Appel for earthquake victims in Kraljevo

To the God-protected Western American Diocese, Serbian Orthodox Church, My dear Brothers and Sisters, our Children in the Lord,

On November 3rd, a 5.4 magnitude earthquake struck at 1:56 a.m. in central Serbia, killing two and leaving more than 100 injured as well as thousands of residents in the city of Kraljevo without homes. Many buildings were completely destroyed while several thousands were critically damaged.

With the emerging picture of the extent of the tragedy, there is serious concern about the city's recovery. This earthquake, with its aftershocks, is so much more tragic than it first appeared. Kraljevo, one of the poorest regions in the country, is still struggling to recover from the post-war collapse of industry and the enormous aid for tens of thousands refugees from Kosovo and Metohija in recent years.

It is now estimated that the damage caused by the earthquake is over $150 million.

So far, it has been confirmed that about 1100 buildings and homes are not in livable condition. There is a great danger that, with the weather turning worse (coming into winter season), the whole situation will become even more desperate, unless help comes in a timely fashion.

A great number of people affected by this tragedy are appealing to the nearby Zhicha Monastery for help!

At a time like this, our help can make a huge difference for the suffering people in Kraljevo. Our donations will fulfill the most immediate needs of the population, provide shelters, and rebuild homes, schools, hospitals, and churches.

We are urging all our faithful flock to unselfishly extend their help to the suffering people in our homeland in the heart of Serbia!

We are asking all parish priests and their respectful boards to respond to this appeal as soon as possible. All funds should be sent to our Western American Diocesan. Please make checks payable to Western American Diocese indicating "for Kraljevo" in the memo section. This will be transferred to Zhicha Monastery's account for immediate distribution.

Bishop Maxim