Japan’s most powerful earthquake since records began has struck the north-east coast, triggering a massive tsunami. Cars, ships and buildings were swept away by a wall of water after the 8.9-magnitude tremor, which struck about 400km (250 miles) north-east of Tokyo. Officials say 350 people are dead and about 500 missing, but it is feared the final death toll will be much higher. The quake was the fifth-largest in the world since 1900.
The tsunami rolled across the Pacific at 800km/h (500mph) – as fast as a jetliner – before hitting Hawaii and the US West Coast, but there were no reports of major damage from those regions. Thousands of people were ordered to evacuate coastal areas in the states of California, Oregon and Washington. A tsunami warning extended across the Pacific to North and South America, where many other coastal regions were evacuated, but the alert was later lifted in most parts, including the Philippines, Australia and China.
In calamities such as this, it becomes difficult for many to still believe there is a God. I cannot even begin to imagine what the victims’ families must be going through right now. Horrific 911, Katrina and Haiti flashbacks immediately fill my mind.
At church, I’m always reminded that the size of my God can be determined by the size of my faith. It is during times like this that my faith grows bigger than I can possibly imagine. To everyone affected by the recent earthquake and tsunami, my heartfelt prayers go out to you.