Church assesses needs after Japan quake, tsunami

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The Church is checking on members of missionaries in the wake of a magnitude 8.9 earthquake that struck the coast of northern Japan Friday, March 11, and triggered a massive tsunami.

Houses swept by a tsunami smoulder near Sendai Airport in Japan March 11, 2011. A massive 8.9 magnitude quake hit northeast Japan on Friday, causing many injuries, fires and a ten-meter (33-ft) tsunami along parts of the country's coastline.
Houses swept by a tsunami smoulder near Sendai Airport in Japan March 11, 2011. A massive 8.9 magnitude quake hit northeast Japan on Friday, causing many injuries, fires and a ten-meter (33-ft) tsunami along parts of the country’s coastline. Credit: AP Photo

Hundreds of deaths have been confirmed in the fifth largest earthquake since 1900 and is the largest earthquake to ever hit Japan.

Further, strong aftershocks continue to shake the area, where thousands were displaced, hundreds of buildings and homes were destroyed and more than four million people were left without power.

Vehicles and debris carried by a tsunami tidal wave hitting Japan March 11, 2011.
Vehicles and debris carried by a tsunami tidal wave hitting Japan March 11, 2011. Credit: AP Photo

As of Friday morning, tsunami warnings were issued for more than 50 countries throughout the Pacific region including Hawaii and the west coast of the United States. Tsunami waves as high as 25 feet hit towns along the eastern seaboard of northern Japan.

A worker inspects a caved-in section of the Joban Motorway near Mito, Ibaraki.
A worker inspects a caved-in section of the Joban Motorway near Mito, Ibaraki. Credit: AP Photo Nexco East Japan

According to a Church Welfare report:

Contact with all mission presidents in Japan has been established.

All missionaries outside the Sendai mission are safe and accounted for. The Church is still waiting to hear from missionaries in Sendai, where communication and public transportation has been shut down.

All missionaries in Japan living along coastal regions have been moved to inland locations.

All members of the Asia North Area presidency and their wives are safe.

Minor damage is being reported to the Tokyo temple.

Tokyo temple housing is being used for to house members unable to return to their homes.

Local Church leaders are working to contact all members.

All employees in the area office are reported safe.

The LDS Disaster response team at Church Headquarters is monitoring the situation and has been in constant contact via “Skype” with the Asia North Area.

All missionaries are safe in areas outside of Japan.

Leaders in the following areas outside of Japan report all members and missionaries are safe.

Leaders in all area offices are on high-alert and are working with local leaders to contact members and make them aware of potential tsunami danger.

[email protected]

Church statement on missionaries in Japan:

<a href="http://

newsroom.lds.org/article/church-statement-on-missionaries-in-japan" target="_blank">

Click here to read the statement and to follow details as the statement is updated.

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.