Alicia and I support missionaries in Japan, named Dale and Karen Viljoen. They are not in the middle of the earthquake, but they are seeing everything happen around them. I got an email from Dale this morning and wanted to share it. There are several concerns:
Thank you for your concern. Regarding the earthquakes and tsunamis we are all fine (including Stephen in Tokyo) but Internet access is very limited and sporadic.
I (Dale) have been sidelined again and NOT able to physically help organize Christian relief efforts through CRASH Japan. Although getting gradually better, I am still in a lot of pain because of my back injury.
Here is some information and prayer requests:
* At 2:46, an 8.8 magnitude earthquake struck Japan off the eastern coast of Miyagi, prefecture. This is the largest recorded earthquake ever to have struck Japan, and the fifth largest recorded earthquake in the world. Even after 24 hours, heavy aftershocks were still being felt throughout northeastern Japan, with no way of knowing how long these aftershocks will continue. Please pray that the earthquakes will cease.
* The devastation from the initial earthquake was compounded by heavy tsunamis that hammered the east coast, and even after 24 hours, the eastern coast of Japan was still under warning for tsunamis. Sendai City was hit the hardest, both by the temblor and the tsunami. Some towns were entirely obliterated by the tsunamis. Please pray that these tsunamis will cease.
* Casualty reports are still coming in. As of Saturday evening local time, the death toll had exceeded 1,000, with over 600 still missing. Pray for those who are trapped and injured, as well as those who are missing friends and family.
* In Fukushima Prefecture, two nuclear power plants are under a state of emergency. The reactors are overheating at the number 1 plant, and at the number 2 plant, the reactor pressure has been rising. At the Fukushima number 1 plant, there was an explosion Saturday afternoon, 4 PM local time, injuring four workers. Shortly afterward, radiation was detected outside the plant. The area has been evacuated up to a 20 km radius. Please pray that the situation will get under control soon, before anything more serious occurs.
* Public transit systems in Tokyo and the surrounding areas were shut down for hours after the quake, with some people still stranded away from their families. Limited railway use has resumed. Pray for those who are stranded away from their loved ones at this difficult time.
* Millions of homes in northeastern Japan are without power, and over a million homes in Ibaraki prefecture are without fresh water supplies. Pray for the power plants and water facilities to be able to resume their work, and pray for those who do not have these essential supplies.
* Tens of thousands of people have been evacuated from their homes in the coastal areas and the area around the Fukushima nuclear power plants. Please pray for them, and all who are having to stay in public shelters.
* Relief workers are working around the clock to rescue survivors, but things are grim for coastal cities due to the continual bombardment of tsunamis. Pray for the relief workers, that God would grant safety and stamina.
* Pray for the Christians of Japan, that they would be able to mobilize relief efforts and provide for people's needs, both physical and spiritual.
Dale (and Karen)