Adventure is an overused term these days. But what’s going on in part of the south pacifc today and tonight is right on the line between adventure and disaster. And all I can do here in London is sit and wait to hear that the team, the tribe, the family on Vorovoro are all ok. I know they will be. But the wait is still frustrating.
Cyclone Tomas is currently tearing through the northern and eastern islands of Fiji. A category 4 storm with winds of up to 230kmph. Many of those in low-lying areas close to rivers or in poor housing have been moved to ‘evacuation centers’ (schools mainly). They may well lose their homes tonight.
Having been on the islands during a cyclone – although not on this scale – in 2007, I can imagine what the scenes will be. Roofs will be rattling hard, coconuts will be raining down and the sea will be the total opposite of tranquil. It will be too noisy to talk – you’ll have to shout, even inside to someone right in front of you. And water. Water will be pouring, lashing, flowing everywhere.
So as the storm passes later today and tomorrow what next for the islands and their villages? First aiding where needed, fixing burst water pipes, roofs on houses, keeping cooking fires going and chasing up surviving livestock. Beyond these immediate measures the next challenge will be to re-build some of the infrastructure with serious damage.
As soon as I find out how much damage has been done on Vorovoro and Mali Islands where we’re based, I’ll be reaching out to those who might be able to help us fundraise and support the recovery. I expect they’ll be a lot to re-build. But until the storm passes and comms re-connect I just don’t know.