Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The wind during the cyclone

Cyclone Part 3

People huddled in the dorms and the wind slowly died down and it all stopped around 3 or 4 pm.  Then a member policeman names John drove us down to our house to gather our stuff in case it gets stolen.  I stood in the back and surveyed the are and everything was broken and fallen down.  Houses, trees, power lines and there was no communication from the island  Our house was still standing but half the roof blew off and a few walls weren't great, but my things were all right.  I stuffed all my things in my duffel bags before the cyclone hit.  We went back to Isangel and a chief police names Joseph stopped us and said "Elders prepare a devotional at 7pm".

So we prepared one and someone gave the school rice and boiled it and we distributed it and it with some tuna that we had.  There were lots of people at the devotional.  Probably 150-200 people.  We all met in the schools dining room and three of us gave talks and then we sang a hymn to them.  Afterwards Joseph and counselors of the province let us know what was going on.  He said "as of now, all power is down, cell towers are down, and there is now way of communicating out of Tanna to Port Vila".  No one knows how we are doing.  

Joseph said that tomorrow at 6am we will have a devotional again and develop a plan to start cleaning up.  Everything was destroyed!  But nobody in the area was killed.  There wasn't much drama and everybody seemed to be fine.  Everyone was so grateful that their lives had been spared. 

Sunday March 15th we woke up early and did a small devotional again and Joseph divided everybody into separate groups to clean up around the school.  We decided that it was lawful to do good on the sabbath so we joined each of the groups to help out.  We picked up branches, garbage, leaves and puled them up so they could be burned.  We did that for a few hours and we went to the house to use a water filter that's hooked up to our sink to fill up water bottles to drink but unfortunately the water was off.  So we gathered up all the fallen coconuts but our house and we opened up 50 or 60 and filled our water bottles with coconut water so we could have some kind of water.  Then we carried everything back up to the school.

After everyone cleaned up the school they started going back to their properties to get their things.  We decided it would be a good idea to have sacrament meeting.  The missionaries and three members gathered in a small room and I conducted a small meeting.  Then we rested a while and mama Rabi brought us some food for dinner to eat.  At 7pm we had our devotional again.  We shared scriptures about faith and how we need to be faithful and have hope even after the disaster struck.  Then Joseph And counselors of the province reviewed the work done for the day.  Our groups that worked around the school reported the work that we had done.  And they developed their plans. 

We heard that the road from Lenakal that leads to the airport got cleared so if planes come, they can help.  I do recall seeing some planes from other countries flying over the island to survey the damage.  But still there was no communication from Tanna to Port Vila.  They thought of plans to obtain water in the wells at the school but it was not safe to drink, we could only use if to bathe with.  Outside the dorms is a big room with toilets and places to bathe, so everyday we would use water from the well and buckets of water to bathe.  We gave Sister Torea a blessing because she was scared and stressed out.  I think she was very worried about the circumstances we were in. 

The road in Tanna going toward the airport

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