Friday, March 11, 2011

First News Comes from Salesian Family in Japan

First News Comes in
from Salesian Family
in Japan
after Quake, Tsunami

This report comes from the Salesians' news service in Rome.

(ANS – Tokyo) – The 8.9 earthquake which struck Japan on March 11 at 2:45 p.m. has disrupted life in the country; even more, the tsunami which followed. While the number of victims is being established and rescue work is being organized, the first news about the Salesian Family is arriving in the ANS editorial office.

There has been no victims and no damage to the centers of the Salesian priests and brothers, all of which are in the south of the country. At the moment we also know that there has been no damage to the six centers in Tokyo. The provincial at present is in Thailand, where the East Asia team visit that he is attending is coming to an end.

Sr. Piera CavagliĆ , secretary general of the Salesian Sisters, declares in a brief statement on their site: “On behalf of Mother General I can tell you that our sisters in Japan and all the children and girls who were at school are safe. Neither have our houses suffered any damage, since they are not in the area most affected.” Since the roads and public transport in the city are blocked, the teachers and the pupils of the FMAs have stayed in the schools for safety.

The Caritas Sisters of Jesus, another group of the Salesian Family, founded by Fr. Antonio Cavoli at Miyazaki, have reported that at present only the house in Tokyo has suffered slight damage without there being any casualties. These, however, are the earliest news reports. Communications are still difficult, and the sisters have about 50 houses in the country.

Some hours later, this came in from the office of the East Asia-Oceania Region of the Congregation in Rome:

In Japan the Salesians have 14 communities with about 115 Salesians.

We are all well up-to-date with the general scene, be it in the Northern Region where the tsunami did most damage, or Tokyo and surrounds where the earthquake itself caused damage. The Salesian situation? No serious damage and no loss of life or injury (our houses are not north of Tokyo).

In Tokyo itself, minor damage to a number of community structures: the cross fell off the bell tower of the Meguro parish church. A surrounding wall at Adachi and the Guardian Angels statues all disintegrated! Kawasaki's statue of the Sacred Heart fell down, and an old part of the kindergarten was damaged. The greatest damage in terms of collapsed bookshelves and general upset was at the bookshop and religious objects sales outlet at Don Bosco Sha.

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