Vernon lending a hand to sister city

Vernonites are being encouraged to rally behind earthquake victims in Japan.

Members of Vernon’s sister city committee will meet today to determine how to provide assistance to those impacted by the March 11 natural disaster which has killed more than 3,000  people.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with those people,” said Coun. Patrick Nicol.

“There are lots of connections between that area and this community.”

Vernon’s sister city, Tome, is located near Sendai, which was struck by the earthquake and the subsequent tsunami.

“In Tome, there has been quite a bit of damage from the earthquake,” said Mayor Wayne Lippert.

“There has been no power or water and the gas stations are closed.”

The local sister city committee is considering working with the Vernon Japanese Cultural Association, and the committee may become a focal point for collecting donations for relief efforts.

“We have a huge Japanese population in the city,” said Coun. Jack Gilroy, adding that Vernon needs to assist those in need during this disaster.

“If something happened here, they’d want to help.”