An earthquake of 8.9. magnitude struck off the coast of Japan on Friday, the strongest ever recorded in the country. The quake churned up a devastating tsunami that swept over cities and farmland in the northern part of the country and threatened coastal areas throughout the Pacific and as far away the west coast of the United States and South America.Fragmentary early reports of the toll indicate that hundreds of people have been killed. Japanese police officials told the Associated Press that 200 to 300 bodies were found in Sendai, a port city in the northeastern part of the country and the closest main city to the epicenter.
Latest news from Missionary Dean Bengtson, located in Sendai (From his Facebook page):
We continue to have strong tremors...quite a bit more damage downtown...large broken windows...siding falling onto sidewalks.. I was downtown and hitch hiked home....(I'm off now as I need to save my iPhone battery)
Latest update from Matthew Rogness, Director of International Missions:
We have heard from the Bengtsons and Nordaases in Japan – they are all safe – the Bengtsons are in Sendai where the most damage is concentrated but they personally are fine. The Nordaases only felt a slight tremor in Takanosu. We have also heard from our Taiwan missionaries and they are fine and did not feel the tremors
Please continue to pray for our missionaries as they minister to those around them in the coming days. Many people have lost family members and friends, and more have lost homes and other essential posessions. Pray that God will work through our missionaries and churches in Japan as they reach out to their communities. Also keep the people of Japan in your prayers as they take steps to recover from this devistating earth quake and tsunami.