An 9.0 magnitude earthquake struck the north-east region of Japan on the morning of March 11, about 250 miles from Tokyo and 20 miles below the surface. A large tsunami followed hitting Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures. Four nuclear reactors are now experiencing possible meltdown, leading to heavy radiation leaks. OMF International (formerly the China Inland Mission and Overseas Missionary Fellowship) has announced the safety of OMF staffs and their short-term workers.
OMF workers in Aomori were without electricity for the first day but are back on electricity again. Some have no internet connection yet. The earthquake also struck Tokyo quite badly but no great damage to either personnel or buildings seems to have occurred. Aftershocks are continuing.
OMF workers will be helping with relief efforts in the Sendai region to provide whatever assistance they are able to give to the people in the area. OMF will be supporting as well the work of other Christian agencies in Japan that are reaching out to help those affected by the earthquake and tsunami.
The Sendai Earthquake Relief Fund, an OMF Japan project, has been created to channel funds for this effort. Anyone wishing to contribute to this project may do so through the OMF office in their country. (Working through your local OMF office is faster, less expensive and less complicated than arranging international bank transfers to Japan). Please quote project number L60500.
1. Please pray for those who are still waiting for rescue. And for those at evacuation centers, some of them with little or no heat, water, or food. Pray also for those who are waiting for news of their loved ones.
2. Pray for successful containment of the problems at the nuclear power plant in Fukushima struggling to deal with the effects of the earthquake and tsunamis. This is a major cause of concern and anxiety.
3. Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO), the operator of the plant, announced planned power cuts from Monday 14th and train companies in Tokyo made plans for reduced services. So far this hasn’t happened much but there is a lot of uncertainty and disruption for commuters.
4. There is panic buying in shops and at petrol stations in the wider Tokyo area with queues in front of supermarkets and petrol stations.
5. Because we don’t know how stable power supplies are, it is getting very difficult to plan even for tomorrow, especially for commuters. Pray for leaders in government, TEPCO, and train companies, that they will be able to make the right decisions.
6. Some business leaders, such as Panasonic and Sony, have started to offer their products to evacuation centers (radios, batteries) Pray for other companies to follow suit.
7. CRASH (crashjapan.com) is a network supporting Christians to do relief work in Japan and around the world. OMF Japan is actively cooperating with CRASH. The first advance teams have gone or are preparing to go into the most affected areas. Pray for wisdom to organize teams from within and outside of Japan. (CRASH - Christian Relief Assistance Support and Hope)