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21 March 2022

NEWS FROM THE CARMELITE NUNS IN TONGA

On Saturday 15 January, the eruption of an under-water volcano near Tonga caused tsunamis in various islands of the South Pacific Ocean. Sea levels rose along the coast of Peru and the Pacific coasts of the United States, while tsunamis and evacuations were reported in Japan. Nearly two islands were completely destroyed and there are no longer any houses left on them. Fortunately, God protected Tonga itself. Although the eruption was massive, only three persons died. It could have been so much worse.

The Carmelite family has a presence in that part of the world. Our Carmelite nuns in Tonga are safe and well. As they have reported, it was a horrific and frightening experience, but they were sure that God would have protected them. They were aware of the prayers of all their brothers and sisters for them. When the volcano erupted, the convent was violently shaken. A few hours later, everything was hidden by clouds and then ash began to fill the air and fall on the roof like hailstones. The sisters climbed on to the roof to remove the thick ash while members of OCDS and parishioners came to assist in cleaning the whole monastery. The only remaining problem was lack of fresh water as the ash had contaminated everything. Thanks be to God, Australia and New Zealand sent them drinking water.