Bishop of Chelmsford asks Essex residents to pray for Japan tsunami victims

THE Bishop of Chelmsford has called on the people of Essex to pray for all those who have been caught up in the aftermath of the Japan tsunami.

A huge earthquake has rocked the north east coast of the country, unleashing a 13ft tsunami which killed more than 30 people, swept boats, cars, buildings and tons of debris miles inland and sparked alerts around the Pacific coast.

The quake measuring 8.9 on the Richter scale – many times bigger than the recent disaster in Christchurch, New Zealand – struck at 2.46pm local time and was followed by five powerful aftershocks within about an hour, the strongest measuring 7.1.

The Right Revd Stephen Cottrell said: “Watching the news this morning and seeing the enormity and power of nature unleashed upon us and the horrifying pictures of the earthquake and tsunami devastating Japan and other countries in the Pacific it is easy to feel helpless.

“Many people have lost their lives. Many others are suffering. Many communities are shattered.

“But there is something we can do. We can pray for those who suffer. We can give generously to those in need.

“Therefore, I am calling upon the people of Essex and East London to pray for all who are caught up in the aftermath of this disaster and to give what they can to the appeals for aid that will soon be set up.

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“The Christian faith teaches us that we are one human family. We must stand together with those who suffer across our world.”

The Foreign Office has urged UK nationals in Japan to make contact with the British Embassy in Tokyo on +(81) 3 5211 1100 or the Consulate-General in Osaka on +(81) 6 6120 5600.

Advice for those in Japan is to check immediate surroundings for fire, gas leaks, broken glass and other hazards, and open doors and windows to avoid being locked in if there are after-shocks.

• DO you know anyone involved in the Japanese earthquake? Let us know on 01799 512882 or at