Anglican Church of Melanesia supports islands hit by Tropical Cyclone
12 June 2017
The Anglican Church of Melanesia (ACOM) is working closely with the National Disaster Management Committee in Vanuatu, and being supported by Anglican agencies in the Pacific, after tropical cyclone Donna battered the Torres Islands at the beginning of May.
The cyclone was the strongest cyclone ever to be recorded in the southern hemisphere in the month of May. It has destroyed homes and livelihoods. Many crops have been completely destroyed, including taro, cassava and yam, which are a staple part of the islanders’ diet.
Anglican Board of Mission (ABM) reports that the Northern provinces of Vanuatu are the most affected. In particular the cyclone has devastated the Torba Province in the Anglican Diocese of Banks and Torres, where many Anglicans live.
Vanuatu’s Disaster Risk Management Coordinator Mr Fisher Young Dinh was the first to contact many affected communities by radio, and has been helping the National Disaster Management Committee to communicate with other islands and conduct initial assessments. He has been in touch with ABM and Anglican Overseas Aid to report on the extent of damage caused by the cyclone. He said that there has been significant damage to houses and gardens, with only enough food supplies to last up to two or three weeks in some communities. Water supplies have been contaminated and toilet facilities destroyed on some of the islands.