Pray for Kumamoto – Shallow Quakes Strike

Kumamoto got hit by another worse earthquake over the night, a 7.3 that affected a wider area than the 6.3 on Thursday night.
The churches in Japan are already starting to move towards action. Organisations are gathering information and conducting assessments like CRASH Japan (crashjapan.com) which I founded and have passed on to Japanese leadership, and the Japanese Evangelical Association’s Disaster Relief Board, on which I have served for many years.
Here are some things that we know already.
Even though these are smaller quakes in size than the massive ones in Tohoku in 2011 they are closer to the surface and so cause a lot more damage.
There have been no tsunamis – this is what caused the most extreme damage in Tohoku. But with aftershocks going off like popcorn, it is possible that tsunamis will happen.
The evacuation capacity in Mashiki was already overwhelmed before this last quake with people sleeping outside. This will grow worse as people have fear of more aftershocks, assess damage and utilities have to be put back in place.
The most vulnerable are the elderly, children, disabled and foreigners.
There are churches affected in the area and there are churches in the surrounding area that are not damaged and can come to the aid of others.
Right now we are in the RESCUE phase. It is dangerous, there is a lot of professional help responding, and volunteers from outside of the area get in the way.
One thing that we learned in Tohoku is that the RELIEF phase is much longer, and the RECOVERY phase can take years.
For all of you that want to HELP,
1) PRAY
2) If you live in Kyushu – please message me your status and how you can help.
3) If you don’t live in Kyushu – make a plan, form a team and contact CRASH Japan – they will be able to hook you up with volunteer opportunities.
4) GIVE – CRASH has ways for you to give and can use the money to help mobilise volunteer teams.
What will I be doing?
Since April 2015, I am concentrating on the needs of children post-trauma with our organisation OpSAFE International. At this point we are looking for local partner churches in Kyushu. We will train these churches and volunteers in Psychological First-Aid for Children and conduct VBS – like camps for elementary school age children in Kyushu this summer.
Why wait that long? A couple of good reasons. One is that until the rescue and relief phases are finished people don’t have the capacity to do emotional and spiritual care. The second is that it takes time to plan and prepare a good intervention that will truly benefit children.
You can give to help OpSAFE International at opsafeintl.com
Once you have read this please post it to your page so that more people can respond with good information.

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