Kyushu (Kumamoto) Earthquake
(Information added May 8th)

Kumamoto is the prefecture hit worst by the recent (and continuing) earthquakes in Kyushu. Holy Trinity Church, Kumamoto has been affected, with people being obliged to evacuate their homes, and this includes Rev. Yamasaki and his wife. Their accommodation has been damaged, but they were able to hold a service in the church on Sunday, April 17th (i.e., after the second major earthquake). The information available so far is that there have not been any major casualties among the congregation of Holy Trinity, Kumamoto.

Holy Trinity Church in Kumamoto was damaged, losing roof tiles, parts of the ceiling falling, damage to the baptismal font, etc. Nevertheless, it is sufficiently usable to have been chosen as the headquarters of Kyushu Diocese Support Centre for Victims of the Kyushu Earthquake (provisional translation, but using ‘Kyushu’ rather than ‘Kumamoto’ for the name of the quakes, as the whole island has been affected to some extent). The support centre is being manned by Bishop Luke, Rev. Shibamoto, Rev. Yamasaki and Hisao Yamamoto (who together with Rev. Shibamoto has also been extremely active in support for victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami).

Kikuchi Reimei Kyokai (Dawn Church), also in Kumamoto Prefecture, has unfortunately suffered more extensive damage than Holy Trinity, Kumamoto, so services can no longer be safely held there.

Some of the deaths occurring as an indirect result of the quake are caused by ‘economy-class syndrome’, as many people have been sleeping in their cars, and drinking very little. A special police unit has been helping to deal with this and other problems. See
this article in the Japan News.

As of April 18th, the consequences of the Kyushu quakes included 43 known deaths, 9 missing, 1,101 injured, 94,181 evacuees, and 1,667 houses or other buildings totally or partially destroyed. There had been 540 quakes at various levels of intensity. Since that time, quakes have continued (over 1,000 now), but have become less frequent. Repairs to the Kyushu Expressway and to the Shinkansen tracks have already been completed sufficiently to reopen the routes from southern Kyushu to Fukuoka.

Kyushu Diocese would like to thank the many people, in Japan and overseas, who have inquired about the quakes and offered help. Such offers have included offers of goods of various kinds, including an offer of water. It has to be said that Japan generally has no shortage of water (although Suizenji Koen’s pond has apparently dried up as a result of the quakes), and the most appropriate help, other than the volunteers who are already assisting displaced people on the spot, would be financial.

An appeal for donations to support victims of the quakes has been issued by the provincial office of Nippon Sei Ko Kai (the Anglican Church in Japan). Anyone outside Japan who wishes to contribute may send it to the following account, marked as ‘Donation for Kyushu Earthquake’:
Account name: Nippon Sei Ko Kai
Account number: 4515547 (ordinary account)
Bank: Mitsubishi Tokyo UFJ Bank, Iidabashi Branch

Within Japan, donations may be made at churches or to the appropriate diocesan office. For Kyushu Diocese, details of the account are as follows:
Account name: Nippon Sei Ko Kai, Kyushu Kyoku
Account number: 1109666 (ordinary account)
Bank: Nishi Nihon City Bank, Roppon Matsu Branch

The Kyushu Diocese Support Centre for Victims of the Kyushu Earthquake has a
facebook page giving information in Japanese. There are many photos as well as the Japanese text. A simplified partial translation of the Japanese report 3 is on the following page.