After the recent eruption of the Kilauea volcano in Hawaii and a series of small earthquakes, Honolulu Bishop Larry Silva is asking for prayers for those who have lost everything.
The National Catholic Register is reporting on the disaster taking place in Hawaii as Mt. Kilauea erupts and creates fissures in residential areas that have sent residents fleeing.
As the bishop explained to the Register earlier this week, Kilauea has been erupting for nearly 30 years, but these eruptions have had no impact on populated areas. But this all began to change about four years ago when lava started flowing toward the town of Pahoa, which is where Sacred Heart parish is located, although it didn’t quite reach far enough into the town to cause structural damage.
As of the latest eruption, the lava is now breaking through new fissures in a residential area about four miles from Sacred Heart parish.
“The lava not only flowed but fountained, spewing rocks and debris into the air. The subdivisions of Leilani Estates and Lanipuna had to be evacuated, partly because of the danger of the eruptions and partly because of the toxic fumes they produce. At this writing (5/7/18, 7:30 p.m.), 21 homes have been burned and/or covered over by the lava.”
There is nothing that can be done to stop the flow of the molten lava, which is liquid rock burning at about 2,000 degrees. Experts say there is no way to know how long the eruption will last or what kind of devastation it will cause on the island.
As a result, the Church and affiliated agencies such as Catholic Charities Hawaii, community centers in Pahoa and Keaau, the diocesan Office of Social Ministries and HOPE Services, Inc. are doing everything they can to provide food, shelter and clothing to the estimated 10,000 evacuees who have been forced out of their homes.
“Many of the parishioners have told me that almost all the evacuees who belong to the parish were taken into the homes of other parishioners who live outside the affected area,” Bishop Silva said. “The people of the island are all sharing their resources with their neighbors in need.”
In the meantime, Bishop Silva is asking for “the prayers of all our brothers and sisters throughout the country. At this point we are still assessing the needs, but I am sure that many resources will be needed to help people rebuild their lives, especially those who have lost not only their homes but the very land on which their homes stood.”
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