Category : Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc.

(Local Paper Front Page) How will South Carolina cope as ‘extreme’ weather becomes the new norm?

Scant attention is devoted to how we might avert the next catastrophe or whether we need to change the ways we function in a world where “extreme weather” no longer lives up to its name.

Climate change has caused our seas to rise and fueled ever-more powerful storms that hurl massive amounts of water from the oceans and clouds. And while much of our attention has been focused on the fragile coast, South Carolina’s inland communities have repeatedly taken a beating, as well, most recently from the trillions of gallons of water dumped by Hurricane Florence.

Consider that the tiny town of Nichols, a 90-minute drive from the coast, sank beneath floodwaters for the second time since Hurricane Matthew drowned the community in 2016. Rebuilding was still under way when Florence caused the nearby rivers to again jump their banks.

Climatologists and risk management experts say South Carolina, like much of the country, is woefully unprepared for these new threats, partly because the resources to help people understand and prepare for flooding are decades out of date.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s flood risk maps don’t consider several key factors, including sea level rise, development trends and extreme rainfall that can exacerbate flooding. Yet they are still the primary guides for how and where homes get built….

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Posted in * South Carolina, Climate Change, Weather, Energy, Natural Resources, Ethics / Moral Theology, Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc.

(CT) The State of the Puerto Rican Church, One Year After Maria

During those first few days, we pastors were in shock. What would happen with our families? What would happen with the communities of faith we ministered in? We helped elderly people and small children flee the island for the mainland, unsure if we would ever see them again. The devastation across church facilities and congregants’ houses was enough to stir further panic. How were we going to rebuild? Where would we find the finances and the labor to work through this?

On a deeper level, we were forced to restate the purpose of our ministries: How were we going to minister to our communities during this time of utmost need? After decades of prosperity gospel teaching flooding our Christian churches and networks, we knew the majority of Puerto Ricans were not spiritually prepared to deal with a dream-shattering disaster like this.

But God, who loves us and works everything for our good, used these trying times to refocus the spiritual mindset of congregations everywhere, reshaping our understanding of the Christian life as it was intended to be since the beginning of the church in Acts: a group of chosen and saved people living in true community, loving God, loving their spiritual brothers and sisters, and loving the lost souls.

A few days after the hurricane, local congregations started to meet—no programs, no liturgies, no buildings in some cases. They read the Psalms, sang, and prayed. Without jobs and with no utility services at home, a sense of shared community kicked in, and everyone started to look for opportunities to serve the most pressing needs.

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Posted in America/U.S.A., Ethics / Moral Theology, Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc., Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, The U.S. Government

(LA Times Front Page) Unrecovered–A year after Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico still struggles to regain what hasn’t been lost for good — while fearing the next big one

The rain falling into Bianca Cruz Pichardo’s home in Puerto Rico’s capital forms a small stream from her living room to the kitchen, past a cabinet elevated by cinder blocks.

The living room is dark, save for some light coming from the kitchen and a bedroom. The 25-year-old cannot bring herself to install light bulbs in the ceiling’s sockets because she fears being electrocuted.

For a year, her landlord in San Juan has told her he will repair damage caused when Hurricane Maria ripped through the island last September, she said, but still nothing. The worst of the rain is kept out by a blue tarp that serves as a temporary roof.

“He says, ‘This week I’ll bring the materials over,’” she said recently. “But he doesn’t do anything.”

Throughout Puerto Rico, the destruction caused by the devastating wind and rain generated by the Category 4 hurricane a year ago Thursday still shapes daily life.

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Posted in America/U.S.A., Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc., The U.S. Government

A Terrific ABC Nightline Piece on the rescue efforts in North Carolina in the midst of Hurricane Florence

Watch it all, it is a model of a news story that covers faith seriously and respectfully.

“Q:What do you need?” “A:Right now prayers. We’ve done everything man can do. Now it’s in God’s hands and we’re going to trust Him.”

Posted in America/U.S.A., Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc., Police/Fire, Weather

Hurricane Florence Watch, Friday Morning

Posted in * South Carolina, Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc., Weather

‘Try Not to Go Into Labor’: Tales From Those in the Path of Hurricane Florence

Charles Cejka, Edenton, N.C.
Unfortunately, my family does not have the resources to put gas in our vehicle. If we did, the gas pumps here in Edenton, N.C., are empty just minutes after being filled it seems. Long lines of cars wait for fuel to arrive.

I, myself, came here to this city to care for my father, who was diagnosed with cancer, with next to nothing to my name.

We have no way out, so we are staying. We live together in a double-wide trailer.

The family and I have spent the last two days determining what takes precedence to pack and store away. We have prepared meals ahead of time. I bagged up paperwork and made many of my meals ready to eat and water filtration materials available for use. We struggled to find water to store with so many store shelves bare, but we managed.

As Hurricane Florence gets closer, our fingernails seem to get shorter. All this family can do is double-check things, lose a bit of sleep and pray.

Read it all.

Posted in America/U.S.A., Economy, Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc., Personal Finance, Weather

Hurrcane Florence Watch Thursday Morning

Posted in * South Carolina, Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc., Weather

Hurricane Florence Watch Continues

Posted in * South Carolina, Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc., Weather

Lowcountry South Carolina on Hurricane Florence Watch

Posted in * South Carolina, Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc., Weather

(Stuff) Restoration of ChristChurch Cathedral risks delays if cathedral funding not granted sooner, Anglicans say

Restoration of the Christchurch’s Anglican cathedral could be delayed if the timing of public funding is not changed, church leaders say.

Church Property Trustees general manager Gavin Holley told city councillors on Monday that $10 million in council funding for the restoration needed to be paid sooner than planned. The money was needed within seven years, rather than the 10 years outlined in the council’s draft long term plan for 2018 to 2028, he said.

The Church Property Trustees own the cathedral building and land in central Christchurch. Holley, who was submitting feedback on the council’s long term plan, said restoration could not start until the $10m in funding is changed to within seven years.

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Posted in Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc., Parish Ministry

(NBC) Faithfulness in little things is not a little thing–Heroic mailman still delivering the mail after California wildfires

Postman Trevor Smith has picked up mail from a senior community for the past 8 years. Today, he picks up their melted mailboxes.

Posted in Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc.

(CEN) Caribbean picks up the pieces after Hurricane Irma

The Island of Anguilla in the Diocese of North East Caribbean and Aruba featured in the most recent BBC 2 series, An Island Parish. It was badly affected by Hurricane Irma.

Speaking to The Church of England Newspaper on 27 September, Bishop Errol Brooks, whom the TV programme described as a ‘rock’, said the western half of Anguilla had suffered the worst. This is the Methodist area and two of their churches had been “really messed up”.

Of the three Anglican Churches the roof of St Andrew’s Island Harbour had been badly damaged. The winds that blew throughout the day had lifted a sheet or two of the roof in the main church St Mary’s in the Valley, and water had got inside.

While the worship area of the new section of St Augustine’s remained intact the 200-year-old section of the church had been badly damaged. “I do not know where to start,” said the assessor.

Damage was worse on the island of Dominica, where one of the Pirates of the Caribbean films was shot. The roof of St George’s Church has gone and the rectory, where this writer stayed when doing a locum on the island, is badly damaged. Barbuda, a small island off Antigua, had now been evacuated. The island of St Kitts however escaped without any damage.

Read it all (may require subscription).

Posted in - Anglican: Latest News, Caribbean, Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc.

(WSJ) The damage from Hurricane Maria–mostly in Puerto Rico–could be worse than Harvey and Irma combined

Hurricane Maria caused an estimated $40 billion to $85 billion in insured losses, mostly in Puerto Rico, catastrophe-modeling firm AIR Worldwide said Monday.

Maria was the worst storm to hit Puerto Rico since 1928 and devastated the island, causing widespread property damage and power outages. The storm also caused extensive damage in Dominica.

More than 85% of the insured loss is in Puerto Rico, AIR said. The firm’s preliminary damage estimate is higher than the firm’s estimates for Hurricane Harvey, which made landfall in Texas in August, and Hurricane Irma, which passed through the Caribbean before reaching Florida earlier this month.

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Posted in America/U.S.A., Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc.

(NPR) Earthquake In Mexico Hit Churches Hard in Puebla State

To Mexico now where the death toll from last week’s earthquake has climbed to well over 300. Structures have been damaged throughout central Mexico, including more than 150 churches. That’s according to the country’s archdiocese. Hardest hit were churches in the state of Puebla, the epicenter of the quake. NPR’s Carrie Kahn sent this report from the town of Cholula.

CARRIE KAHN, BYLINE: In the center of town sits Cholula’s ancient pyramids said to be the widest in the world. It’s never been fully excavated, but to get to what is visible involves a steep climb.

Fifty-three, 54, 55 – I’m climbed at the top of Cholula’s ancient pyramid where the Church of the Remedies sits on top of the pyramid. Two of the beautiful churches’ domes have collapsed, and they’re not letting us go to the top. Instead, they’re holding mass outside.

UNIDENTIFIED PEOPLE: (Speaking Spanish).

KAHN: Dozens of parishioners have made the climb in search of solace in Sunday mass.

GERARDO LOPEZ RAMIREZ: (Singing in Spanish).

KAHN: Gerardo Lopez Ramirez is the church’s organist and tenor. He says his town is in mourning.

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Posted in Mexico, Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc.

(WSJ) After Irma, Many Mobile Homeowners May Face Tough Choice–rebuild or walk away

Some of the homes hardest hit by Hurricane Irma in Florida are also the least likely to be insured.

Florida has more mobile and manufactured homes than any other state. These homes, which are built in factories rather than directly onto a lot, often house low-income residents and seniors seeking cheaper housing for their retirement.

The homes are also less likely to be insured than many other types of homes, with the Florida Manufactured Housing Association estimating as many as 50% of the homes may lack insurance.

Read it all.

Posted in America/U.S.A., Marriage & Family, Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc., Personal Finance & Investing