Nearly a week after the devastating earthquake, with the capital city suffering from a shortage of water, food, medical help, gasoline, housing and safety from looters, Haiti’s Episcopal bishop Jean Zache Duracin rejected an offer to evacuate him from Port-au-Prince. “No, I will stay with my people. We need to help them,” Duracin told U.S.-based missionaries monitoring reports after a 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit January 12. Death toll estimates ranged upwards of 50,000.
Holy TrinityCathedral, the Episcopal cathedral, was among the structures that crumbled in the densely populated city, forcing the bishop to live in a tent city along with 3,000 other homeless victims, said the Episcopal News Service.
The Diocese of Haiti, one of a dozen overseas EpiscopalChurch dioceses, is numerically the largest in the denomination with more than 83,000 Episco palians in 169 congregations served by only 37 clergy. Up to 100 churches were thought to be damaged.