April 7, 2011
Baltimore, MD (IOCC) — Nearly a month after the fourth largest earthquake ever recorded struck the eastern coast of Japan and touched off a devastating tsunami, earthquakes continue to rattle the nerves of survivors and complicate relief efforts. More than thirty earthquakes measuring 6.0 and above on the Richter scale have been experienced in eastern Japan as efforts to assist survivors and rebuild continue.
Over the past three weeks the staff of the Sendai Diocese of the Orthodox Church in Japan have been working to assess the needs of survivors, account for the Orthodox faithful and survey the condition of Church properties along the coastal areas impacted by the disasters.
Six Orthodox faithful were lost in the disasters, four are still missing and one church was totally destroyed by the tsunami and fire, reported Fr. Clement Kodama, Secretary to Bishop Seraphim of the Sendai Diocese.
The Orthodox Church of Japan will convene a meeting of its bishops on April 12 in Tokyo to hear reports on the current needs in the disaster area and plan for the continued response and reconstruction efforts.
International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) has extended offers of assistance to the Orthodox Church in Japan to provide essential aid, as needed, and will support efforts to provide assistance as the disaster response moves into the recovery phase.
While immediate relief supplies have been provided to shelters serving survivors of the disasters, access to the disaster-affected areas is restricted and travel and communication remains difficult due to the road conditions, rationing of gasoline, rolling blackouts and intermittent telephone service.