Death Toll Mounts In Double Disasters

A double dose of natural disasters led Catholic agencies working in Indonesia to mount multiple efforts to provide emergency services to victims. The disasters—a magnitude 7.7 undersea earthquake on Oct. 25, which triggered a tsunami that swamped coastal villages in the remote Mentawai Islands, and the eruption of a volcano on Java beginning on Oct. 26—claimed more than 400 lives and displaced thousands. Authorities reported at least 400 people remained missing as of Oct. 29, four days after 10-foot waves washed away homes and other structures up to 2,000 feet inland. “Entire villages were swept away,” said Silvano Zulian, a Xaverian priest who lives in the Mentawai Islands. Local priests and women religious were among the first to reach the affected communities.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement
Advertisement

The latest from america

On his second day in Lithuania, Sept. 23, Pope Francis traveled 65 miles to Kunas, the country’s second largest city, to celebrate Mass in Santakos Park for more than 100,000 people.
Gerard O’ConnellSeptember 23, 2018
Pope Francis arrived in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, to celebrate the centenary of the country’s independence.
Gerard O’ConnellSeptember 22, 2018
Pope Francis has recognized all the remaining bishops who were ordained in China in recent years without the pope's approval.
Gerard O’ConnellSeptember 22, 2018
In a historic breakthrough, the Holy See has signed today, Sept. 22, “a provisional agreement” with China on the appointment of bishops.
Gerard O’ConnellSeptember 22, 2018