The 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake also named the 311 Earthquake, was a magnitude 9.0 undersea megathrust earthquake that occurred at 2:46 pm on Friday, March 11th off the coast of Japan. The epicenter was approximately 43 miles east of Tohoku and the hypocenter was 20 miles underwater.
Not only was this earthquake the most powerful known earthquake ever to have hit Japan but it was also one of the five most powerful earthquakes on record.
The earthquake was so powerful that it triggered a massive tsunami with waves that reached heights of up to 133 feet. The impact of this tsunami was felt strongest in Miyako which is in Tōhoku’s Iwate Prefecture. The mighty surge of ocean water travelled up to 6 miles inland. The earthquake moved the Island of Honshu 8 feet east and shifted the Earth on its axis by estimates of between 4 and 10 inches.
To make matters even worse the tsunami caused level 7 meltdowns at three reactors in the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. The evacuations that followed affected hundreds of thousands of residents who are still living in fear today. Residents within a 12 mile radius of the Power Plant were evacuated.
The nation has shown tremendous strength and determination in their efforts to rebuild but many are still homeless and thousands are still struggling.
The tsunami created over 300,000 refugees and resulted in shortages of food, water, shelter, medicine and fuel for survivors.
I recently spoke with a missionary friend of mine in Japan who told me that one of the biggest problems facing the Japanese people now is the debris. In the pictures below you will see some of the progress being made to clean up the island but keep in mind the fact that all of that debris had to be taken somewhere. My missionary friend also told me there are mountains of hazardous and dangerous debris heaps scattered all throughout the affected areas and the government doesn’t have a proper place for disposal of such waste.
Aid organizations both in Japan and worldwide also responded, with the Japanese Red Cross reporting $1 billion in donations.
However as much as these donationas may have helped the economy the cost of rebuilding has been estimated at ¥10 trillion ($122 billion).
The Japanese National Police Agency confirmed 15,850 deaths, 6,011 injured, and 3,287 people missing across eighteen prefectures, as well as over 125,000 buildings damaged or destroyed.
The World Bank’s estimated economic cost was $235 billion, making it the most expensive natural disaster in world history.
All these problems, as terrible as they are, exist on top of the already poor spiritual condition of the Japanese people.
I am asking everyone who reads this post to take just a moment right now and pray for the country of Japan.
Here are the things we are praying for as we think back over all the Japanese people have been through.
- That God would strengthen the Japanese churches already in existence through good solid Bible preaching and teaching.
- That God would raise up strong national leadership in these churches.
- That those who have suffered would find these churches, as few as they may be, and then turn to God for help.
- That God would raise our support as soon as possible so we can help increase the peoples opportunity to hear the Gospel and accept Christ.
The Lord Jesus is the only answer for the Japanese people. Suicide is the leading cause of death for people under the age of 30 because they have no where else to turn. It is our earnest prayer that God would send a mighty revival among this nation in our lifetime. Thank you so much for taking time to read this and thank you most of all for taking time to pray for the people of Japan.