This week, Tim started his journey back to the Solomon Islands with a stop in Vanuatu – the country to the southeast of the Solomon Islands for a meeting. When he booked his tickets, he had a choice of a half a day in Port Vila, the capital city, or five days. Since he wasn’t sure the half day was going to be enough, he opted for the five days. He is scheduled to return to the Solomons tomorrow afternoon.
However, a powerful storm, Cyclone Pam, has been working its way across the Pacific. Earlier this week we were watching it as it was in Solomon Islands waters, but it mostly dumped a lot of rain and strong winds. It did cause damage in the far east of the country on the islands of Tikopia and Anuta.
“Pam” continued it’s path to the southeast and yesterday hit Vanuatu. On Friday night, it came through Port Vila. I was actually on a Skype chat on Friday evening with Tim until the power/communications system went down. Tim warned me that it was likely we would lose communication when the power grid either was taken off line for safety reasons or the storm brought it down, so I wasn’t too surprised.
You can google or tweet ‘Cyclone Pam Vanuatu’ and see that it has caused serious damage to the country. There are deaths reported in some areas and lots of damage.
Tim is staying in a cement block building owned my our organization. In preparation for the oncoming storm, the windows were taped to help prevent breaking windows and flying glass.
I haven’t received any updates from Tim but he warned me last night that it might be likely that I wouldn’t get any updates until he arrives back here in the Solomon due to the power and communication lines being down for several days.
Of course I would be happy to hear from Tim, but I am assuming that he is fine since he was in a strong building. My heart goes out to the people of Vanuatu, many of whom, live in houses made of materials which would be very vulnerable to the winds and rains.
We’ll see if Tim gets in tomorrow as planned. I’ve read that countries in the region are standing by to fly in relief supplies so assume reopening the airport will be a high priority. But of course weather will play a part in when the airlines start flying again.
I’ve been looking online for more information and photos and videos are starting to be uploaded. I’ll post a link to a video of a drive through Port Vila this morning (Saturday).
Thank you for your prayers and concerns for Tim and please pray for the people of Vanuatu who will be affected by devastation of this record-breaking storm for sometime.