Death Toll, Damages Rise in Post-Quake Japan

Although it's far too soon to measure the full impact of the 8.9 magnitude earthquake and tsunami in Japan—especially since meteorologists anticipate possible 7-magnitude aftershock, volcanoes are erupting and the nuclear power plant is leaking radiation—early estimates are emerging.

Iwate, Fukushima and Miyagi, three districts in northeastern Japan, were the hardest hit. The death toll in that region is expected to surpass 10,000. More than 3,000 people have been confirmed dead in northeast Japan, but another 15,000 people have not been accounted for. That compares to about 250,000 deaths in the 2010 Haiti earthquake.

According to the Mainichi newspaper, about 500,000 have been evacuated from 10 jurisdictions. Many others remain there without food or water. In terms of infrastructure, more than 6,300 buildings were are in total rubble, according to NHK, and another about 76,000 buildings sustained damage in the disaster.

The Japanese foreign ministry reports 102 countries and 14 international organizations are offering assistance. That figure doesn't take into account the many smaller missions and church groups that are rallying resources.

Is your church doing anything in response to the disaster in Japan?

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