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The header photo shows a radiation hotspot near Fukushima in 2012. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain)

Japan (MNN) — Nearly ten years ago, a powerful 8.9 magnitude earthquake unleashed a massive tsunami near Fukushima, Japan. 20,000 people died and over 100,000 evacuated after three nuclear reactors suffered damage and melted down, releasing radioactive materials into the environment. Read more about the ongoing effects of the catastrophe here.

Saturday, the region suffered an aftershock of the 2011 quake, according to the Japanese Meteorological Society. Aftershocks can continue for years after a major earthquake. In fact, this isn’t the first major earthquake to hit the region since the disaster.

An inspection of the Fukushima area in 2012 (Photo courtesy of Global 2000 via Flickr)Thankfully, no casualties were reported this time, and nuclear power plants in the area showed no sign of damage or abnormalities. Joe Handley of Asian Access says, “I’m hearing people are safe, but the anxiety levels are high. The shaking was so bad that books were thrown across rooms, glass was broken. It was a pretty severe shake. I believe I’m hearing it was about 7.1 on the Richter scale.”

Lingering anxiety

The Fukushima disaster remains one of the worst nuclear disasters in history. The Japanese government will continue cleaning up sites contaminated by radioactive materials for decades. Several areas still exude higher than normal amounts of radiation. Many people have never returned to their homes in Fukushima.

This new earthquake has further unsettled people living nearby. Handley says local Christians want to embody the hope of Jesus in an anxious time.

“It’s in moments like these that we the Church can rise above. Please pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ, Japanese leaders in that region, and missionaries that we work with, as they try to come in and be a presence for Jesus. If they can be that light of Christ and be His hands and feet in the midst of what’s happening, I think it’s a great encouragement to the people.”

Pray the Holy Spirit will empower Japanese believers in this work.

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Mission Network News (https://mnnonline.org)Mission Network News exists to inform multitudes about stories that matter and empowers them to take action that changes lives. Join over 1 million radio and internet users each day. Hear stories of what God is doing around the world – and how you can be involved. Each MNN broadcast includes pray, give, or go opportunities that help you find your place in the story. Sign up at mnnonline.org to receive daily news in your inbox. Or check out MNN on social media and share them with others. MNN is a ministry of OneWay Ministries.

 

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Mission Network News is a mission news service dedicated to keeping Christians informed on evangelical mission activity around the world. In doing so we hope to educate and motivate Christians to prayer, participation, and support of missionary work to help further the Great Commission.

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