September 06, 2010

Christchurch earthquake 7.1 magnitude

Nga mihi nui tena koutou katoa,

Thank you for the many messages of concern and support from across our Mercy World as a result of our recent Earthquake in Christchurch.

While there is extensive damage to Christchuch City and surrounding districts, we are pleased to let you know that all our sisters are safe. Within the wider community, while a number of people have suffered injuries, there has been no loss of life. This earthquake was of the same magnitude as the earthquake in Haiti. Damage from the earthquake has been estimated at two billion dollars. However, we are fortunate to have a strong infrastructure, and we are reasonably well resourced. Would that be so for all areas of the world where disasters occur. 

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We have more than sixty Mercy sisters living and working in this region, so our concern and care is considerable. Many houses have been without water and power, and sewerage pipes have broken in many places. Sisters told stories of having gone out in the early morning after the earthquake to check on neighbours and they are continuing to support those living around them, regardless of their own needs. Mary Wood rsm, who works at the City Mission, is preparing for a big day with those needing emergency supplies and shelter. While many churches and larger historic structures have been extensively damaged, many beyond repair, Rosary House Retreat Centre is our only building with considerable damage.

Our concern now, is for the ongoing needs of the wider community with so many homeless, and for the many people whose livelihoods have been disrupted. The work of mercy is never finished as we commit ourselves for the long term effects that such a disaster brings.

These pictures show but a fraction of the extent of damage to Christchurch city and surrounding districts.

Messages to Katrina Fabish rsm - Congregation Leadership Team

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