Songo, Cuba. From the 24th to the 25th of October, Hurricane “Sandy” touched land in the East of Cuba, crossing the island from south to north and causing a path of death and destruction.
The hurricane also assaulted other islands in the Caribbean, such as Jamaica, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic, and is on a trajectory towards Florida in the USA.
Fr. Miguel Fariñas, CMF, one of our brother missionaries from the community of Songo-La Maya (Archdiocese of Santiago), having been able to communicate with one of his sisters, took advantage of the opportunity to give us news of the terrible situation which he is experiencing right now in his community.
Share the text I send you in an email to my sister. We are without light after the terrible thing that happened last night with Hurricane Sandy, and we don’t know what to do if it returns. I can share with you some photos. Share them. Loving wishes to all! We have not forgotten this day of Fr. Claret! Santiago also has suffered some damage at the House …. Of those in Guantanamo we don’t know anything at the moment.
Here the full force of the hurricane has passed through. From midnight to five in the morning. It has done so much damage. There are many houses seriously damaged. The devastated treeless fields. Shredded corn. Songo (…) our Church has come all the way down. The only thing that remains is the floor.
All the wood remaining has been carried-off by the people for the repair of their homes. They have also taken something else (a chalice, pews…). We have been able to save some things: the Blessed Sacrament, mass books, the image of the Virgin of Merced and another of Charity (though I don’t think that they can be restored), some stations of the cross and little else … We have also saved the albs, although wet, as well as the chasubles and stoles. They have also been carried off. There remains, as I told you, only the floor.
La Maya has been quite punished. I now come to see some families that have been left with nothing and who are gathered together in a school. Another 10 people have called to eat at our House. It is a disaster and we have only been able to visit Songo. The light poles are on the ground and many trees have fallen on the road.
We are without electricity and I am writing you with what remains in the battery on my computer. We will be without light for several days. Songo is worse off than la Maya. We are going to see how we can restore the Church and if they will now give us quick permission to begin the work, which will be very much more expensive than we thought. Only God knows.
We are calm within and we hope that everything will be for the good. Really. We are well, the three of us. The house and the Church are filled with water (in spite of the fact that is new). The wind took a roof that we have just put on a few months ago for the multi-purpose hall that I spoke to you about one day. We do not have news from the other more mountainous areas of our parish (like II Frente); nor of Baltoni. We fear the worst.
I have to write very rapidly to save what is left of the battery. I only wish that you know we are well and that you make a chain of prayer for all the people who have suffered so much in this zone which is so depressed as it is. The mobile phone is almost without battery. The house phone works at times (…)”