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Kobe Diocese establish support centres in response to serious flooding

Posted on: August 14, 2018 3:46 PM
Soldiers from the Japan Self-Defence Force rescue people from a flooded area in Mabi town in Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture, in July this year.
Photo Credit: Issei Kato / Reuters

The Diocese of Kobe in the Nippon Sei Ko Kai – the Anglican Communion in Japan – has responded to significant flooding in the region by establishing support centres. Bishop Augustine Kobayashi called for the centres in response to the immense damage caused by heavy rain last month. Areas of western Japan were inundated with water as result of the extreme weather and the diocese has been providing support to the victims of the tragedy.

Diocesan administrator Michael Kominami headed the centres, while Diocesan Secretary George Daito was tasked with gathering information on the disaster situation throughout the diocese. Planning and support activities were carried out by the diocese’s Social Director, Barnabas Seyama.

Clergy helped householders remove post-flood detritus in East Hiroshima and Kure, and helped to distribute the flow of daily supplies.

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Bishop Augustine Kobayashi and Kobe diocesan officers meet to discus flood relief.
Photo: NSKK

The priest responsible for the worst affected area – the Mabi-cho area of Kurashiki City, in Okayama Prefecture - Paul Uehara, worked with the local Social Welfare Council to explore ways of supporting the disaster relief.

A disaster support centre was established at St Christopher’s Church in Kurashiki City at the end of July. The volunteer centre began its operations with a prayer service and will continue to provide accommodation and meals at least until 31 August. A second volunteer may be established in the Hiroshima area.

Clergy from outside the affected areas in the diocese are being drafted in to support local clergy. “It is planned that relief activities will take place during weekdays with the usual worship services held at the weekends, for an initial period of one month, although this will be extended if deemed necessary,” Bishop Augustine told the Anglican Communion News Service.