Updated again Thursday morning
The Archbishop of the Nippon Sei Ko Kai The Most Revd Nathaniel Makoto Uematsu has issued a statement via the ACNS, see A statement from the Archbishop of the Anglican Communion in Japan.
…Since the earthquake the Provincial office has worked very hard to find out about the people and the churches in Tohoku diocese. However, we could neither contact them by phone nor email. Only yesterday were we able to start to see a picture of the devastation in the affected areas. I had been most concerned that I could not contact the Bishop of Tohoku diocese [The Rt Revd John Hiromichi Kato], but on Saturday he rang me and I was able to find out more about what had happened to the churches in Sendai City.
Bp Kato explained that he himself had not been able to find out much about the other churches in the diocese of Tohoku. This was largely due to the fact that neither power supplies nor telephone lines had been restored in areas most badly hit by the tsunami. There is particular concern for two churches: Isoyama St Peter’s Church in Fukushima Prefecture and Kamaishi Shinai Church and the kindergarten in Iwate that were close to the sea. Priests have been frantically trying to confirm that their parishioners are safe. We also know that it is not only Tohoku diocese that has been affected, some churches in Kita Kanto diocese have been reported to have been damaged also…
An earlier report: Bishop of tsunami-hit diocese is safe, but uncontactable.
From Shinya Samuel Yawata – Secretary, PIM NSKK, based upon reports from the dioceses of Tohoku, Kita Kanto, Yokohama and Tokyo
15 March, 2011
The earthquake/tsunami affected areas include the dioceses of Tohoku and Kita Kanto, and a very small area of the Diocese of Yokohama in Chiba prefecture.
The Diocese of Tohoku covers the prefectures of Aomori, Akita, Miyagi, Yamagata, and Fukushima, and the last three have been hit hard, particularly Miyagi prefecture. Membership of diocese of Tohoku is about 1,500 people and there are 29 churches, chapels and missionary stations. Its Cathedral is in Sendai, Miyagi prefecture.
The Diocese of Kita Kanto covers prefectures of Ibaragi, Tochigi, Gunma, and Saitama. The membership of the diocese is about 2,100 people and there are 31 churches, chapels, and missionary stations. Its Cathedral is located in Maebashi-shi, Gunma prefecture.
It was the biggest earthquake in recent history, followed by a big tsunami, and fires. Now the nuclear reactor is in danger. The death toll continues to rise and as I write this there are 3,100 or more deaths and 550,000 people are living in temporary shelters (according to [Japanese newspaper] Asahi Shimbun).
This update includes the latest information about the situation in Kita Kanto. I am still awaiting for official information from the diocese of Tohoku. There are no casualties among clergy.
St. Stephen’s Church in Mito-city, Ibaragi prefecture has lost its bell tower although not completely destroyed with a big crack in the tower, and the church building and rectory suffered substantial damage, cracked and fallen walls and ceiling. Shimodate Anglican Church in Ibaragi prefecture also has sustained significant damage with walls and ceilings damaged. Other churches sustained cracked walls, ceilings and damage to shelves, but it is limited to minor damage.
In other areas within diocese of Tokyo and Yokohama there is no substantial damage to church buildings except broken or cracked window glass, cracks in walls and fallen shelves.
Five days ago, on March 11 at 2:46 PM, there was a major earthquake followed by a tsunami and fires. Now we are facing potential disaster caused by the malfunction of nuclear power plant. On the day of earthquake it was snowing. Today it is expected to get colder. The tsunami and the fires it caused have made us miserable. We are now experiencing a lack of food supply. Over the past five days there have been as series of worrying aftershocks. Essential services are disrupted, particularly the phones with many people unable to recharge their cell phones. There is now a petrol shortage in the immediate area. We were simply not prepared for problems on this scale. In the central part of Sendai City there does not appear to be major damage to the buildings; it almost appears as if there is no problem, but in reality the lack of essential services—gas, electricity and water—is particularly hard for people.
What we are experiencing in our city does not compare to what we have seen in the media, particularly those areas directly impacted by the tsunami. According to the Asahi newspaper, life for the between 400,000 to 500,000 people living in temporary shelters is getting worse. The affected area is very wide and diocesan staff have not been able to visit all areas…