Episcopal Relief & Development is working with the Diocese of Hawaii and Church of the Holy Apostles in Hilo to provide emergency assistance amid the Kilauea volcano’s eruptions on Hawaii’s Big Island.

Lava flows from the volcano wiped out hundreds of homes. Thousands were forced to evacuate, including some members of Holy Apostles, which is located about a half-hour north of the evacuation zone. An eruption at Kilauea summit jolted the area on June 6 with the force of a 5.4 magnitude earthquake.

Episcopal Relief & Development’s support provides laundry services for evacuees staying in emergency shelters and nine air purifiers for schools in affected areas.

Air quality in the Puna District has worsened because of sulfur dioxide from the eruptions. Local authorities have distributed masks to shield residents from ash, but the masks do not protect against vapors and gases. Air purifiers are needed, especially in schools.

The Rev. Katlin E. McCallister, priest in charge at Holy Apostles, has been in regular communication with the Diocese of Hawaii, based in Honolulu on Oahu, as her congregation responds to the needs of its members affected by the volcano and participates in the broader disaster response.

“This disaster continues to unfold and cause more damage,” said Katie Mears, senior director of U.S. disaster programs. “We are inspired by everyone rising to the challenge to help those most in need. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and communities affected by this crisis.”

Episcopal Relief & Development offers a page of prayers in times of crisis. Donations to the U.S. Disaster Fund will help Episcopal Relief & Development respond to this crisis and other domestic disasters.

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