HONG KONG, September 21, 2015. Columban missionaries in Chile are safe in face of recent earthquake and tsunami.
The General Council wishes to express its prayers and solidarity for the Chilean people and Columban missionaries working in Chile in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami which occurred on September 16. The disaster occurred days before the country’s national independence holiday which trigged tsunami warnings as far away as New Zealand and the United States, where Columban missionaries are also present.
We received an update from Chile’s Regional Director, Fr. Alvaro Martinez saying, “All the members of the Region and Columban parishes are fine. The earthquake and the tsunami affected the center north part of Chile; the damage there is pretty bad, affecting the fishermen, small business and the rural communities. According to bishops in those areas, a good numbers of chapels are damaged. One bishop told me the re-construction of those chapels will take years and that one of the Catholic cemeteries was seriously damaged leaving the interred exposed which is very sad.”
Situated on the Pacific Ocean’s volcanic “Ring of Fire”, Chile is frequently impacted by earthquakes and tsunamis of varying intensity. The country’s earthquake preparedness including evacuations prevented more extensive devastation.
Please join us in praying for the people of Chile who have been impacted by this natural disaster and all who accompany them in the relief and reconstruction effort in the weeks and years to come.