Ecuador Earthquake: An Irish nun dies while trying to save others’ lives

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Ecuador earthquake

An Irish nun, Sister Clare Theresa Crockett, has reportedly died as she was trying to save lives of others after the massive earthquake struck Ecuador.

An earthquake of 7.8-magnitude jolted Ecuador’s Pacific coast on Saturday, April 16 leaving behind a trail of destruction. 33-year-old, Sister Clare was a teacher in Playa Prieta in the western province of Manabi, Ecuador.

Sister Clare was from the Brandywell area of Derry city, Ireland. She was a nun with the Servant Sisters of the Home of the Mother. Sister Clare was a teacher to about 400 children in the Colegio Sagrada Familia School in a city of Manabi province of Ecuador. She was a music teacher and taught her pupil how to play guitar. “She was a superstar. Everybody loved her,” Emmet Doyle, her cousin said.

After the quake struck, a stairwell collapsed in the school where she taught. The building was reduced to rubble; she tried to lead a group of five people out of the rubble. In doing so, “She was trying to get them down the stairs and the staircase collapsed. We knew she was trapped but information has been slow to come out. “She died as she lived, helping others,” her cousin Emmet Doyle told the media.

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At the time when the quake struck, Sister Clare was with six Ecuadorian aspirants, identified as Jazmina, Mayra, Maria Augusta, Valeria and Catalina. After the staircase collapsed, the seven of them tried to find a way downstairs, however, the building collapsed over them piling up tons of debris over them. The seven of them could not survive, and were found dead. Sister Clare was the last one pulled out of the rubble. Two other aspirants were pulled out alive, after the rescue workers heard their voices.

“Sister Clare had spent nearly 15 years of her life in consecration to the Lord. She was a generous sister with a special gift for reaching out to children and young people,” Sister Teresa of the Order in Cantabria, Spain said.
“The flooding left countless families stranded, without homes. A friend of the community had recently written to us, just days before, commenting his admiration for the Sisters: “The Sisters are smiling as always, but you can tell they’re exhausted from all the work,” the Order stated. Moreover luckily, no students were in the school building at the time of the quake.

Followed by this news, Sister Clare’s family have requested for privacy and said: “We lost our daughter, sister and aunt Sister Clare Theresa Crockett as a result of the earthquake in Ecuador.

Soon after the quake, a state of emergency was declared in six province of Ecuador, as 10,000 armed forces’ personnel were deployed along with 4,600 policemen sent to the towns near the epicenter. There are massive causalities as buildings and houses collapsed as a result of the jolt, and hundreds of people got buried under the rubble.