Caritas responds to Christchurch earthquake

24/02/2011

Caritas New Zealand has opened an appeal for the victims of the Christchurch earthquake, and is working alongside St Vincent de Paul and Catholic Social Services to ensure a swift and effective emergency response to the tragedy.

Tuesday's 6.3 magnitude quake has killed at least 75 lives with hundreds more still trapped beneath the rubble; its impact is considerably more severe than the quake that rocked Christchurch in September 2010. In the wake of September’s earthquake, local Church agencies in New Zealand were instrumental in the provision of psycho-social counselling and livelihood support.

Caritas Australia’s partners, Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand, are working with national Catholic agencies to obtain an accurate picture of the damage and determine the impact on livelihoods in the city. It is already clear that the quake will have a significantly greater impact than the one that preceded it; there has been extensive damage to homes, schools and major infrastructure with some buildings still at risk of collapse.

Caritas Australia’s CEO Jack de Groot, said it was always heartbreaking to witness destruction and human suffering, and sobering to see disaster strike the same communities repeatedly.

"At this time we extend our heartfelt solidarity and prayers to our neighbours in Christchurch, and as the reality of this latest emergency sets in, we offer our prayers of support to all those affected by the earthquake," Mr de Groot said.

"The Caritas philosophy is one of partnership and solidarity; we will certainly be looking to support our colleagues at Caritas New Zealand and those Church agencies working with local communities to recover emotionally and rebuild over the coming months."

Donations to Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand can be made by:

  • Phoning 0800 22 10 22 to make credit card donations;
  • Donating online using a credit card; or
  • Posting to Caritas, PO Box 12193, Thorndon, Wellington 6144, New Zealand (mark 'Christchurch Earthquake Relief')

Visit Caritas Australia


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