Episcopal Relief & Development is partnering with the Episcopal Diocese of Hawaii and Church of the Holy Apostles in Hilo to provide emergency assistance after the Kilauea volcano first erupted on Hawaii’s Big Island on May 3. Lava flows from the volcano wiped out hundreds of homes. Thousands were forced to evacuate, including some members of Church of the Holy Apostles which is located about a half-hour north of the evacuation zone. An eruption at Kilauea summit jolted the area on Wednesday, June 6 with the force of a 5.4 magnitude earthquake.
Episcopal Relief & Development’s support is providing laundry services for evacuees staying in emergency shelters and nine air purifiers for schools in impacted areas. Air quality in the Puna District has worsened due to sulfur dioxide from the eruption. Local authorities have been distributing masks to shield from the ash, but the masks do not protect against vapors and gases. As a result, air purifiers are needed, especially in schools.
The Rev. Katlin E. McCallister, the priest-in-charge at Holy Apostles has been in regular communication with the Diocese of Hawaii, based in Honolulu on Oahu, as her congregation responds to the needs of its members affected by the volcano and participates in the broader disaster response.
“This disaster continues to unfold and cause more damage,” noted Katie Mears, Senior Director, US Disaster Programs. “We are inspired by everyone rising to the challenge to help those most in need. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and communities affected by this crisis.”
will help Episcopal Relief & Development respond to this crisis and other disasters in the US.
For over 75 years, Episcopal Relief & Development has served as a compassionate response to human suffering in the world. The agency works with more than 3 million people in nearly 40 countries worldwide to overcome poverty, hunger and disease through multi-sector programs, using the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a framework. An independent 501(c)(3) organization, it works closely with Anglican Communion and ecumenical partners to help communities create long-term development strategies and rebuild after disasters.