Northern Ireland

Belfast Cathedral raises £12,000 for quake victims

Two elderly woman pass a beached ship in the tsunami-hit town of Kesennuma on 17 March 2011
Image caption Two elderly women pass a beached ship in the tsunami-hit town of Kesennuma

Belfast Cathedral has raised about £12,000 to help relief and humanitarian efforts in Japan.

Staff at the cathedral set up a "Barrel of Hope for Japan" following last week's earthquake.

Cheques will be given to representatives of Christian Aid and Rotary International for immediate use in Japan.

Dean Houston McKelvey said the church had been "delighted and humbled" at the response from the public.

"The donation to Christian Aid will be forwarded by way of the National Council of Churches of Japan, and the donation to Rotary International is for their emergency Shelterboxes, several hundred of which have already been distributed in Japan," he said.

"We have had first hand reports from the archbishop and bishop of the area in Japan most deeply affected by the tsunami and earthquake.

"None of us are in any doubt that all the help we can send is definitely needed and needed now."

The "Barrel of Hope" at the cathedral is available each day from 1000 GMT to 1600 GMT, Monday to Saturday.