A series of earthquakes struck Mindanao yesterday, quaking almost continually from mid-afternoon until about 10:00pm. Power was lost but was restored to most regions by morning. Several lives were lost and injuries reported due to collapsing walls, but we have no reports of injuries to members of the Orthodox mission communities. However some church buildings have developed cracks due to the repeated hammering of recent quakes, and will need to be reinforced. Meanwhile schools and government offices are closed once again for safety evaluations as after every major quake, and our neighbors are understandably fearful of landslides, building collapses, or other earthquake hazards.
The Philippines lies in the so-called Pacific “Ring of Fire,” an arc of intense seismic activity around the Pacific Ocean where most of the world’s earthquakes strike, and a major fault runs through the middle of the island of Mindanao where many Orthodox mission members live.
A new page has been created for up-to-date information on earthquakes in the Philippines. Anyone who is moved to send help for relief to earthquake victims can use the donation form on this site; just note EARTHQUAKE as you fill in the form, and we will know to designate it for that purpose.
As always we are thankful for your prayers! May God use the current emergencies to turn eyes toward the One who cannot be shaken.
Recently (Oct. 26/Nov. 8) we sang a service remembering Great Earthquake at Constantinople. In 740, at the time of the iconoclast emperor Leo the Isaurian, there was a terrible earthquake at Constantinople. Seeing this as God’s righteous punishment for their sins, the people repented and prayed; God had mercy on them, and the earthquake stopped. Remembering those prayers, on this day we sing:
Tropar, Tone 8
O Christ our God, you look upon the earth and it trembles;
deliver us from the terrible threat of earthquakes;
and through the prayers of the Theotokos,
send down to us your abundant mercy and save us.
Kontak, Tone 6
Deliver us all from upheavals,
and from terrible afflictions caused by our sins, O Lord,
and spare your people people whom you purchased with your blood, O Master.
Do not deliver your city to destruction by terrible earthquakes,
for we know no other God besides you;
and to those who cry out you, you respond:
“I am with you and no one can be against you.”