Anglican Missions is launching an emergency appeal in the wake of Cyclone Winston. We are asking for your support to provide disaster relief to our brothers and sisters in the Pacific who have been affected. At least 20 people have died. Trees, homes and crops have been destroyed. Smaller villages have suffered significantly as their infrastructures do not have the strength to stand up to such a powerful cyclone.
Gusts reached speeds of up to 325km an hour, causing 12m high waves and making this the most powerful cyclone to hit the Southern Hemisphere. Schools will be shut down for at least one week and Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama has declared an official state of emergency for thirty days.
Mike Hawke of Anglican Missions is currently in Labasa, Fiji and has reported that spirits remain high, although communications are severely compromised with tele and radio networks down.
The Vicar General of the Diocese of Polynesia, Mr Orisi Vuki, has said that they have not yet been able to contact any of the outer islands due to issues with the communication lines.
The Diocese of Polynesia would greatly appreciate any support that we are able to provide. John Simmons, the Secretary and Registrar of the Diocese of Polynesia, is currently working amongst the devastation in Fiji and has communicated to Anglican Missions that “we urgently need assistance from our Tikanga brothers and sisters to help our brothers and sisters in Polynesia who have suffered from this severe cyclone.”
Our contacts with the Diocese of Polynesia will continue to provide reports as they are able and we will update accordingly.
Please remember the people within the Diocese of Polynesia in your prayers and if you are able to donate here.
We thank you sincerely for your generosity during this unfortunate time.
- UPDATE: The official Death toll has risen to 42 and this number is expected to rise
- At least one person is missing
- Power is slowly being resotred to main centres and roads being cleared
- More than 13,000 people are taking shelter in evacuation centres
- Some villages have been very badly affected with nearly all buildings destroyed
- Recovery could take months
- Chance that disease could spread quickly due to crowded shelters and unsafe drinking water
- Immediate relief needed to ensure that families stay safe and healthy
- Mike Hawke has reported huge damage at Naviavia – an Anglican Settlement 3 hrs from Labasa
- Money needed for corrugated iron, nails, timber, generators, water tanks etc.
Top Photo: NZ Defence Force. Arial view of devastation.
Bottom Photo: AMB Projects Officer Mike Hawke who is in Fiji working with the people on the ground.