Update
The most powerful earthquake to hit Japan in recorded history struck off the island nation’s shore on Friday March 11, collapsing buildings, touching off widespread fires and unleashing walls of water up to 30 feet high. The waves swept across rice fields, engulfed towns, dragged houses onto highways, and tossed cars and boats like toys. The 8.9-magnitude quake reached as far as about six miles (10 kilometers) inland in Miyagi Prefecture on Japan’s east coast.
Thousands of people were killed and thousands more are missing, Japanese media reported, citing local and national police. Tens of thousands of people were displaced, according to Japan’s Kyodo News agency. Prime Minister Naoto Kan said the “enormously powerful” earthquake had caused “tremendous damage over a wide area.”
Global Ministries has been in contact with our Japan partners to offer our prayers and support at this difficult time. GM Co-Executives, Cally Rogers-Witte and David Vargas, sent a message of solidarity to the United Church of Christ in Japan (UCCJ) immediately following the earthquake. Xiaoling Zhu, Area Executive for East Asia and Pacific is monitoring the situation.
We encourage Disciples and UCC to make gifts through our two denominations’ primary emergency relief funds: One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) and Week of Compassion (WOC). Funds from OGHS and WOC already have been channeled through the Global Ministries East Asia and Pacific Office to our denominational partners in Japan, the United Church of Christ of Japan. Please follow the links below to give for Japan:
Japan Critical Presence 2011 – Donate
NEWS FROM OUR PARTNERS:
- The United Church of Christ in Japan (UCCJ): Updates from the UCCJ
- For info from the UCCJ Disaster Relief Committee: http://www.uccj-jishin.jpn.org/?category_name=english
- For info from the Emmaus Center: http://ameblo.jp/jishin-support-uccj-en/page-1.html#main
- Asian Rural Institute (ARI): Updates from ARI
- For info from ARI: http://www.ari-edu.org/english/index.html
- Global Ministries is a part of Church World Service (CWS) around the world. Church World Service is a cooperative organization of nine US denominations and many more in hundreds of countries worldwide: Church World Service Japan Response
- The Nippon Volunteer Network Active in Disaster (NVNAD): Report from Dr. Tomo Atsumi, the President of the Nippon Volunteer Network Active in Disaster (NVNAD)
NEWS FROM OUR MISSIONARIES:
Jeffrey Mensendiek serves the Council on Cooperative Mission where he is assigned to the Emmaus Center in Sendai as director of youth activities.
Martha Mensendiek serves through the Council of Cooperative Mission at Doshisha University, Kyoto, Japan where she teaches social welfare.
Casilda Luzares serves the United Church of Christ in Japan, Kyoto Conference. She is an English Literature Professor at Doshisha University.
David and Joyce Murchie serve as missionary associates in Japan, and in recent years have taught at Tohoku-Gakuin University in Sendai
- Follow regular news and updates – News from Your Global Ministries Missionaries in Japan
- March 15 UCNews – Global Ministries Mission Personnel Send First hand accounts
Rev. Scott Barton of Collenbrook United Church (Presbyterian and U.C.C.) Drexel Hill, PA, wrote the following hymn in response to the earthquake and tsunami in Japan: O Mighty God, So Strong to Save
MESSAGES OF SOLIDARITY:
Global Ministries has received messages and stories of solidarity which are posted here: messages & stories of solidarity
For more info on Japan: Japan Country Page