- Christchurch continues to be affected by aftershocks from Saturday's earthquake, with the destruction of so many historic buildings compounded by high winds;
- South East Australia has been lashed by wild winds and rain, cutting power, bringing down trees and causing damage to hundreds of houses across South Australia, New South Wales, Victoria and the ACT;
- in Victoria, the army is helping to evacuate those affected by rising flood waters.
"We ask our readers to join us in praying for the people of Christchurch who have been through a tremendous shock, and especially in thanking God that there was nobody killed in the 7.2 earthquake
that struck the city in the early hours last Saturday morning. The earthquake was the same magnitude as that which killed 200,000 people in Haiti and left 2,000,000 homeless. It is a great blessing that Christchurch escaped such a disaster and that so many were saved from a sudden and unprovided death...."
Brother Xavier reports:
"As for us here we are in one piece. The most damage to our property was the monastery chimney: some of the bricks fell off. Greg, Ben Price and Daniel came today and took the flue out, and some of the bricks that were still on the roof, and have covered the hole with a tarpaulin.
Most of the houses in St. Albans area had their brick chimneys damaged.
St. Alphonsus House sustained no damage except for a small statue of Our Lady of Mount Carmel that broke in three.
In the Oratory the angels, candles and crucifix fell. The altar moved about 30cm to the left. The tabernacle was still on altar with the gradines, and Our Lord was safely in the ciborium still standing. The Infant of Prague fell and broke His hand holding the world. Our Holy Father St. Alphonsus didn't move as he is blue tacked to his pillar. Our Lady of Fatima fell, pillar and all. The only thing that smashed were glass vases with flowers. Our Lady was found on tile floor in the corner untouched. St.Joseph, at the entry of the Oratory, and not tacked down, didn't move nor were the flowers that were in front of him. The little statue of St. Jude did not fall either.
...The Catholic Cathedral has smashed windows and cracks in the walls and the Cathedral now is not in use; Masses are being said in the presbytery. As for us here, we still have Mass in our Oratory.............. tremors included."
There are some pictures too, so do go and take a look.
And on the political front...
Stormy here too, with the Coalition rejecting a package from the independents around parliamentary reform - the independents had wanted both sides to sign up before they indicate who they will support, but the Coalition apparently believe that they aren't going to get the guernsey, and don't want to agree to anything that will disadvantage them in Opposition. So much for the new political paradigm!
In the meantime, Liberal MP Warren Entsch tossed a few insults at his neighbouring electorate's MP Bob Katter, not exactly helping the Coalition cause, while Independent Tony Windsor told off the Opposition for its latest attempts to pressure the threesome in a weekend speech.
So it looks like the prospect of having a government will be delayed for a few more days...
Meanwhile in Pakistan
Meanwhile the entrenched corruption and utter failure of the rule of law that is making the relief operation so difficult is being mirrored on the sporting stage with continuing revelations about rigged cricket games. And creating an environment where terrorist organizations become the more trusted aid donors...