By: Fr. Joseph Kanimea, M.S.C, Vocations Director
Due to CNN and CBS News reporting on Cyclone Winston’s impact in Fiji as the worst storm ever recorded in the Southern Hemisphere, many people were asking me about the safety of my family and Fr. Simi Volavola’s family. I was able to talk to my parents and my youngest sister and they informed me that they are all ok. I texted Fr. Simi and he told me that he was able to talk to his brother-in-law and they are all okay as well.
Reports have indicated that 42 people were killed during the cyclone and that Fiji has sustained heavy damages to infrastructures, homes, schools, vegetable and root crops, as well as leaving tens of thousands of people homeless and without shelter. A week has been declared for cleaning and getting all those affected back to safety.
I tried to call our MSC Pacific Union Superior, Fr Tamati Sefo, but could not. So Fr. Simi and I tried Fr Simon Mani, and thankfully he answered his cellphone. He informed us that there was no electrical power in most of Fiji. All communication was down. I asked him how he got his phone charged and learned that he charged his cellphone from the vehicle battery! So come the next bad snowstorm or thunderstorm – I know now some tips for charging my cellphone in an emergency!
Fr. Simon informed us that that all of our students and confreres are safe and sound. All of our buildings are also in good shape, there is no major damage to our Formation Houses and Rectory Houses in our parishes. Thank you all for your prayers and concerns.
If you would like to support the MSC in the Pacific Union, please visit our online donation page at www.misacor-usa.org/donate.