According to Caritas Hong Kong, the earthquake that shook the Sichuan Province in Southwest China a week ago has claimed the lives of 200 people and wounded 12,000 affecting over 1.5 million inhabitant living in the province. “In the villages I visited the most urgently needed supplies are tents, plastic sheeting and blankets as well as drugs, analgesics, anti-inflammatory soap, food, oil” says Br. Yi , a Caritas volunteers.
The Chinese government has been quick to respond and dispatch teams and troops as it is the second disaster hitting that the region in the past five years. Search and rescue teams are operating around the clock and desperately fighting against time to save as many lives as possible whilst the continuing aftershocks are impeding with their rescue efforts. The pressure is mounting as most of the relief materials can only be transported to the affected areas after the completion of the rescue team work.
Thank signs from children in Sichuan
Over 26,000 houses have been destroyed according to Caritas Hong Kong reports, but despite the familiarity with this type of disaster, the branch office of the Wanzhou Catholic Social Service Centre in Chongqing were not allowed to enter the quake hit area. The Emergency Command Centre has announced that only medical professionals and rescue teams are allowed to operate in the affected areas. According to an update by the Mianyang Ivy Social Service Center (MISC) tents, food and water are being provided by the government.
The relief team on their way back with a injured solider
Caritas partners are struggling to reach Taiping, a remote township near the epicentre of Saturday’s deadly earthquake.
The earthquake of 6.6 magnitudes struck the province of Sichuan in Southwest China on 20 April, killing nearly 200 people, leaving thousands of people injured and causing significant damages.
Staff members from a local Caritas partner organisation, Jinde Charities, flew immediately to the disaster zone where they have been able to provide some aid through church networks.
Mary Wu of the relief team said they learned that the situation in Taiping is very serious so they took an ambulance from a church-run hospital there.
But landslides caused by aftershocks prevented them reaching the town. More than 1,000 aftershocks have been reported after earthquake.The government stopped ngos from proceeding, fearing accidents. However, the Jinde team were able to take an injured soldier back for treatment.
By Amjad Gulzar, Executive Director Caritas Pakistan
A strong earthquake of 7.8 magnitude hit Pakistan at 15.44 hours (10.44 GMT ) today. The tremors were felt in Islamabad, Lahore, Abbottabad, Peshawar, Hyderabad, Quetta, Multan, Kohat, Hangu, Bannu, Dir and many other areas across Pakistan.
According to Pakistan Meteorological Department the latitude of earthquake was 26.65 North and longitude was 61.60 East with its epicenter in Southern Iran near the Pakistan Iran Boarder.
The tremors spreading panic among the people who came out of their houses for safety. The epicenter is said to be in Iran The worst affected areas in Pakistan is Mashki some 580 Km from Quetta, the provincial capital of Baluchistan in the south west of Pakistan. Travel time from Quetta to Mashaki is around 15-16 hours by road.
Till about an hour back 21 deaths had been reported and over 100 injured in the city of about 30000-35000 population. There is a fear of more causalities as around 70% of the houses have been collapsed and undeveloped area with mostly mud houses.
Being a bordering area of Iran and Pakistan and having Frontier Constabulary (FC) check post there, immediate relief work is being carried out by FC. A camp has been set up and the doctors from FC are providing medical assistance. There are also reports of shortage of medicines.
Caritas Pakistan is getting more information and in coordination with Provincial Disaster Managment Authority – Baluchistan.
By Bishop Tarcisio Isao Kikuchi, SVD, President of Caritas Japan
Caritas Japan wants to sincerely thank our brothers and sisters throughout the world for the tremendous support you have given to our Great East Japan Earthquake relief activities. We will never forget that when Japan suffered that unprecedented disaster, friends like you reached out to help.
Nearly two years have passed since the earthquake on 11 March, 2011. Unfortunately, many people who were affected by the disaster have yet to find peace and hope. Instead, they worry that the harsh reality is that with the passage of time their suffering is being forgotten both in Japan and elsewhere.
In this situation, Caritas Japan continues to unite with those who have been affected by the disaster, listening to their voices and walking with them as they strive to survive and recover.
Caritas Japan continues to search out and aid those whose needs are not being met by government services. In particular, this effort is carried on through the various volunteer bases in the affected area that have been set up by the Catholic Church in Japan, centered on the Sendai Diocese.
The reconstruction of Iwate and Miyagi Prefectures will take a long time. Even more time will be needed for Fukushima to recover from the effects of the nuclear power plant accident caused by the tsunami. Therefore, Caritas Japan, in collaboration with the Sendai Diocese, is committed to taking a long-term perspective toward its activities.
We want to thank you for your warm support in the past and hope that we can continue to rely upon your generosity in the future.
Care of Caritas Italy
The Catholic Church in Italy will hold a national fundraising collection in parishes Sunday 10 June following the earthquake and aftershocks that have affected the Emilia Romagna region.
The Italian bishops have already allocated €3 million to help survivors of the quake that struck 20 May in the area of Modena and Ferrara and the large aftershocks which still continue.
The funds collected 10 June will be used by Caritas Italy (known locally as Caritas Italiana) to help in the aftermath of the disaster. Caritas Italy has already pledged €100,000. See the poster: poster_terremotonorditalia_A3
Up to now 150,000 people have been forced from their homes with 15,000 living in tents Caritas Italy says that with aftershocks continuing, fear is increasing among those evacuated from their homes. Its staff are working with local diocesan Caritas Emilia Romagna workers to coordinate the emergency response through a coordination centre has been set up in the small town Finale Emilia.
More details can be found on the Caritas Italy website
An earthquake in northern Italy has killed at least seven people, caused serious damage to buildings in several towns and left about 3000 people homeless. The magnitude-6.0 quake struck in the middle of Saturday night, about 35km north of the city of Bologna.
Caritas Italy’s Director Don Francesco Soddu immediately traveled to the affected area. He said, “We’re close to the people in prayer and to particular the families of the victims. We will support the local church in providing aid.”
Pope Benedict XVI said that he was “spiritually close to those affected by this calamity” during his regular Sunday Angelus greeting in St. Peter’s Square.
Don Soddu discussed the response with local Caritas staff, inculding the directors of Caritas Emilia-Romagna, Modena and Bologna and Arcbishop Paolo Rabitti of Ferrara-Comacchio. Local Caritas staff members are ready to provide shelter and first aid.
The quake was the worst to hit the country since the L’Aquila tremor killed nearly 300 people in central Italy in 2009.
L’ingénieur Marcelin Esterlin et le père Jean Serdieu. Le père dit « ce centre est le fruit des sacrifices de la communauté, de la solidarité de la population de Trianon et est un premier pas important vers le renouveau de notre région. »
Read in English
Par Ryan Worms
En ce samedi 5 novembre, la population de Trianon est en fête. C’est aujourd’hui qu’a lieu l’inauguration du centre de santé de la Caritas Hinche –Trianon, un événement majeur pour cette petite communauté de la région du Plateau central en Haïti.
Désormais, les populations de Trianon et des localités avoisinantes n’auront plus à voyager parfois durant plus de trois jours pour trouver où se soigner. Elles pourront recevoir dans ce nouveau centre de santé les vaccinations et une attention médicale 7 jours sur 7, 24h par jour. Les femmes pourront bénéficier d’un suivi prénatal et d’un accompagnement professionnel lors des accouchements. Une salle d’hospitalisation pourra également recevoir et traiter les cas les plus urgents pour une courte durée avant d’être transférés si nécessaire vers des centres hospitaliers plus importants. Continue reading
By Fr Daisuke Narui, Executive Director of Caritas Japan
Today we visited Sendai City to discuss the Caritas response to the massive earthquake and tsunami. The city was very calm and there was no sense of panic despite every that has happened and the uncertainty that has taken over people’s lives.
People were in orderly queues to collect petrol and food. At least in Sendai City the buildings have remained standing. I couldn’t even find a collapsed one.
The story on the coast is very different. The tsunami which washed in and caused so much destruction and the loss of so many lives has left everything smelling and covered in mud. There are long walls of wrecked cars and destroyed houses. Towns and villages have been flattened and destroyed and life has been stopped in its tracks.
It’s snowing today in Sendai and it’s very cold. There are many evacuees from areas near the nuclear plants. Parishes in Yamagata Prefecture and Saitama Diocese are providing shelter. Caritas Japan will supply blankets and cater to other needs. In some shelters that I’ve seen, evacuees share just one blanket among three people.
We’re in Sendai to meet with Bishop Hiraga of Sendai Diocese and Bishop Tani of Saitama Diocese plus others. We’ve discussed how to best use donations for Caritas activities and to establish a task force to support the disaster victims. So many people have offered donations and solidarity from all over the world.
As the aftershocks keep coming and the snow continues to fall, we will do our best to make sure this solidarity helps as many people as possible.
Lesley Fucand faces up to the massive of damage caused by Haiti's earthquake
Available in French
“I no longer know how to feed and clothe them”
Before the 12th January earthquake, there were more than 350,000 orphans in Haiti. The disaster has left thousands more children without parents. Here we meet the director of one of the orphanages that Caritas is helping.
By Mathilde Magnier
Lesley Fucand is a survivor. At first sight you can’t tell what he’s been through, but then you notice the terrible injury to his leg and his slight limp. And then you see how drawn and totally exhausted he looks.
Since the earthquake that devastated Port-au-Prince and left 230,000 dead, Lesley hasn’t had a minute’s peace. As head of one of the numerous orphanages in the capital, this retired American of Haitian origin has only one thing in mind: finding a home for the children he looks after. It’s a vital issue for a country which had 350,000 orphans before the earthquake. According to Unicef there are now around one thousand more just in Port-au-Prince.
Lesley’s life was deeply affected by the earthquake. His house and car were destroyed, but more importantly, four of the 22 children in his orphanage have died. Three died from their injuries and one girl was never even rescued from the rubble. The 18 remaining children were obviously deeply affected.
Even though permanent housing is springing up across L'Aquila, some elderly and physically vulnerable people are still facing L'Aquila's freezing winter in tents and temporary accommodation. Credit: Caritas/Michelle Hough
By Michelle Hough, communications officer for Caritas Internationalis
I’m thinking about how I really should buy a pair of warm boots. My feet are freezing. I’m standing in a tent in L’Aquila, the central Italian town where a 6.3 magnitude earthquake killed over 300 people in April and left over 65,000 people homeless. The drafty blue tent is someone’s home.
Maria Olga, 76, and her two sons have been living in the temporary shelter on the edge of a sports field for seven months. A wheelchair sits between two beds because Maria Olga can’t walk very far. She looks very fragile. There is a stove so they can cook instead of going to the nearby canteen, where “there is always a queue”. As the tent walls shake in the icy mountain wind I wonder how on earth they manage to live in such conditions.
“They’ve left us with two toilets and two showers which don’t work properly. When you turn them on, ice cubes come out,” jokes Sandro Cicerone, who also lives in the camp which is made up of around 20 tents. Continue reading