REPORT FROM JOHN PRAGER, C.M. – PROVINCIAL IN ECUADOR AND DIRECTOR OF THE DAUGHTERS OF CHARITY (April 19, 2016) – Spanish below (español abajo):
The following is the news I have for the moment:
1. All the confreres and sisters are fine.
2. The Congregation does not have houses in the affected zone (coast). The sisters do.
3. Some of the houses of the Congregation have experienced light damage (small cracks in the walls) and the crucifix of the school in Guayaquil fell down.
4. Some of the houses of the sisters have suffered some damage, but I do not have details.
5. They are going to evacuate the elderly sisters because there is neither electricity nor water in Manta where they reside. Some of the sisters spent the night in the street with the people.
Until now they have found 300 dead and more wounded in the communities on the coast. This number will rise because there are more than a thousand people missing (under the rubble?).
Thousands of homes in the provinces of Manabi and Esmeraldas have been destroyed or damaged. But since the roads, bridges, etc. have been affected and there is no electricity, communication is slow and incomplete. Only emergency vehicles are permitted in the affected zone for the moment.
The sisters are organizing a team of Vincentian volunteers to go to the zone to help the people affected. The parishes of the confreres are taking up collections of food, money, etc. to help.
That is all for now. Thank you for your prayers.
Sister Pat Evanick, a Daughter of Charity (Vincetian Sister), pointed out that word has been received from the Vincentian community in Ecuador. Here is an excerpt from the report that was received:
Slowly, information regarding some of the branches of the Vincentian Family affected by recent earthquakes is being received here at .famvin.
From the Daughters of Charity:
Sr. Ana María Maldonado, Visitatrix of the Daughters of Charity in Ecuador, has sent a newsletter about the current situation after the earthquake and its aftershocks, which took place last Saturday:
I inform you that our Sisters of Manta, Bahia, Tosagua, Chone, Esmeraldas, San Lorenzo and Guayaquil, have suffered a lot emotionally, and some of the houses are heavily damaged, but thank God they are safe.
Sr. Kathleen Appler writes: Our Sisters of the Province of Ecuador are well, thank God, but they suffer for the poor, who for the most part have lost everything.
We have several Communities in regions that have been greatly affected particularly in Manta, where part of the house of our Community for older Sisters collapsed.
The Sisters will be moved to another Community in Guayaquil. We are waiting for further information.
In Japan, where an earthquake took place last week, our Sisters have not been directly affected because we have no local Communities in the area where it occurred.
From the Sisters of Charity, Sr. Carole M. Blazina, SC:
Sister Jane Ann Cherubin writes: I just talked with Sister Ocknam Min in Ecuador and she said that they are a little shaken up but they are alright. When they felt the tremors from the earthquake they all left the building. Sister Ocknam said that the shaking of the earth could be felt all over Ecuador and even in Pedro Carbo where our sisters live. All the lights went out in the town and did not come on for at least 30 minutes and the phones could not be used. The clinic had electricity because there is a generator for these emergencies.
Sister said no one was hurt in Pedro Carbo and they too are waiting for news from other areas. Sister Ocknam said she would let us know how things develop in the days ahead.
Sister Ocknam said that they had only a little damage with their buildings. Part of the ceiling in the kitchen/dining room area in the convent fell during the earthquake. Today they also checked all the rooms in the school and clinic and there are some small cracks in the walls but not a lot. She said that she thanks God there is no big problem in Pedro Carbo and also thanks all of us for our concern and prayers.
Sister Sukja Lee, who is presently studying in Quito, is also fine.
As you can see, much of the information we have is incomplete. We invite you to join in prayer for all those affected by the recent earthquakes. We also invite you to check our Facebook pages in Spanish and English, where we try to repost information as quickly as it appears. If you post on Facebook, please post “public” so the information can be shared.