An 8.0 magnitude earthquake struck just outside the Solomon Islands on Wednesday, triggering a tsunami and displacing hundreds of people. Today strong aftershocks continue to rock the islands.
The BBC estimates that the death toll is now up to 9 and could climb. The Solomon Islands are comprised of a whole slew of small, low-lying islands to the east of Papua New Guinea and are one of the poorest nations in our region. During my time in Papua New Guinea, I had the privilege of befriending many from the Solomons who had come to PNG to study or serve at Kudjip Nazarene Hospital.
(To find out more info regarding the ministry of Kudjip Nazarene Hospital click here: http://www.nazpng.org/hospital/)
Apparently, unbeknownst to many of us enjoying the festivities of Waitangi Day, a tsunami warning was also issued for the northeast coast of New Zealand, but that has since been cancelled. (For which I am thankful, considering that I was at the beach at the Bay of Islands that day.)
I hope to receive information regarding the status of our Nazarenes in the Solomons and information on how we can assist with needs in the area. In the meantime, please pray for God's presence to be experienced and his protection for those trying to make sense of life after such a tragedy.