Devastation in Japan may affect Pacific

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An 8.9-magnitude earthquake hit northern Japan on Friday (AEST), triggering tsunamis, sending a massive wave filled with debris that included boats and houses inching across land.

The massive wave of water, as high as 10 metres in some parts, has reached more than five kilometres inland.

I’d like to ask church members around the world to pray for the people of Japan who have been devastated by the large earthquake and tsunami.

The number of fatalities is unclear, but Japan’s Kyodo news reported numerous deaths and injuries.

The quake has prompted at least 19 countries and numerous islands in the Pacific basin to issue tsunami warnings.

Pastor Damien Rice, general secretary for the Vanuatu Mission said the Church is on high alert. “The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) in Vanuatu, is in communication with government bodies throughout the night.”

There are major concerns for low-lying islands in the Pacific as many are said to be lower than the tsunami waves that may hit.

Pastor Lawrence Tanabose, general secretary for the Seventh-day Adventist church in the South Pacific, said he was able to make contact with Church leaders in Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, New Ireland and Vanuatu to warm them of the possibility of a tsunami. “It’s been difficult to make contact with all our leaders, so I’ll be on the phone until late trying to make contact with Tuvalu, Tonga, Samoa, Kiribati and others.

Scientists have stated the earthquake that hit 125 km off Japan is ten times stronger than the February 22 Christchurch earthquake.

“I’d like to ask church members around the world to pray for the people of Japan who have been devastated by the large earthquake and tsunami. It’s a time when we all need to come together and ask for strength during this difficult time,” said Pastor Tanabose.