Sep 22, 2014

Hiroshima landslides

Hiroshima, well known city as symbol of nuclear bombing tragedy, was hit by heavy rainfall on 20 August this year. Massive rainfall was record breaking for meteorology in Hiroshima and it caused several landslides in hill side of the city, especially in the Asa-kita district and Asa-minami district. 74 people lost their lives and more than 300 houses were lost.

Hiroshima diocese immediately responded through newly established diocesan disaster support center. Fr. Harada is in charge of it. Fr. Harada opened a volunteer center in Gion Parish in Asa-minami district which has been under pastoral care by Jesuits. The volunteer center has been named the Caritas Hiroshima Volunteer Base and Caritas Japan is supporting its activities same as Tohoku area.

Almost a month has passed and I finally found time to travel to Hiroshima to visit the area on 17 September with Mr. Tadokoro, the director of Caritas Japan.

We were welcomed by Bishop Maeda of Hiroshima, who has been transferred to Osaka as its archbishop recently. As you may see from photos, small stream of the hills behind these housings turned to be giant river and swept away everything standing on their way including massive rocks and trees which, in turn, destroyed number of houses.

Volunteers and Fire Fighters are working hard to clear the area. One of victims of the area, who is a Catholic and their house was intact, told us that they are afraid to return to their home for more than 50 years since such heavy rain might occur again and again.

Diocese of Hiroshima will continue to be with affected people and will contribute to rebuild communities.

No comments:

Post a Comment