The group, Friends of the Episcopal Church of Cuba are working to keep in touch and keep us informed as Hurricane Irma hits Cuba. This is the last word they received from Bishop Griselda yesterday.
As promised, we are sharing the latest news we are getting from Bishop Griselda, so that all of you who care for Cuba, and the Episcopal Church of Cuba know what is happening on the ground. We have simply put this into Google Translate – so please excuse the inevitable grammatical errors.
I am writing to you before there is no electricity here in Havana, it is twelve noon. The weather is deteriorating, the boardwalk is flooded. All night and dawn, the north coast. Many villages were slaughtered. We have news of Esmeralda, near to Cayo Romano in the province of Camaguey. The damage was enormous in the houses, as well as in agriculture. Many families are housed and the Civil Defense is working tirelessly in service to the people, as well as the Institute of Meteorology giving constant information by all means of how the trajectory is and urging them to continue with the discipline and responsibility that characterizes the Cuban people in all parts. Already brigades are being moved from the western electricians and all staff to the affected region.
The other places where we have communities are Camaguey, Esmeralda, Gloria, Manati, Tabor, Jiqui, Chaparra, Puerto Padre, San Manuel, Moron, Ceballos, Ciego de Avila, Florida, Florence and Perea. Surely it is expected in Santi Spiritus, Santa Clara, Rhodes, Cienfuegos, that there are many gusts of wind and abundant rain. Now there is a lot of work. As soon as something is cleared, on Monday or Tuesday I will go to those places carrying some food. And all that you can. We are also making an emergency plan to collect clothes and blankets, sheets and carry them.
Camp grounds will surely be flooded by rivers, reservoirs and dams that are nearby, animals are in good care, but there are many people living in the countryside with extreme situations, we will have to support them. The entire area of the keys in Villa clara are under the effects of the hurricane.
Some testimonies of those who write: We are without electricity, in the dark, only trusting in God. We feel the wind howling. People are scared. We are in the temple in vigil. There are fallen trees, we hear falling ceilings and walls, the rain is terrible the wind can not be described. We take care of each other, especially the children and the elderly. Everyone is cared for and protected, government entities are working hard to take care of human lives. We pray to God that no life is lost. Here the whole world is united and united in adversity. We will have to bravely face what the hurricane has left. God will not let us have despair, take care of us and get up. We are in the chain of prayer, all united. We are very sorry for what is happening in other countries such as Mexico where they have lost human lives. We will go forward with faith and hope.
We will continue in prayer and thought. I RAISE MY EYES TO THE MOUNTAINS, WHERE SHALL COME MY HELP? MY RELIEF COMES FROM THE LORD WHO MAKES THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH. THE LORD WILL KEEP YOU EVEN EVEN, HE WILL KEEP YOUR LIFE, KEEP YOUR DEPARTURE AND YOU RETURN FROM NOW AND FOREVER.
IT IS A PSALM THAT HAS ALWAYS ACCOMPANIED ME IN MY LIFE. And I will continue to do so, not only for myself but for those who trust in their love and mercy. A hug, in Jesus Christ + Griselda