Cyclone Strikes Fiji

Les Davison is a Philadelphia Church of God local elder serving Fiji and New Zealand congregations.

NEW ZEALAND—In the midst of dealing with restrictions due to Covid-19, the island nation of Fiji was struck by Tropical Cyclone Harold on April 8. According to Fiji’s National Disaster Management Office, the category-four cyclone killed one person, injured 26 and damaged 2,067 homes, destroying almost 500. Farms and gardens also suffered extensive damage.

News reports out of Fiji said that the storm forced hundreds of families to flee their homes, and more than 1,500 people are still sheltering in evacuation centres across Fiji’s central, eastern and western divisions.

The destruction, flooding and power outages made it difficult to communicate with our brethren. Fortunately, I was able to establish contact with Mrs. Dale Ng from Suva, who assured me that the brethren from the Suva and Nadi areas were all coping well and had not suffered unduly.

As pleasing as this information was to hear, we were still concerned for two other members in Nausori and on Kadavu Island, whom we were unable to contact. After about a week, however, both members made contact and indicated that they were safe and well.

From Kadavu, the island that bore the brunt of the storm and had 167 homes destroyed, Jona Yamaka reported that only five of the 25 houses in his village remained intact. One of them was his home. He said that about 30 people sought shelter there. He did not mention who they were, but I am sure that some of them are co-workers that I have visited with.
Jona said that they are all okay and that he cannot wait to get back to Suva and attending services when everything is over.

It is unfortunate our Fijian brethren had to endure the destruction of Cyclone Harold while at the same time coming to grips with the Covid-19 pandemic. But God has afforded them great protection and provided a wonderful witness to our co-workers and donors, not only on the island of Kadavu but across the nation of Fiji.