PARISH SITUATION IN JAPAN
April 16, 2011
Aftershock are still happening three or four times every day, and last night, another magnitude 7 earthquake occurred near Sendai, hitting the damaged building, and causing more suffering in people's hearts.
Since the disaster happened, Bishop Seraphim of Sendai and clergy of the Eastern Japanese Diocese have been making great efforts to contact parishioners and to get information on their situation. For the first two weeks, a shortage of gas and damaged roads prevented visiting the flock.
Recently rubble was cleared from the main roads and Bishop Seraphim visited was able to visit the church and parishioners.
In general, the damage to Orthodox communities could have been worse. Other than the Holy Annunciation Chapel in Yamada, all the churches and chapels survived and seem to stand fairly well. However, there are many cracks in the walls; both the interior and the exterior of the buildings have sustained damage, especially in the foundation. Frequent aftershocks increase the damage. A large amount of money will be needed to restore and rebuild churches.
Among 1500parishioners in the Tohoku area, 7 died in the tsunami, one died of shock during the earthquake. In coastal areas, many lost their houses and jobs. Many people’s houses, shops and offices were severely damaged.
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