The Primates’ World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF) has released an initial grant of $10,000 and is seeking donations to help victims of a series of earthquake-triggered tsunamis that hit Samoa, American Samoa and Tonga on Sept. 29. South Pacific officials have confirmed the deaths of 146 people, according to Action by Churches Together (ACT), a coalition of church-based organizations that responds to natural disasters and humanitarian crises.
“The whole population of Samoa is in mourning as survivors continue to search for their missing loved ones. Bodies are being found buried in the sand and washed up into the trees by the huge waves. 32,000 people are homeless…,” ACT said on its website. PWRDF, the relief and development arm of the Anglican Church of Canada, has released the grant through ACT, of which it is a member. ACT reported people saying that “suddenly, out of nowhere, huge amounts of water came.” Faatu Talapusi, a representative of ACT in Samoa, heard stories of parents who tried but failed to save their children from the rampaging waters. “Many of the dead are children. They were walking along the beach roads to school. Elderly people were hit, since they were not able to run,” he said. Contributions to PWRDF’s appeal can be made online at the Canada Helps website and designated for “Pacific Tsunamis.” For credit card donations, contact Ricky de Castro at (416) 924-9192 ext. 318 or at 1-866-308-7973. Please do not send your credit card number by e-mail or fax. Donations can also be sent to PWRDF at 80 Hayden St., Toronto, Ont., M4Y 3G2. Please mark them “Pacific Tsunamis.”