Saturday, March 19, 2011

Current crisis in Japan

More than in our hearts and mind, we pray for the victims and families of the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear crisis in Japan right now. Even as we watch the youtube and media coverage of live and historical footage of the devastation, we know we cannot really comprehend the extent of the damage, both at present and to be realized in the near future. Residents of Sendai and surrounding regions have been exposed to such a multitude of natural and unnatural hardships - shaking, water, waves, fire, cold, radiation, lost family, lost friends, lost homes, lost businesses.

One only needs to view the USGS website to get a sense of the continual shaking. Since March 12, there have been over 159 earthquakes of magnitude 5.0 or greater. Our relatives who currently reside outside of Tokyo are living in constant fear, often unable to sleep and weary of potential radiation fallout.

The world is connected, not just in information, but in trade. We have already heard inquiries into the safety of tea we are currently importing from Japan.

First of all, our last shipment from Japan arrived Feb 22. Secondly, it originates from Shizuoka, Kyoto, and Yama. The closest region, Shizuoka, which produces over 50 percent of Japan's tea, is over 250 miles from Sendai. I spoke with the US office of the Shizuoka producer company this week and will visit with them next week.

As we continue to gather more information into any potential disruption of shipments, we will post it to this blog.

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