'Thank you Lord for letting us see a new day' says Fijian filmmaker after Tropical Cyclone Yasa

Reports from the Northern islands of Fiji posted just two hours ago show devastation of homes and schools caused by Tropical Cyclone Yasa.

At that stage, the Category Five system was heading south east through the Lau Group after making landfall in Bua Province overnight. Yasa had winds of 200-300 km per hour when it made landfall.

Fijian filmmaker Dan Ligairi, who is located in Nabalebale Village in Savusavu, expressed his gratitude to God for his protection in a facebook post.

We made it though not without a few scrapes and bruises. Nabalebale has survived yet another cyclone..this time, Cat 5#TCYasa #nabalebale #fijiliving Thank you Lord for letting us see a new day

Posted by Dan Ligairi on Thursday, December 17, 2020

EOC team – these guys been up all night clearing roads and making sure those needing to evacuate their homes were able to do so. Well done team…

Posted by Justin Hunter on Thursday, December 17, 2020

Yesterday, the Fijian Government  declared a State of Disaster 30 days and established a curfew overnight. Emergency crews, police and army units were deployed to help communities and evacuation centres have been opened around the country. Emergency crews, police and army units have been deployed to help communities and evacuation centres have been opened around the country.

This morning, pictures on social media show roofless homes, collapsed schools and shredded vegetation, along with Emergency Operations Centre staff who been up all night clearing roads and making sure those needing to evacuate their homes were able to do so were posted to social media.

Micah Australia issued a statement of solidarity yesterday afternoon, having heard directly from Rev James Bhagwan of Pacific Conference of Churches in Fiji, who asked Australian Christians to pray.

“The cyclone is coming in from the West and so will severely damage the Yasawa and Mamanuca island groups which are already struggling because of the collapse of the tourism industry. It is currently tracking to go between the two main islands and then down through the middle of the group. This is a huge system so Suva will take a bigger hit than in 2016 with Severe Tropical Cyclone Winston, and as you know, the many squatter and informal settlements in the greater Suva area have very ill-constructed homes so this is a major worry,” Micah wrote, summarising Bhagwan’s words.

“Yet our faith, our traditional knowledge and wisdom and experiences of the past keep us resilient. We have been expecting this weather since the early and abundant breadfruit season and prolonged mango season ( see how God through His creation speaks to us and provides for us). Thank you for keeping us in prayers. It will be a tough Christmas. We really need to shift gear on Climate Change as these are all climate change induced extreme weather events. When we talk about loss and damage in climate negotiations – this is part of it.”

In Micah’s letter of support, the organisation noted that severe weather events such as these were on the rise in the Pacific and that climate change had played a role in this.

“We acknowledge that our Pacific family are feeling the brunt of the impacts of climate change. They stood with us when last year Bushfires ravaged our nation. So today, we stand with them too,” Micah’s statement read.

“The new announcement from the government over the weekend of a further $500 million towards climate change mitigation and adaption is very welcome, but our neighbours want to see us step up in our emissions reduction targets… Australia takes great pride in seeing the Pacific as ‘family’. If this is to have true meaning, then Australia needs heed of the call of Pacific people to step up.”

Images of destruction in Northern Fiji by Jovesa Vulasigavaki and Anaseini Peckham

Images of Tropical Cyclone Yasa’s destruction in Northern Fiji by Jovesa Vulasigavaki and Anaseini Peckham / Island Business Facebook. Island Business

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