Thursday, March 24, 2011

Day 14, March 24 CRASH Japan relief update

There were several bits of good news today:

  • The main highway up to the affected areas is now open to ALL traffic, so we no longer need to get special permission to use it to transport people and supplies.
  • Stories of heroism and sacrifice are beginning to surface, like the hospital worker who lost his life making sure the hospital's satellite phone was not lost, knowing it would be needed for rescue after the tsunami.
  • We are making progress in our volunteer coordination efforts. Pray that God will send us teams of people willing and able to go NEXT WEEK to serve.
  • God continues to send us people with the necessary skills to help us in our relief coordination effort.
  • Two advance teams will go tomorrow to scout out possible bases for future operations in the affected areas. An OMF advance team from Hokkaido is now working in one of the hardest hit areas, setting up a soup kitchen and ministering to the needs of the people as they are able.
  • March is the end of the school year in Japan. Many graduation ceremonies postponed because of the disaster are now being held in evacuation centers. Some ceremonies are quite solemn as some students who would have graduated were lost in the tsunami.
  • Unusual stories like the one about a woman and her son trapped in their car as it "rose like an elevator" on the tsunami but didn't flip as she had turned into a small alley.
The news also contained some sad stories:
  • Five children ages 4-6 were trapped in their school bus when the waves arrived, and died when it became engulfed in flames after gasoline leaking from a gas station nearby ignited.
  • 15% of the farmland in the affected areas has been destroyed.
  • Over 3000 fishing boats have been destroyed.
  • So many cars have been destroyed there is no where to take them, so they just line them up on the streets and wait for someone, hopefully the owner, to take them away.

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