66 known dead in Japan Tsunami 2011 – Jehovah's Witnesses News
Monday March 14, 2001:
Brothers & Sisters,
Here is the most recent update on the situation in Japan via e-mail. Bethel will release a formal note about the real situation with our brothers and all others people that we have contact with. the Jehovah’s Witnesses branch office has been moved few years ago to a higher place to avoid troubles with tsunami.
The following is a very recent e-mail from japanese brothers in Ebina, Japan:
“Dear Family and Friends,
It was a big one this time and the tsunami has been devastating.
At this writing there are 66 known dead (country wide). but that number can increase as more places are examined and relatives start to ask about missing persons.
No one at Bethel was hurt.
I was in Tokyo for the KM chool and the KH stated to shake and continued to shake. It was almost ‘break” time we were told to leave the 3rd floor hall. A brother held my arm as we walked down the stairs.
Outside the telephone poles were shaking and the cables were dancing. It seemed to subside so we headed back, but sitting down at the desk the water in the bottle on my desk started to shake again.
So we went out again, now it was sprinkling. Once again after it seemed to slack off we went back and the main instructor said he had contacted Bethel and was told to get the opinions of the brothers as to whether to quit and try to fit the remaining program into Saturday’s program thus lengthening it an hour or so.
Most said that would be all right. but as we were driving home text messages came in and notified us that the school would be rescheduled. For a number this is a real test as they had taken off from work and being an English class it will be hard for them to get work off again as they are foreigners and don’t have too much freedom.
On the way home to Bethel, 5 of us in the car were trying to contact our wives but the cell phones had lost their radio waves. Finally as we were near Ebina the phones started to pick up wave and we could get through.
For your information it took 45 minute to go in the morning and 6 hours to return. the roads were never so crowded. the entire rail system, bullet trains, subways, regular trains ground to a halt. We passed literally hundreds of people walking to their homes along the crowded highway.
For Marge and me it was the strongest and longest initial quake we ever experienced in over 50 years in Japan. Marge had gone on a study with a sister and the aftershocks were very strong and many.
That made Marge say. “I think we will end here.” the study said, “There is only one more paragraph in the section.” So Marge did that one. Asked if Marge wanted another cup of tea, Marge said. “No, I want to go home and clean up my room. I was thinking I would find a roomful of broken dishes.”
We are on the 5th floor but some on the 11th and 12th floors did lose some of their possessions.
The first question Marge asked at home was, “Did Vera stay in her coffin?” yes, Marge’s Gilead classmate of 1956 died the day before and she was put into a coffin to await cremation on Monday when we will got to the crematory, Vera was 83 and died of complications from Alzheimer disease that she had suffered for some 7-8 years.
There were many after shocks … this has been a terrifying ordeal as you can imagine.
Warm love and greetings from shaky Ebina, Japan,
Al & Marge”.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011:
The following is the gist of a report about the situation in Japan read to the Bethel family from the Coordinator’s Committee,
There are about 2,300 publishers in the areas affected by the tsunami. So far, one brother, one sister and one unbelieving mate of a sister have been reported killed. However, we still have 115 brothers and sisters missing and unaccounted for.
Five kingdom halls have been were destroyed and three relief committees have been set up to care for the brothers and sisters.
The branch buildings in Ebina (although hundreds of miles from the Sendai area) swayed and some expansion joints in three buildings were damaged but there were no injuries to any of the branch personnel. all the buildings are being inspected for safety.
If anyone wants to make donations, please make them to the Worldwide Work.
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