Japan – The Salvation Army’s earthquake response in Japan is continuing its work despite difficulties caused by snow and the lack of fuel. A team that was set to head from Tokyo to the tsunami-hit north of the country had to delay its journey because of snow but has now made its way to Sendai, where a distribution will take place tomorrow morning (Saturday).
The three teams that carried out distributions in Sendai, Koriyama, Shirakawa, Fukushima and Mito City on Wednesday 16 March returned to The Salvation Army’s Japan Territorial Headquarters in Tokyo [pictured below] to report on what they had seen and decide what should be done next. International Emergency Services worker Major Raelton Gibbs reports: ‘The work that has been done is commendable – from feeding programs out of Salvation Army halls to the distribution of blankets, water bottles, bread and nappies (diapers).’
He says that Tokyo continues to feel aftershocks and admits that ‘no matter how many you experience they are all a little daunting’.
The Salvation Army distribution teams are well aware of the concerns surrounding the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station and are staying clear of the exclusion zones.
Major Gibbs says he has been impressed by the response put together by The Salvation Army’s Japan Territory. The fuel and weather problems mean that people have had to be flexible. He tells of one group that tried to get to Sendai but was unable to make it all the way and so met the needs of some smaller communities around Koriyama on the way back to Tokyo.
The focus is understandably on the immediate response but Major Gibbs says that longer-term plans are being put in place, such as the provision of cooking equipment when people return to their communities. As it often does in emergency responses, The Salvation Army will pay particular attention to communities that have been missed by the government and other agencies.
Photos of The Salvation Army’s response in Japan can be found on the International Headquarters Flickr site: click here to access.
There are four ways people can contribute money to The Salvation Army’s disaster relief efforts in Japan:
- Text the words “JAPAN” or “QUAKE” to 80888 to make a $10 donation.
- By phone: 1-800-SAL-ARMY
- On-line at: https://donate.salvationarmyusa.org
- By mail: Send your check, marked “Japan earthquake relief” to
The Salvation Army World Service Office
International Relief Fund
PO Box 630728
Baltimore, MD 21263-0728
- Monetary donations are the most critical need as supplies and personnel are mobilized.
- These funds offer the greatest flexibility and enable local disaster responders to purchase exactly what is needed as close to the disaster zone as possible.
- At this time, The Salvation Army is not accepting donations of goods or household items (gifts-in-kind) from the general public for disaster relief operations in Japan.
The Salvation Army is extremely grateful for the generosity that has already poured in to help us meet both immediate and long-term needs.