Friday, March 18, 2011

Tsunami -- Outer Islands and Atolls in Micronesia

I have had several requests for further updates on the outer islands of Yap, and the atolls in Micronesia that would easily have been completely swept away in the wake of the tsunami from the earthquake in Japan had they been in the direct  path of the larger swells.

I have been in touch with several people from the outer islands of Yap, and have confirmed with them that the outer islands experienced what simply amounted to a "high tide". Same with Majuro and the hundreds of other islands in this area of the Pacific. I have had no reports of damage or injuries from any of the Micronesian Islands, including Guam.
I also received a report from associates in Japan, and have included excerpts here:

Thank you very much for your encouragements.

People in Tokyo area are fine.  All the S&I employees and their family were not impacted by the earthquake and the tsunami.  Trains system in Tokyo started to move today almost as usual but TV news keeps reporting about missing people in the stricken area and nuclear plant. 

Talking about Tohoku area, which is almost identical to the area covered by Sendai Mission, I hope things won’t get worse any more.  So many people were killed by Tsunami and many more are still missing.  More than 10,000 people were killed or missing.  Groups of people are still isolated from the other areas because road were destroyed by the disaster.  People are suffering from the shortage of water, food, kerosene, electricity, gasoline, medicines, and even the way to communicate with other area under the snowy countryside environment.  Cell phone doesn’t work at all since the facilities are also damaged.  Addition to that the trouble at the nuclear power plant in Fukushima seems getting worse. 

However, the Church members are helping each other in such stricken areas.  Some of them reported that they have been blessed by the benefit of the food storages.  PBAO has sent out people to the stricken area to organize the volunteers.

I think things are OK for now at least in other than Sendai Mission.  We keep our eyes on the situation of the nuclear plant and praying for people in the stricken area.

We too are praying for the people affected by this disaster. Our hearts go out to all of you. The bits of information we get have us greatly concerned as we see photographs, satellite images, and news clippings of the devastation, and begin to realize the impact this will have on the entire world. When I see photos of entire cities flattened and debris strewn for miles and miles, I am actually amazed that there weren't hundreds of thousands of people killed by this. We stand in awe at the resiliance of the Japanese people!

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