Japanese survivors recount hardships

Evacuees stand in Tokyo park March 11 after massive earthquake in Japan. (CNS photo from Reuters)


As Japan copes with its triple disaster — earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis — communication between family members in Japan and other countries has been sketchy at best. Many family members in the United States waited several days before getting word of their loved ones.

Myra Holmes, a parishioner at St. Matthew Church in Hillsboro, Wash., waited one day before hearing news about her adult son and his family in Sendai, Japan — the epicenter of the earthquake. The day’s wait,  while expecting the worse, was almost unbearable as the Catholic Sentinel story reports.

Holmes said she was able to occasionally get her mind off the tragedy thanks to her parish ministry work  that kept her busy. On March 12 she learned of her son’s safety amid the vast wreckage in his city and days later she found out that his family was able to find refuge in the Phillipines where they plan to stay for another month before returning home.

“We are just praying that God will guide them in their decision, and they will know the Lord’s will,” Holmes said.

The Tablet, a Catholic newspaper in England, highlights a detailed personal account of Japan’s disasters from a student studying Japanese Catholicism at Jesuit-run Sophia University in Tokyo.  The college student not only recounts his experience on the day of earthquake but also the constant worry and tension in recent days caused by fears of aftershocks.

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