Earthquake in Japan
On April 14, the eastern area of Kyushu Island was hit by a 6.5 magnitude earthquake, 7 on the Mercalli Scale, in the area of Kumamoto. In the same area, on April 16, there was another earthquake of magnitude 7.3 and grade 6+.
These two quakes caused much damage in the area: houses collapsed; there were landslides and movements of the earth; victims that number 44 up to today; and thousands wounded and evacuated. The earth continues to shake and more shocks are foreseen of the same magnitude or even greater, both in the zone and in the prefecture where we have 2 houses: Beppu and Oita. Our houses of Beppu and Oita, have suffered some damage due to the shocks that were strongly felt even though they were not as great as those at Kumamoto. At Beppu, the water tank was broken and the community remained without water for some time. Statues and other objects fell, but fortunately, no one was hurt. Even in the close-by Salesian parish, the statue of St. Joseph fell and the baptismal font was damaged. We are gradually learning of the damages done in the Kumamoto area to relatives of our sisters and to Christians in the Yufuin area, where the epicentre seems to move itself a little each time. For this reason, the area of the Oita prefecture is said to be in danger of an imminent strong earthquake. The so-called settling shocks continue but they do no seem to be abating. Rather, they seem to be gaining strength. The work of Oita that houses children and young people in disadvantaged situations, the primary school and the after school program are living times of great tension and preoccupation in regard to the epicentre, which the experts say is moving east.
Mother reached us from Thailand with a message, a telephone call, and a letter that made us feel her solidarity in prayer and preoccupation. We really feel much gratitude for Mother’s closeness.
In this situation, we too want to pray first of all for the persons who died in the earthquake and for those who are dispersed, for the wounded, and all the homeless people. About 3,000 homes have been destroyed. We pray that those who have lost everything may feel God close and that the situation may be normalized soon.
As FMA, we too want to be in solidarity by making contact with Caritas and the Churches of the areas hit to find ways of being present.
We want to pray for Ecuador that two days ago was hit by a strong earthquake which caused many deaths. We want to express our solidarity and closeness to our sisters there.