Tropical Cyclone Mick

Trip Start Nov 18, 2009
1
31
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Trip End Jul 08, 2010


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Flag of Fiji  , Yasawa Islands,
Monday, December 14, 2009

TIPS FOR TRAVELLERS

In a hurricane stay in a secure hut of brick built construction and beware of flying debris

Always take enough beer and wine to help calm the nerves but not enough so that you cannot respond to an emergency.

OUR BLOG

Well its here….HURRICANE MICK….hit us soon after turning in. Rain started to really lash down and sounded worse hitting the steel roof of our hut. Then the wind which howled about and made the rain hit the huts travelling vertically and smashing against our louver windows which were not much protection. Moved the bed to avoid leaks in roof and torrents of water coming in the windows and door, Place flooded so had to paddle to the loo. El;ectricity cut off for safety as many electric lamps and fittings were blown away leaving live wires, Out of our window the palm trees were trying to survive an awful battering and on the hills the trees were bowing over to kiss the ground…..many broke and the majority of plants and bushes were lying on the ground after their tap roots snapped.

So hard to describe the unrelenting sound and variety of sounds. Helen was a bit scarred but she had Topny there to protect her!!!!!  Sounded as though God had really lost his cool with someone.

After about 4/5 hours there was a lull which we all know is the eye of the storm going over…..or so we thought..

At six in the morning the wind was so bad that we got dressed, and packed an emergency bag of passports, first aid kit, money and clothes. Just to be safe, We had already decided to stay in our accommodation as this was the safest. The wind was now rattling the whole building and the rain was still horizontal and had stinging sand and stones blowing about.

To even try to go outside would be suicidal……………..

SORRY SLIGHT CHANGE TO THE BLOG.

…..sitting feeling slightly uneasy there is a knock on the door..

Outside are 5 young Fijian women and they have brought to our hut our breakfast! OUR BREAKFAST. They are saturated and cold and struggling to stand up in the wind and rain. We get them all in and lock the door. They have weetabix, sugar, milk, fresh fruit, and cakes with jam and butter….but best of all the oldest one had carried an urn of boiling water for tea and coffee….unbelievable. They sorted us out and then left with smiles and screams as they hit the wind again. We were speechless, as when all this was happening you had to get to within 2 feet of the girls to speak to them because of the noise.

…..then a second knock at the door and two other ladies with brooms came to sort out the water in our accommodation…as quick as they swept the water returned and more was dripping from their clothes than they could remove. We sent them away after making them shelter for a while but before they went they asked if we needed anything. I asked if it was possible to have another cup of coffee. The older one was about to send the younger one away to sort it…..they finally understood the joke and went there way

At 11.30 there was a lull and the sun peeped out and rain stopped. WE decided to go to the main meeting area to check everyone ok. On our way we could hear sheets of metal on the roofs swinging about in the wind. One piece flew off in our direction about 20 feet above our heads…thankfully. Now we walked close to the buildings and not in the open.

 Most people there and no injuries. Everyone chatting when owner told us that this was rhe Eye of the Storm and worse was to come. Options after lunch were back to your own accommodation or to go to owners parents house and all sit in their lounge.

We ( Hels/Tony/Natalie/Clive and Emily) went back to Nat and Clives hut next to ours. When we got there the girls decided a white wine might be nice. Tony and Clive back to the bar which was open to get beers and wine for the afternoon. Clive looking forward at any problems and Tony looking behind. We made it there and back but wind and rain now starting again.

….he was right the storm was worse but at least it was daylight and we had company. The wind was so fierce that 6ft x 2ft sheets of corrugated steel were flying past our huts like someone flicking a pack of playing cards. Eventually lulled at about 4pm so went to inspect damage being careful of loose metal on roofs.

Devastation as trees and plants flattened. Trees where yesterday we were watching the girls pick Frangipani flowers for their hair and for cocktails. One quarter of the roof of the restaurant is lying in the back yard. Electric and water all off…….

Tony, Helen, Natalie and Clive went outside and started to collect all sorts of tree braches, rubbish, chairs etc and started to make piles to clear the area. How many of the other Europeans just looked at us and wondered what we were doing. Eventually a few girls joined in but not one of the lads that I saw. We then went into the restaurant without roof and cleared the floor, tables and chairs of debris and set tables for evening meal…still watched by many including some Fijians who were waiting to be told what to do. We then cleared the restaurant floor of 2 inches of water using one broom and Clives water shifting device of a length of broken sign dragged across the floor. Took best part of an hour but restaurant looked good to eat in…Fijian staff now starting to do things on initiative….worked well together or some of us did. The girls who helped to clear up outside also came in to help with tables and chairs.

Hels and Tony back to hut….no elec, no water, so could not even read so we ……………….

Wrong again!!.....we lit the two candles that we saved from the Tonga Carol Service. Hels had said to save them in case of powercuts and I had said waste of time to carry about, just dump them. She is right again.

Wind still blowing but getting back to normal

What an experience, and no telephones or signal to phone home if the Hurricane Mick reached the UK news.
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