After his Sunday Angelus, Pope Francis expressed his “closeness to the dear people hard hit by the earthquake” in Haiti. He offered a prayer for all the victims and Haitians affected by the deadly quake that jolted the Caribbean nation on Saturday. The Holy Father also hoped that help from the international community may be able to reach the victims.
On Saturday, August 14, a magnitude 7.2 earthquake hit the Caribbean nation of Haiti killing almost almost 2,000 individuals and injured almost 10,000, with many still missing until now.
Two cities, Les Cayes and Jeremie, were reported as having major destruction, with people still under the rubble, and buildings that have collapsed. Former Les Cayes mayor Gabriel Fortuné was killed during the earthquake when his hotel collapsed, according to reports.
International Help, Prayers
Caritas Haiti has already started helping the victims of the earthquake, and are monitoring the situation of churches in the country. According to the organization, many churches have been destroyed and the residence of the bishop of the diocese of Les Cayes, was also torn down. (Read: 4 Ways To Be Responsible On Social Media During Calamities)
Caritas Internationalis has also launched a fund raising campaign to help Caritas Haiti in their work to help Haiti.
Cardinal injured, priest killed
Meanwhile, Cardinal Chibly Langlois, Bishop of Les Cayes and president of Haiti’s Bishops’ Conference, is reported to have been injured after the earthquake. As previously mentioned, his residence had been destroyed by the quake.
According to Akim Kikonda, Director for Catholic Relief Services (CRS) in Haiti, Cardinal Langlois had been hurt, but “his life is not in danger.” The cardinal is the first Haitian to hold this position, after Pope Francis declared it in February 2014.
On the other hand, Kikonda brought even sadder news. While speaking to ACI Prensa–Catholic News Agency’s Spanish counterpart–the CRS director said that two employees of the Les Cayes diocese and a priest were part of the thousands of fatalities after the quake.
“Unfortunately, we were informed of three fatalities, one priest and two employees,” he said. Kikonda added that CRS’s employees are all safe, but one of their employee’s wife passed away and their baby badly injured.
The earthquake comes a month after their president, Jovenel Moise, was assassinated through a gunshot. It is also part of the various natural disasters that the country has faced in the past decade, including the deadly 7.0 magnitude earthquake that happened in 2010. (Read: Pope Francis Prays For Assassinated Haiti President)