Over the weekend, torrential rains hit Kumamoto and Kagoshima prefectures in Kyushu (the southernmost of the main islands of Japan). Some areas recorded as much as 100mm of rain per hour. Bridges were washed away, flooding reached the second story of houses and other buildings, and the death toll is rising. Meanwhile, the coronavirus situation complicates the typical ways of handling such a crisis, especially crowding in evacuation centers. Here is a news article yesterday, July 7th. And now the rain has moved to other parts of the country, causing landslides in mountainous areas – here is a different news article today.
One of CRASH Japan’s regional partners, a church network called the Kyushu Christian Disaster Relief Center (nicknamed “Kyukisai”), has begun to respond in Kumamoto Prefecture, and CRASH is supporting their work. Please partner with us as we partner with them. Because of the risk of spreading COVID-19, they currently don’t have a safe way to accept outside volunteers in the same way as in previous disasters, so members of churches in the local region have an extra burden. And of course a number of the churches have been severely flooded, as well as homes of pastors and church members. But from afar we can support them with relief supplies and recovery equipment.
Please pray for northern Kyushu (Saga and Fukuoka prefectures), as torrential rains have caused widespread flooding. At one point, many areas were under a Level 5 (the maximum) warning for landslides, and 870,000 people were issued evacuation instructions. That level was lifted, but it might be issued again. As of this writing, three fatalities have been reported, but of course it’s too early to know the status of many areas, so there are probably many more.
Also, the rain is expected to continue and expand northeast, so additional flood warnings are also in effect for eight prefectures of southern and central Honshu.
As of this writing, here are three recent news pages in English:
Of course the situation is likely to change rapidly.
The Kyushu Christ Disaster Relief Center (九キ災, “Kyukisai”) is preparing to mobilize in response.