Emergency Appeal: Japan Earthquakes

April 18, 2016

Appeal Code: 76-6538
Appeal Goal: $400,000


Powerful earthquakes with magnitudes as high as 7.3 struck Kumamoto prefecture on the southern Japanese island of Kyushu between April 14 and April 16. The resulting seismic intensity level measured at the highest score on the Japanese seismic scale.

In addition to more than 200 aftershocks, the earthquake also triggered other earthquakes on different fault lines in Japan’s Ooita prefecture. Experts predict that the seismic activity could move further east, which would result in more widespread destruction.

So far, over 40 people have died from the quake, most of them due to collapsing houses.  Many are still trapped under the rubble and rescue operations are currently ongoing.  Over 1,000 people have been injured and 90,000 people have evacuated to temporary shelters. Reports of mass landslides are coming in and the true scale of the destruction is yet to be captured fully.

April 18 update: evacuees exceed 200,000
April 20 update: over 600 aftershocks


CWS Japan and two of its longstanding partners are assessing needs on the ground as well as providing immediate life-saving assistance in temporary shelters.  

CWS ran a mass volunteer dispatch and management operation with Peace Boat Disaster Relief Volunteer Center following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Now, PBV staff are on the ground coordinating with relevant stakeholders and authorities on foreseeable volunteer relief operations.

YMCA Japan, a longstanding partner for protecting Fukushima children from radiation threats, has a branch in its Kumamoto and it is currently running one of the evacuation centers in the town of Mashiki, where the destruction was among the largest.  

Quality and Accountability Network in Japan, which CWS Japan chairs, has announced that it will distribute free Sphere handbooks for those responding to this disaster.  CWS will provide further updates as more information comes in from the field.

The planned response implemented by CWS and partners will fill gaps in the current response for at least 1,000 families (4,000 individuals).


Emergency supplies: $200,000
Volunteer operation management: $150,000
Operation management: $50,000
Total: $400,000


Contributions to support CWS emergency response efforts may be sent to your denomination or Church World Service, P.O. Box 968, Elkhart, IN 46515 (Appeal number 76-6538: Japan Earthquake). Donations to our emergency response efforts around the globe may also be made online.

CWS is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of churches and agencies engaged in development humanitarian assistance and advocacy.