17 March 2011
OMF Japan has approximately 100 members presently in Japan. At the time of the Great Tohoku Kanto Earthquake approximately 15 members were based in Tohoku and 40 in Kanto (around Tokyo).
In immediate response to the earthquake and tsunami, a Crisis Team, lead by the Field Director, was formed to provide advice and leadership to our members. Members of the team, including the Medical Advisor and Field Nurse have contacted all OMF members in Japan to ensure they are safe and well. Although many of our members are shaken, to date no physical injuries or other problems have been identified.
Three OMF families were based in Sendai at the time of the earthquake. One family was away from the area at the time and we have made contact with other two and have confirmed they are safe and well.
There were two short-term workers in the Tohoku area at the time of the earthquake. They are safe and well. One has already left Japan. The other is with a missionary team and may stay on to assist with relief work.
OMF Japan is concerned about the situation at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. On 15 March we issued advice to all our members offering assistance should they wish to evacuate. At that time our advice was that evacuation was a personal decision. So far seven members and ten children have left, or will shortly leave, the Kanto and Tohoku areas. Our Crisis Team is monitoring the situation closely and reviewing its advice to the Field daily.
OMF Japan is committed to assisting however we can with relief and recovery work in the Tohoku area. We have allied ourselves with the Christian Relief, Assistance, Support and Hope network (CRASH, crashjapan.com) and are working with them to find ways our members can go to help or otherwise support the relief work. The first trucks left this morning to establish a base and deliver materials to Tohoku.
The Sendai Earthquake Relief Fund, an OMF Japan project, has been created to channel funds for earthquake relief work. Anyone wishing to contribute to this project may do so through their local OMF office. Please quote project number L60500.