Saturday, January 15, 2011

Cyclone Vania Devastates the Island of Tanna

On Monday and Tuesday of this week we watched as a tropical depression quickly turned into a raging cyclone that moved at a snail's pace directly over the islands of Erromango and Tanna.  These 2 islands are located in the center of the satellite picture above.  While we were at Bible study Wednesday evening at Black Sand Nazarene Church in Port Vila, we began to feel the strong winds start to hit us as well.  The winds continued through Thursday, and finally began to subside on Friday.  We didn't receive the full force of the winds here in Port Vila, but still many of the fruit trees in our yard were broken off.  All around town large trees were snapped off and flung to the ground.

We rang Morrison on his mobile phone for a report of how things looked on Tanna.  He told us that all the gardens are ruined.  Houses were ravaged by the strong winds and heavy rains. Sylvia spoke with the Tafea Provincial Disaster Management officer who shared that trees were blocking the main road so that people are not able to travel. The Public Works department is working to open the roads, but it will take quite a few days. 

The people will repair their homes with bush materials like coconut leaves and wild cane.  They will replant their gardens, but the crops won't be ready for harvest for another 4-6 months.  Please pray with us that God will guide us as we partner with Nazarene Compassionate Ministries and the Nazarene Churches in Port Vila to offer support and aid to those who have been devastated by this cyclone.

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