Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunamis
The earthquake and tsunami that rocked Japan was a frightening experience even for people in Tokyo, some 200 miles away from the epicenter. The magnitude 8.9 quake, which struck offshore Japan on Friday, unleashed a 23-foot tsunami and was followed for hours by more than 50 aftershocks, many of them of more than magnitude 6.0. The U.S. National Weather Service issued warnings for at least 50 other countries and territories, according to CNN.
The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) has been monitoring the situation in the Pacific, said Melissa Crutchfield, UMCOR executive for International Disaster Response, and is in contact with partners in the region. Emergency response staff members at Church World Service are in contact with the agency’s office in Bangkok, which is monitoring the situation in Japan and across the region. Tsunami warnings are in effect for North Sulawesi, Indonesia, and two local partners for CWS there have been contacted.
UMCOR has established Advance 3021317 “Pacific Emergency” where relief donations can be directed. Persons wishing to donate can put a check in the local church offering plate clearly marked PACIFIC EMERGENCY or Advance 3021317, which the church can then remit to the conference treasurer’s office. Persons wishing to make donations online can go to Pacific Emergency. To read more about the United Methodist response to this disaster, go to the United Methodist News Service article at Japan Earthquake news.