Last night the Shefa Province of Vanuatu where we are officially got put on Red Alert (alerts are as follows: blue, yellow, red).
Regardless of what ‘alert’ level we have been on, everyone has been on ‘high’ alert for days as we’ve waited for Cyclone Donna. She’s now a category 5 and quite destructive. Category 5 is the highest category a cyclone can become with winds up to 260kmh, heavy rainfall, coastal flooding and massive waves. The islands are well aware of the possibilities of the kinds of destruction a category 5 storm can do; the memories of Cyclone pam two years ago are still very fresh.
Normally after receiving a cyclone warning you have 12-24 hours to prepare. We received our first warning over a week ago and the cyclone still has not arrived.
Cyclone Donna has gone towards us and away from us on so many occasions that it’s getting tiring to discuss whether she will come or not at all.
It’s no fun living in a dark, damp house with all windows and door boarded up so securely, and yet it’s still to early to take everything down.
This morning the cyclone moved down to a position that is right beside us but not on top of is. It’s looking doubtful that we will be hit with anything other than ‘destructive, gale force winds, and heavy flooding’, and the bright cool weather outside has me doubting that we will be hit with even that.
Already parts of our little island have lost power and been evacuated due to extreme flooding.
Dustin bought all of his workers wood and tin to reinforce their houses before cyclone Donna comes. The schools, stores, and markets all remain closed today.
Apparently Cyclone Donna World set a record for being the worst cyclone in recorded historical history in the southern hemisphere in the month of May!
At least 90% of the island believes that the reason we are getting a cyclone is because they’re dressing immodestly and drinking Kava. (Kava Is a traditional drink much like alcohol). Apparently before and after a cyclone hit there is a huge influx of people to join churches, or start attending churches.
When I was last in the market there was a preacher telling everyone to get down on their knees and pray and repent of their sins so that the cyclone would leave us unharmed.
The house girl, Matilda said the locals do not think the cyclone will hit us because they have told God that already they have suffered so much and lost so much this year with other natural disasters that He will turn the cyclone around and send it to a different place.
Members of our family are already being deployed today to leave this island and go to some of the outer Northern Islands where the cyclone has already hit. They are working with the Red Cross to deliver aid food, and water to the people on those islands. We are going to put our names on the list today as volunteers so that if our help is needed we can go as well.
Well here’s to waiting…not sure if it will come or not but it currently sits level with us and is calculated to land in New Caledonia.