Fukuoka, Japan, Apr 18, 2016 / 13:52 pm
Japan's Catholic bishops are coordinating efforts to help the thousands of people affected by the two earthquakes which struck the city of Kumamoto on the southwestern island of Kyushu last week.
A 7.3 magnitude quake hit Kumamoto, nearly 70 miles south of Fukuoka, on April 16, following a 6.4 magnitude earthquake on April 14. At leat 41 persons were killed, and thousands wounded. Some 180,000 have been rendered homeless, according to the BBC.
"We thought the damage was contained in the small area of Mashiki town," Bishop Tarcisio Isao Kikuchi of Niigata told CNA April 16, "but this morning's quake caused damage in a much wider area, including the neighboring Ohita prefecture."
Bishop Kikuchi is head of Caritas Japan, the national bishops' social action arm, which is assisting in rescue and relief efforts on Kyushu. He conveyed the prayers and solidarity of all the Japanese bishops and stated their appreciation for the prayers and aid sent from around the world.