Port-au-Prince (Agenzia Fides) - "We are in great distress. We have no water reserves and gas stations are closed. There is no electricity. Here in Port-au-Prince things are difficult. We are in need of everything; we need everything and will continue like this for more time," Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Apostolic Nuncio to Haiti, told Agenzia Fides.
The Archbishop of Port-au-Prince, Archbishop Miot, has been remembered as a "good and smiling" man and died when, by the force of the earthquake, he was thrown to the ground from the balcony of his room while he awaited his ride to go and preside over a ceremony. "We have yet to verify the number of priests and religious men and women who have died, as there are still some to be recovered from under the rubble,” continues the Nuncio. “Even the Vicar General of Port-au-Prince, Bishop Charles Benoit, and Chancellor Fr. Cherie are still under the rubble. The Archbishop's Residence is a four-story building that is now reduced to a pile of concrete.”
In his initial assessment tour, Archbishop Auza visited the Major Seminary, reduced to a heap of concrete, except for one building. All but one of the formators were able to exit the ruins, three or four seminarians are still missing, nine were confirmed dead, including seven from the seminary of philosophy. "I also visited the religious houses and centers, to observe the situation and to express the concern of the Holy Father. All are grateful and call for help for their members who are still buried in the rubble. We are trying to gather together the religious and priests who have been left with nothing.” The Nuncio also says he has seen people “asleep or wandering aimlessly through the streets, although many have also left for the mountains, for fear of a tsunami." Some Bishops have been able to come to the Nunciature, to coordinate what to do and make decisions. (SL) (Agenzia Fides 15/1/2010)