People killed, churches damaged in earthquake and tsunami

churches damaged

Father Joy Derry Clement, chairman of the Socio-Economic Commission of Manado Diocese in North Sulawesi, has told that some parishes in Central Sulawesi province have been heavily hit by the 7.4 earthquake and tsunami that hit Sulawesi Island in Indonesia on the afternoon of 28 September.

Clement said he had been informed by Father Johanis Salaki from the Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Palu that there are reports of at least two churches damaged.

“Their walls are cracked. In some cases, heavy steel pillars have become detached from their brackets,” he said.

He also reported that a number of priests suffered minor injuries in the earthquake.

Clement reported that at least 500 priests, nuns, seminarians and lay catholics have been forced to relocate to the compound of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish since the disaster.

A big number of teens attending a Bible camp are confirmed among the dead. “They are Catholic and Protestant students who were on a retreat in the location,” said Albert Podung, a church worker who lives in Palu.

They were at the Pusdiklat GPID Patmos ‘Jono Oge,’ a church training centre in Sigi, located outside the provincial capital of Palu.

Officials say that another 52 young people are still missing from the camp. They expect the death toll at the Jono Oge to climb further as recovery continues.

The centre is affiliated with Palu’s largest denomination, the Indonesian Protestant Church in Donggala (GPID), with around 40,000 members.


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News category: Asia Pacific.

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