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2011 Earthquake

 

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12 March 2011

LDS Newsroom 11 March 2011 — Salt Lake City

Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Japan following the recent devastating earthquake and tsunami.

There has been a high volume of inquiries concerning the safety of missionaries serving in the area. The most immediate information is that five of the six missions in Japan have reported all missionaries are accounted for and safe. However, all communications systems in the Sendai area are down. We have not been able to contact each missionary in that mission yet. We continue to work diligently to account for the missionaries in this area and will update information as we are able to do so.

Initial reports from missions in areas affected by tsunami activity show all missionaries are safe.

We are also assessing how the Church might help meet the needs of people affected by the earthquake and tsunami.

From NowPublic.com

Nagano, Japan was hit by an earthquake measuring 6.2 in magnitude, though some outlets are reporting it as a 6.6 quake. (Nagano earthquake info: USGS)The Nagano quake struck at 3:59am local time on March 12. No tsunami warning has been issued.

The Nagano quake is not an aftershock of the devastating quake that struck off the coast of Sendai, which triggered tsunami waves felt worldwide.

Nagano is famous for its ski resorts, and was the host city for the 1998 Winter Olympics. Apparently the high-speed bullet train line was undamaged in the Nagano quake. Nagano's two nuclear reactors were unaffected.

The map to the (upper) right shows not only the epicenters of the Nagano and Sendai quakes, but the huge amount of recent seismic activity in that part of the Pacific Rim.

Our Earthquake Report

Living in Foster City, CA in 1989, we experience the Loma Priata earthquake in Northern California. In Tokyo, far away from the epicenter, this one was not as not as violent here, but lasted much longer, I think about two minutes long. And there have been many aftershocks.

In the Office Building a few things fell off shelves, cracks in the walls increased in number and size. No complete assessment has been done, but here on Saturday, the elevators as still not running.

The statue of Moroni on the Tokyo Temple did not lose his trumpet, but he is facing south now instead of east.

In our apartment, the wheeled cart and a wheeled end table moved some, and a few things fell over,  but we have yet to find any damage. Last night the subways were stopped so many people spend the night in the building. We invited two sisters to eat and spend the night with us. The elevator was stopped,  but is running now. Our gas went out so we didn’t shower last night, but it is back on this morning.  

This is Marion Okawa Sonomura (received by WWF from Wayne Summers) at the Tokyo Temple.  The later sessions were cancelled last night but the temple is up and running again this morning. Everything is fine here--no visible damage, although we had quite a scare.

Everyone has a story.  I was just finishing an initiatory ordinance when the violent shaking began.  We stopped the work and had everyone sit in the hall in the locker room, which is on the second floor.  The session going on upstairs on the 4th floor was interrupted briefly, then resumed until it was completed.  Sealings on the 3rd floor were stopped because there was concern about the chandeliers holding, which were swinging violently, but all was well.  The intermittent aftershocks lasted into the night.  And, as
for me, yes, it was kimochi-warui.  I took a seasickness pill before going to sleep because I was still feeling the ground shaking, even when it
wasn't. 

I just talked to Masahisa Watabe by phone and learned that not all missionaries in the Sendai Mission had reported in yet, so they are working today at the PBO office until all are accounted for.  We had plans to celebrate my grandson's birthday in Setagaya-Ku but my sister (Faith Watabe) and Masa will probably not be able to go.  I hope I won't have more exciting stories to tell after I venture out to my daughter's for the birthday celebration this afternoon after the temple is closed.