JapanOn April 14, a 6.5-magnitude earthquake hit Kumamoto, which has a strong Lutheran presence. Several strong aftershocks, 600 that could be felt, and another 7.3-magnitude earthquake later, many homes have been destroyed, the death toll has reached 47 and thousands have been injured. The earthquakes and aftershocks have caused 95,000 to evacuate their homes and water and power have been cut off in many places.

Lutheran missionaries and our companions have been reported safe. Lutheran-affiliated buildings received some minor damage. Working with our trusted partners and the Japan Evangelical Lutheran Church, Lutheran Disaster Response will help those affected by the earthquake. The earthquakes were the strongest that have hit Japan in the last five years. While the Japanese government is responding, the Lutheran churches and schools are gathering points for people in their communities, and their members are helping provide whatever assistance is needed.