.- Catholic relief workers are mobilizing to help the victims of a tsunami caused by the largest earthquake in Japanese history on March 11. The waves are expected to reach countries throughout the Pacific Ocean, including New Zealand, the Philippines and Indonesia.
The chancellor of the Diocese of Niigata in northern Japan, Fr. Koichi Otaki, said the country was “still in shock over what has happened.”
The 23-foot waves reportedly hit the nearby Diocese of Sendai hardest. Government officials say they have already found up to 300 bodies in Sendai, near the epicenter of the earthquake, where more than 100 people are confirmed dead and 350 are reported missing.
Fr. Otaki communicated the support of Bishop Tarcisio Isao Kikuchi of Niigata, telling Fides news service that Japanese Catholics, while few in number, “will not walk away from our commitment and solidarity with the victims.”
Bishop Kikuchi is also the president of the relief agency Caritas Japan, which will be working to assist victims of the earthquake and resulting waves.
“The tsunami reminds us of the precariousness of life,” said Fr. Otaki. “Solidarity and assistance to the victims will certainly be our Lenten commitment.”
Prayers for all of the people impacted by this earthquake/tsunami.
I will post links to other reputable aid agencies accepting donations as these become available.
Update 2: A second quake has reportedly struck, this time in northwestern Japan. Magnitude 6.6.
Update 3: The Anchoress has many, many links.
Update 4: I'll be offering a Rosary and Divine Mercy Chaplet this evening for the people of Japan impacted by these events. If you'd like to "join" me, just mention what prayer or sacrifice you have offered/will offer in the comment box.