Apr 16, 2011

Sapporo diocese sends volunteers to Miyako

As the relief and rehabilitation operation of Sendai diocese are expanding its scale in cooperation with Caritas Japan, Sapporo diocese had decided to send its own volunteers to the Tsunami affected area.  Under capable and strong leadership of Very Rev. Fr. Uesugi, the Vicar General of Sapporo diocese, 7 volunteers from Hokkaido arrived at Miyako city on Tuesday, 12 April.  Miyako is a home town of myself, the Apostolic Administrator of Sapporo.  It seems that those from Hokkaido, the northern end of Japan, has easier access to Iwate as we could see police officers from Hokkaido stationed in Miyako in the photo above.  The seven volunteers have left Miyako yesterday after helping victims in Yamada town and Miyako city together with members of Miyako Catholic Church in cooperation with Sendai Diocese Support Center and the local government. According to Fr. Uesugi, Sapporo diocese has already prepared next 6 volunteers to go to Miyako next week.

Meantime, Bishop Hiraga of Sendai diocese is considering possibilities to appoint his diocesan priests in coastal parishes so that these priests could coordinate relief and rehabilitation operation of the diocese with faithful.  Then Bishop is considering to request rest of Japanese bishops to send priests to support apostolate of the diocese in inland area. 

Relief and rehabilitation operation is now entering its second stage, according to Fr. Daisuke Narui, SVD, Caritas Japan director at the spot.  Local government are now concentrating to find possibilities to construct temporary housings for those who lost their house by Tsunami and earthquake.  However, because of its harsh geological formation in the area without much flat land, the local government are in difficulties to find suitable places for these temporary housings.  Prefecture government are prohibiting the local governments to construct houses in the tsunami hit area in fear of secondary disaster.  Once people are moved into the temporary housings, then NGO will start yet another phase of rehabilitation operation of supporting them in several ways including mental support.

No comments:

Post a Comment