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Earthquake rattles SW Japan

BY SUSAN KIM | Baltimore, MD | March 24, 2001

OA 6.4 magnitude earthquake rattled southwestern Japan Saturday, killing at least two and injuring more than

120 people. The temblor cracked roads, buckled power lines, and damaged hundreds homes in at least five

Japanese states and shook windows as far away as South Korea.

Hiroshima was hardest hit, and debris littered the heart of the city that is home to some 1 million people. About 10,000 households were

left without water service Saturday. Power was restored to the area by Saturday evening.

The quake was centered 38 miles below the ground some 430 miles southwest of Tokyo.

Japan is one of the world's most earthquake-prone nations.

If U.S. based or other relief groups response, they will do so through local partners, said Jacob Kramer, relief team member for the

Christian Reformed World Relief Committee.

The idea of volunteerism in Japan has gained popularity over the last few years, he added. "The Japanese language doesn't have a word for

'volunteer.' Volunteerism and voluntary organizations are very much a western European and North American paradigm."

In 1995, Japan had a massive earthquake that destroyed large parts of the western city of Kobe and killed more than 6,400 people. After

that large-scale disaster, volunteerism became more tightly tied to disaster response in Japan, Kramer added.

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