Friday, December 23, 2011

CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND, STRUCK BY EARTHQUAKE

Photo / Geoff Sloan

From the New Zealand Herald:
Quake-weary residents in Christchurch's eastern suburbs were again flooded with silt from liquefaction just two days from Christmas.

Flooding covered streets and homes in suburbs already devastated by the September and February earthquakes, including Bexley, Avonside, Parklands and Wainoni.

Civil Defence said the situation in the city was similar to the magnitude 6 quake in June in terms of damage and liquefaction. St John treated about 60 people with earthquake-related injuries.

Christchurch Deputy Mayor Ngaire Button, speaking while mayor Bob Parker made his way back from a holiday in Taupo, said the timing was almost as bad as the damage.

"Our hearts go out to the people of Christchurch tonight. We're just devastated that this has happened at this time of the year, right before Christmas.
From Bishop Victoria Matthews at Anglican Taonga:
Bishop Victoria’s request for prayer

I feel a bit guilty asking for prayer yet again. Or maybe even greedy. So I ask you to bear with me as I explain our need.

In the early part of this afternoon, shoppers here in Christchurch were thronging the malls.

We know what happened at 1:58pm – and again and again during the afternoon.

Those malls, of course, were evacuated.

And tonight, as I drove through the city and especially through the suburbs, there was hardly a car or pedestrian in sight.

It was as though people were hiding. When the whole world begins to tilt and roll, they’re frightened to be caught again in a crowd.

So I ask your prayers for the people of greater Christchurch.

I ask your prayers for courage and good humour and incredible resilience.

I fear the rise of anger, too. It’s hard to get angry at an earthquake – so the tendency is to turn on others. And what’s doubly sad is that many already experience Christmas as a stressful time.

Oh, and one more thing.

For the most part, we will be worshipping outdoors this Christmas, 'where sheep may safely graze'.

The late night services will be ‘BYOT’ events – Bring Your Own Torch – because candles and earthquakes don’t go together, either.

Would you, in your mercy, pray for those who are frightened?

And pray that they will dare to venture out and that the Christmas services will be havens of praise and wonder at the birth of the new born King?

And that we may all return safely home again as well?

Thank you, and we pray for you who have been at our side every step of the way.

Thank you and God bless you this Christmas.
Prayer from elca.org.
Gracious God, you are our refuge and strength, a very present help in time of trouble.
In the wake of the earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand,
reveal your presence so that all may know your healing, hope, and love.
As one community on earth bound together by your grace,
inspire us to pray, serve, and help all those who suffer.

Lord in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

H/T to Andrew Gerns at The Lead.

5 comments:

JCF said...

Prayers!

Cathy said...

Prayers from me too.

Marez said...

thank you so much.... from a priest in the eastern suburbs of Christchurch... and a very long time lurker here! And the blessings of Christmas to all...

Ciss B said...

I feel the whole of Christchurch continues to be under adult. So sad. I remember how many after shocks and new earthquakes the Northridge quake in CA caused and for a long time it never seemed to have and ending and the same is true for those in New Zealand.

Continued prayers for everyone there.

Grandmère Mimi said...

Fr Marez, my sympathy to you and all who were affected by the earthquake. May the Light of the newborn King brighten the darkness in Christchurch.