Latest News from Chile
Latest News from Chile
Yesterday, February 27, we attempted to make contact with the Sisters from the Chilean province of St. Gabriel Archangel (CIL) who at this time are close to the population stricken by the earthquake.
Sr.Aurelia Rossi, present provincial writes: “At this time I am not in Santiago and I cannot get there because many roads are damaged or destroyed in places. The news that we hear is preoccupying because the area that was stricken is very broad and the earth continues to move. It will be like this for several days with different aftershocks.
After more than 50 years (from 1961) this is the greatest earthquake to strike our country, with a magnitude of 8.8 on the Richter scale. Many houses, roads, hospitals etc. have been destroyed and the number of people without homes continues to rise. The Sisters are all well, even though they are very frightened. We have no news of deaths among relatives, but some of them have had homes destroyed. Eight of our houses have suffered damage and will need serious repairs.
Chile is a seismic nation hat has had a long history of strong earthquakes. The earthquake of these days has had a catastrophic effect on one of its regions; however damage is still being assessed.
We still do not know how we will be working in the most devastated areas, but we will seek to arrive in solidarity.”
One of our Sisters who lives in Valparaiso, Sr.Susana Diaz Vidal, writes: “We could not immediately send information because the earthquake interrupted telephone lines and the Internet. The earthquake struck a vast area, from the region of Valparaiso to Araucania where our communities are located inTalca, Linares, Molina, Santa Cruz, Santiago, Valparaíso and Los Andes. Thank God all the Sisters are safe, even though frightened by the force of the earthquake. Further information of the school in Valparaíso can be found on the website http://mavalparaiso.fmachile.org/joomla ».
Yesterday afternoon Fr.Natale Vitali, SDB, Councilor general for the Latin American region, wrote to Mother General and the Sisters of the Council: “I am in Chile. Today I was supposed to take the plane to Quito for the spiritual retreat of all the provincials of America to be preached by the Rector Major. The earthquake hit at 4:40 this morning. In Santiago it reached 7.5 on the Richter scale. At Concepcion, 8.8 on the Richter. The quake was felt throughout the whole country except in Tierra del Fuego. It lasted a long two minutes. Thank God there were no deaths among the SDB and FMA. Concepción, where the Salesian archbishop Ricardo Ezzati Andrello resides, was the hardest hit.
The centenary church of our work at Talca collapsed and the Church of Mary Help of Christians in Talca suffered much damage. All of our works have minor damage. Our schools will not be able to begin classes on March 3 as planned. The airport at Santiago is closed for three days. Please pray for all the dead of this country.”