Monday, May 9, 2011

Disaster Update: Earthquake and Tsunami

Photo Credit: August Kengelbacher; Granger Collection, New York; The New York Times via Smithsonian, May 2011; Volume 42, Number 2

The 9.0 earthquake and ensuing tsunami that struck the northeast coast of Japan on March 11, 2011 is not the first time the quake-prone nation has been crippled by such devastation. On September 1, 1923 an equally horrific set of disasters hit the island. At that time, the Great Kanto Earthquake was considered to be the worst natural disaster ever to ravage Japan. The initial tremor of the quake lasted a mere 14 seconds, yet managed to collapse every seafront structure in the town of Yokohama. Minutes later a 40-foot tsunami engulfed the coastal town, swallowing thousands of people and buildings. Gas lines ruptured by the quake spawned debris-fueled fires that spread across the remaining landscape.  However, with the energy and strength of character that distinguish the Japanese, Yokohama recovered and has become the second largest city in Japan.

The recent catastrophe in Japan shares a likeness to the disaster that occurred more than eighty-five years ago. In both instances, the seismic activity induced a series of horrifying events, including tsunami waves, fires, and life-threatening leaks from gas or nuclear energy sources. Now, as we look toward the results of the two disasters, we can expect continued similarities – Japan will once again emerge and rebuild with strength and courage. 

Photo Credit: Unpo Takashima; via Smithsonian, May 2011; Volume 42, Number 2

The Japanese people are resilient and self-motivated. They take pride in helping themselves and each other in times of distress. It is our honor to work with them during this current recovery process, and we thank all of you who have individually contributed to our work there. So far, Matthew 25: Ministries has provided the victims of the March earthquake and tsunami with food, water, and blankets. We will continue to ship aid as long as our partners request it. Thank you for believing in our work, and for believing in the future of Japan.

Photo Credit:Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division; National Museum of Japanese History via Smithsonian, May 2011; Volume 42, Number 2

Any and all links to outside sources and materials are intended for reference only. Opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of Matthew 25: Ministries and its affiliates.

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