Visit the New York Times Blog to view satellite photos of Japan before and after the quake and tsunami.
Update from Mission Network News:
Japan (MNN) ― Experts are already predicting that the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan will rank among the costliest natural disasters on record.
Three days later, officials struggled to deal with the dead, hospitals ran out of medicine and entire communities in the hardest hit areas remained completely silent. Food For the Hungry’s Peter Howard says, “It’s a modern country, so this is unparalleled for the scale of this disaster in a modern country. People are without food and without shelter. The Japanese emergency services are moving very quickly, along with the Japanese military. The U-S military is heavily engaged, so it’s really an international partnership on a large scale.”
Millions are without shelter, food, water or heat today, heading into their yet another night in near-zero degree temperatures. “We like to take the cues from our local partners. There are typical things that we do in a response like this, and that’s helping people get shelter, food and basic non food items like hygiene kits or kitchen kits.”
Howard says, “Minutes ago, I got another email from our partner who’s directing the relief response. That’s the issue that she brought up–trying to get warm clothing into this community right near Fukushima nuclear plant.” Temperatures are dropping to 1 degree C (34 F) at night. FH managed to get two trucks sent out bearing some of the needed emergency supplies.
The nuclear threat hangs heavily as survivors watch the damaged power plants continue to belch smoke and dust. “Several of those have started to have explosions which is releasing some nuclear material into the air and that’s causing great concern in the region. That’s the issue that they keep bringing up as one of their biggest concerns and fears.”
Fuel rods at Fukushima Dai-ichi have been exposed and that raises the threat of a meltdown, in the wake of a massive explosion that tore through the building housing a different reactor.
Roads are impassible in some areas, and fuel is a precious commodity. The lack of communications has also interfered with planning their response. “Not being able to get fuel in cars, or getting on trains to be able to get to different meetings so that they can coordinate are just some of the things involved”, he explains. “Landlines are down so phone calls aren’t going through so communication has been extremely difficult. That does slow everything down as far as getting supplies in and coordination.”
Yet Howard says their team is coordinating a plan that flexes with the needs. “For Food for the Hungry, our niche is really working with the local churches and local church partners throughout the region affected and trying to get supplies in through those churches and basically provide support through those churches and ministries.”
In fact, many churches are opening their doors to receive the survivors. “We believe that the church is God’s vehicle for spreading the Gospel of love and compassion and the message of peace. We’re really hopeful that the Japanese church supported by churches all around the world will rise up and truly show what Christians are all about.”
How can you help? “The most important need truly Is number praying that the church will rise up, and number two, money. If Food For The Hungry can get the right amount of money into our partners on the ground, t hey can purchase in other parts of Japan, and bring those supplies into the affected areas.”
The devastation is immense. Please pray for Food for the Hungry staff members around the world who are responding to this disaster. Please consider supporting Food for the Hungry as we respond through our local partners.
To support the work of Food for the Hungry and our partners in Japan, please visit:http://www.fh.org/learn/news/disaster/japan-tsunami?promocode=WU63WD1C3