Tom Duddy says that branch members are safe after a tsunami began hitting the Hawaiian islands around 3:00 a.m. local time on Friday morning. An 8.9 magnitude earthquake near the Japanese coast triggered the waves, with hundreds of deaths already reported in northern Japan.
In Oahu, the damage appears to be minimal and confined to harbor areas, with no reported deaths or injuries as of early Friday morning. Bob and Bev Linczer (Oahu) evacuated their home near Oahu's south shore, but found no damage when they returned to the house on Friday morning. Many businesses and schools across the islands are closed on Friday, including the Waikiki-area store where Bob Badham (Oahu) has been working.
"The storm is affecting everyone," Bob says. "Nearly everything is shut down including bus service and all unessential services at the Honolulu airport." Honolulu's mayor issued an all-clear signal shortly after daybreak on Friday morning.
Tom says the branch women's retreat, scheduled to begin on Friday evening, will go on as planned. Nano Farabaugh (South Bend) is giving this year's retreat, to be held on high ground at St. Anthony Retreat Center. During last year's retreat, tsunami sirens sounded early on Saturday morning, and some nearby residents came to the retreat center seeking cover. That storm was less damaging. "But it was a distraction to the retreat," Mary Duddy says.
"Last night at dinner we were telling Nano and Chris Vieck (South Bend) stories about the retreat last year," adds Tom. "We didn't know then that this tsunami was going to happen.
“We appreciate your prayers for the retreat and we’re praying for the people in Japan,” he says.
John Xenakis says:
March 11th, 2011 at 3:52 PM
Thank you for the timeliness of this article. Come Lord.
tom caneff says:
March 11th, 2011 at 4:05 PM
I echo John's remark regarding timeliness. Thanks much!!
Kara Hrbacek says:
March 11th, 2011 at 4:10 PM
Yes, thank you for letting us know. I have been thinking about them all day.
Maria Elliott says:
March 11th, 2011 at 5:24 PM
How grateful we are that are brothers and sisters are well!
Also, isn't it the Lord's timing to allow the Women's retreat to go on? Praise God!
Linda Coney says:
March 11th, 2011 at 6:20 PM
Praise God that everyone is okay. And what a dramatic way for Bob to celebrate his birthday and for the women to be on retreat!
David Grzybowski/Buffalo says:
March 11th, 2011 at 6:48 PM
Thank you Lord for you mercy. Hold on to your hats ladies, the Lord has something powerful to say this weekend.
Eileen Cramer says:
March 11th, 2011 at 8:35 PM
Thank you Lord for everyone's safety! Continued prayers for the retreat and a return to normalcy! Expect great things this weekend at the retreat and at home!
eileen horan says:
March 11th, 2011 at 10:48 PM
We were praying for you this morning - so glad to get the news that all is well. Will be holding the retreat up this weekend - Let God be Glorified!
Pat Kaiser says:
March 12th, 2011 at 9:55 AM
Women's retreat here in South Bend always have to take the Notre Dame (home)football schedule into account when choosing the dates for the retreats. Those are scheduled at least, tsunamis not so much. May you all be blessed and not too distracted.
March 12th, 2011 at 3:32 PM
It's great to hear a snapshot of what's going on in Branch life in Hawaii. Glad to hear everyone is safe. Sounds like the retreat will be an awesome one!
Frank Bassett says:
March 12th, 2011 at 3:34 PM
Praise God that all our brothers and sisters in the Oahu Branch are safe and sound, and that the women's retreat is going on as scheduled. May Our Lord continue to bless and protect our friends on Oahu.
Meg MacDougall says:
March 15th, 2011 at 10:38 AM
Praise God that the Oahu Branch members are safe, when i heard the news about Oahu i was a concern for Susie Clairmont and prayed that her family were safe. My sister, Susan Coleman of Muncie Branch let me know that the members of Oahu were safe. THank God for your safety.
Shirley Juare says:
March 17th, 2011 at 6:21 PM
I am so glad to know that the Oahu Branch is safe. Wil and I lived in that Branch for 12 years. So many brothers and sister in the Lord. I really miss community life with them. Hopefully we will be returning to Servant Branch this summer.
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