Update from Columban parishes after tropical cyclone Yasa

Effects of Yasa at Naleba Holy Cross Catholic Church. Photo: Patrick Dass/facebook

Effects of Yasa at Naleba Holy Cross Catholic Church. Photo: Patrick Dass/facebook

Columban Fr John McEvoy reports on the impact of cyclone Yasa on Columban parishes and communications from Columban students on their First Mission Assignment in Fiji:

Columban parishes:

Labasa Parish: For the last few days all communication to the North was impossible because the networks were down or damaged. Eventually at midday on Friday Fr Carlo emailed a short message which we were so glad to receive. “Labasa has survived TS Yasa. Quite a lot of houses have been damaged but no serious injuries have been reported."

Ba parish: The parish hall was declared an Evacuation Centre and 66 people from Votua and Nakoroboya took shelter in the Parish Hall on Wednesday and Thursday nights. Fr Pat Colgan, parish priest of Ba, said Mass for them on Friday morning, after which they departed to their villages.

Raiwaqa parish: Like Ba, its parish hall was declared an Evacuation Centre and 71 people from Nanuku and Jittua settlements took shelter in the parish hall for three nights before returning to their homes. 

Reports from Columban students on their First Mission Assignment:

Francis Xavier in Karokaro: The wind was very strong last night, but with your prayers, my host Indian family and I, including my neighbouring family members received no physical injuries.
We praise God, and we are happy that we survived this natural disaster. The telephone is now working but there is no electricity, we are in candle light. Road transport is a problem due to fallen trees that block the road in Karokaro, Fortunately, there was only minor damage in my host house. But some of my neighbouring family have much greater damage to their houses. However, we are still alive, and keep praising God in the midst of our difficulties.

Peter Kyaw Zaw in Kyaw, Naleba: There was much damage to the Mission House and church in Naleba. The roof of the hall was blown off and trees were down everywhere - one huge branch came down on the side of the Mission house. All the windows in both Mission House and church were smashed. I thanked God that my host family and I escaped injuries. It was the most frightening and terrifying night of my life.

Columban Fr John McEvoy, Columban Leader Fiji