At the moment winds are blowing at about 165km/h close to the centre of the category 4 cyclone, Ula, about 210km southwest of Tanna. The courses of cyclones are difficult to predict, but at present the best guess is that it will miss Tanna and continue to head in a southwest direction, however there is more to think about here than the direction of the storm.
We are in Port Vila (on another island further away) at the moment waiting to go home to Tanna tomorrow, but from our experience with Cyclone Pam last year, it is likely that many people on Tanna at the moment will be in a state of great anxiety. Most people on Tanna do not view a cyclone and an event controlled by an all-powerful God, nor as a result of explainable physical phenomena; but as a physical occurrence controlled by certain people who manipulate spirits/gods through their magical ability and mental state. That is, they believe that some people can ‘pull’ a cyclone to Tanna or send it away. Continue reading →
Islamic attire is now commonplace on the road that runs through Tanna’s Middle Bush. Before Cyclone Pam there was one Muslim family on Tanna, now there are many.
Following the disaster many groups have given out relief in the form of food and goods such as tarpaulins, blankets and water containers. One group that operated in Middle Bush was Islamic. Continue reading →
We would like to thank the people of WPC and other supporting churches, and individual supporters for your concern, prayers and financial support in response to Cyclone Pam. Here is a little of our story.
‘Well, we’ve done our best,’ I said to Robert, the student helping me, as we stood on the roof of the principal’s house with the storm’s first squalls driving rain onto our backs.
Robert looked doubtful. He’s a thinker and had the idea that we should add ten 40 kilo bags of cement to the logs and concrete blocks that were already there to hold the roof down. I wondered if adding 400 kilos to the top of a building would be really prove wise once the wooden structure started to bend in the wind. It was a gamble either way. Continue reading →