March 11, 2011 Tsunami
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) stands ready to respond to needs from the 8.9 magnitude earthquake that struck Japan and the ensuing tsunamis across the Pacific rim.
The earthquake struck in the middle of the afternoon just off of Honshu, Japan’s most populous island. It is the strongest earthquake to hit Japan and has been identified as the fifth strongest earthquake in the world since records have been kept.
Donna Derr, director of Church World Service’s development and humanitarian programs,
said: "Japan is obviously a country of substantive resources and a construction industry that is renowned and the country has been on the cutting edge of building earthquake-resistant housing. As such, this bodes well for them being able to manage a pretty effective recovery over time themselves.”
ACT Alliance reports that the Pacific Islands are highly vulnerable and most of them will be touched by the tidal waves. ACT general secretary John Nduna said today "We are deeply concerned about the most vulnerable countries and their people, and we are monitoring the situation closely so that ACT Alliance can direct its resources to where they are most needed, as quickly as possible".
PC(USA) has mission partners in Japan. World Mission is contacting mission co-workers and partner organizations and churches and will offer updated information as available. Read about the status of coworkers and updates from partners on the World Mission Japan page.
Mission partner Yodogawa Christian Hospital in Osaka sent this message:
“Thank you so very much for your kind words and prayers. Thankfully, our hospital patients and staff and their families are all safe, but our heart aches as the earthquake disasters are spreading in other parts of Japan. We are praying for God's protection and comfort over those people in the earthquake affected areas. He is our refuge and fortress.”
PDA staff and National Response Team members are contacting potentially affected presbyteries to offer assistance and prepare for potential impacts.
For Health and welfare checks on American citizens traveling abroad, call the State Department at (888) 407-4747.
For those concerned about loved ones living on the West Coast, Alaska and Hawaii, the Red Cross maintains a searchable database at www.safeandwell.org. Relatives can log on to leave their names that they are safe and well; other relatives can search by name to check on their loved ones.
How you can help
You can stand in the “GAP” for disaster survivors and help the church in this response.
GIVE. The generous sharing of your financial blessings through the One Great Hour of Sharing offering and special designated giving provides the resources needed to assist with immediate emergency needs, clean up provisions, long-term and unmet needs, and spiritual/emotional counseling.
Individuals may give through your local Presbyterian congregation, by calling Relationship Development Operations at (800) 872-3283, on the secure PC(USA) website, or by sending a check to:
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
P.O. Box 643700
Pittsburgh, PA 15264-3700
Please include the special designated giving account DR000117 – Japan Earthquake and Tsunami.
Congregations should send donations through their normal mission giving channels.
ACT. Stay informed and share information about the need with others. Sign up to receive PDA Rapid Information Network (PDA-RIN) email notices to alert you of additional needs.
PRAY. Please pray for those seeking emergency shelter and safety, those seeking information about the security of their loved ones, and those who are working to rescue survivors and offer assistance.