CYCLONE GABRIELLE & UPDATE - Wed 22 Feb
The Waiapu Diocese has been devastated by Cyclone Gabrielle.
Wind and heavy rain from the ex-tropical cyclone struck Bay of Plenty, Tairawhiti and Hawke’s Bay overnight Monday 13/Tuesday 14 February. There has been a widespread power and communication outage, landslides, bridges and roads washed away isolating communities and serious flooding in some areas.
Hundreds of people have been evacuated, homes destroyed, and cities without power for days. Lives have been lost.
It will take a long time for our Waiapu Cathedral parish and the entire diocese to come back to some semblance of normal life. People who want to help with donations can go to Anglican Missions Cyclone Gabrielle Appeal.
The Cathedral has power restored and continues to provide a sanctuary of calm during the day for anyone. Lent services are being held as normal.
Many people have been asking us about other Anglican places of interest, so here’s updated information:
- St Michael’s at Puketapu is basically untouched, and is now being used as a distribution centre for aid relief.
- The 102-year old Eskdale War Memorial Church on SH 5, although not technically Anglican, has had shared usage for a long time. It has had almost 2 metres of water through it. It is a strong building, but needs plenty more cleaning yet! You can view video of the first people through the doors to check on the state of the damage.
- Hukarere Kura in Esk Valley. Students at Hukarere Girls College were safely evacuated during Cyclone Gabrielle on Monday night around midnight. The Anglican School for Māori students from through the East Cape and further afield responded promptly to their flood alert procedures and the girls were bussed out of the valley. The school buildings are now up to the rafters in silt and water. Forty-eight students and three staff were initially evacuated to St Joseph’s Girls College in Greenmeadows, Napier, but most have now travelled back to their homes. A few girls have been housed at Te Aute College south of Hastings and it’s likely that the school will be located at the Te Aute College campus while deliberations are made about the school’s future. Your prayers continue to be welcome for the students, staff and their families.