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Cyclone hit Vanuatu

 

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News from the District of Melanesia

15/03/2015: Vanuatu - Photo gallery

Br. Jean Marie Batick, superior of District of Melanesia, writes about the tragic experience of the people of Vanuatu. It is one of the worst cyclones that ever hit Vanautu and even other pacific countries. It's a category 5 cyclone that moves 300km/h.

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Vanuatu Relief Fund MAPS - Marist Solidarity Australia

Greetings from Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. Thank you very much for your thoughts and prayers. It is a very tragic experience for my people in Vanuatu and all the foreigners, including our Brothers who are leaving there.

Before last week I was in Vanuatu with the Brothers when the rumour was going around saying that there will be a very strong cyclone coming. But then last Monday I left Vanuatu for Brisbane and to PNG. There was already sign of cyclone that day and without knowing that the cyclone was hitting already the northern part of Vanuatu.

The whole country was hit by the cyclone. So far the number of victims is 44 and it should increase in the coming days with what I heard. It is one of the worst cyclone that ever hit Vanautu before and even any pacific countries. It's a category 5 cyclone that moves 300km/h. Port Vila the capital of Vanuatu is the most hit and damaged because the centre of the cyclone was on it.

The communication system is cut off since before yesterday so I couldn't contact our Brothers in Vanuatu yet. We don't know at this stage what condition they are in. I couldn't either get in touch with my families back at home in the village. But by chance yesterday I was able and lucky to call one of my elder brother who is teaching in Port Vila and talked to him. He told me that they were able to be in a safe place but many families lost their homes and houses. Over 2,000 people are leaving in the evacuation centres at the moment in Port Vila. That the power is cut off as well as the water system. And that will be the big concerns at the moment that people will be without water.

I was very relieved when I called my elder brother and his phone rang. At first, the phone rang and no one answered it and it went to the voice-mail. Then I tried again the second time and my brother answered..oufff that was relieving really. But only our Brothers in Vanuatu, I still not have any news about them at this stage yet. I pray and hope that they are safe. The island that the Brothers' community is on, is a different island from Port Vila, further north of the country.

I just ask that you remember our Brothers in Santo, Vanuatu, in your prayers and the people of Vanuatu. Thank you very much.

Union dans la priere.

___________________
Bien fraternellement
Jean Marie Batick, Superior District of Melanesia

 

Marist presence in Vanuatu

At the moment, in Vanuatu, we have three Brothers and one postulant who is waiting to go to the novitiate this year in Tudella Sri Lanka. The Brothers are teaching at St Michel Technical College and also in charge of the boys dormitory since it is a boarding school.

The Brothers are Brendan Sinei, from Bougainville; Blaise Jai, from Papua New Guinea; and Elie Sangul, from Vanuatu. The postulant is Fereol Melteror from Vanuatu. Br. Brendan is full time teaching. Br. Blaise is helping out with the boarding and running the school canteen and also assist in the buying of student daily food. Elie is the dormitory master where he organises the activities of the boys outside the classroom.

Writes Br. Jean Marie on Monday morning:  

At the moment I still not have any news from our Brothers in Vanuatu yet. The country is still out of communication and make hard for me to contact our Marist Brothers' community there. 

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