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Torrential Rain Fall of West Japan
September 17, 2018

Driving rain fell that night as if an ocean had fallen from the sky. Sudden heavy rainfall at times can change roads into a river; however, this downpour lasted for more than ten hours. There was tension in the air as the emergency warning system sounded loudly on Friday night, July 6, 2018, during Vespers. We hoped and prayed diligently for the safety of the campus hoping for minimal damage.

Early Sabbath morning, a huge landslide occurred midway on the main road to the campus, cutting off electricity and deserting us from lifeline. Leaving only one road accessible, the community of approximately 400 people including students, faculty and their families were isolated as a result of the landslide.

Decisions were made on Sunday morning to send students back home as soon as possible, cancelling all the activities and programs planned before summer break. Finding available routes to the train station and airports was not easy with approximately 70 landslides that affected the roads nearby. Despite the difficult road conditions, we managed to send all the students home. If the timing were off, it could have been far worse, for the last route to the airport collapsed later that same day.

Despite the disasters from landslides, the campus maintained undamaged and intact. Seeing the devastating damage affecting the clement slopes in the community, there is no doubt that our school was sheltered within the hands of God the night of the torrential rain.

A few days followed with no electricity and water supply. However, the inconveniences experienced made us aware of the things we take for granted in everyday life. After four days, lifeline was temporarily restored.

Living conditions stabilized once again as electricity and running water were recovered. Giving thanks to God for a speedy recovery of our lifeline, we began to shift our attention to assisting local communities for recovery. Despite the busy schedule of preparing for end of quarter transcripts, teachers and faculty members volunteered every day to help at the local disaster areas. We were able to provide water, Saniku Foods, and a place to bathe for those in need. The damage done in the local areas was devastatingly severe. Assisting hands could not reverse the damage. However, despite the hot temperature of 38 degrees Celsius, disaster recovery activities continue as we work together with the people in the local community in hopes for a quick recovery. 

Hiroshima Saniku Gakuin was protected and supported through many prayers. In addition, our school was given the opportunity to participate in the disaster recovery, and we were able to identify and reconfirm the reason for our existence in this community. 

Hiroshi Tabuchi

Principal, Hiroshima Saniku Gakuin