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.

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

(CNS photo/Michael Roytek, courtesy Boy Scouts of America)
Archbishop Pierre said the Scouts are called to be "leaven" in a world today that "is plagued by isolation, selfishness and individualism. In contrast, Scouts know something about being together, including others, and teamwork."
It’s not just for the family. It’s for you.
Margot PattersonJuly 28, 2017
Cardinal Charles Bo of Yangon, Myanmar, pictured in an early January photo, has become increasingly outspoken as the Nov. 8 election approaches and has urged the nation to embrace religious diversity. (CNS photo/Lynn Bo Bo, EPA)
Cardinal Bo believes the establishment of diplomatic relations between Myanmar and the Holy See could “help build up Myanmar as a democracy and contribute to peace building in the country.”
Gerard O'ConnellJuly 28, 2017
The issue of America dated March 9, 1957, includes an article written by a young second lieutenant assigned to a U.S. Army anti-aircraft battalion in West Germany.
Matt Malone, S.J.July 27, 2017