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Saturday, October 22, 2016
Solomon Islands cyclone: missionaries appeal for aid
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¬†Salesian missionaries working in the Solomon Islands, struck by cyclone Zoe, appealed for aid over the weekend. Fr Luciano Capelli told the Missionary News Service: "I am in the middle of a tragedy: organisational interventions are desperately needed, but there is no one responsible to refer to, there is a great lack of money, food and boats." Fr Luciano, who is based in Honiara, the capital of the Solomon islands, over 1,000km from Tikopia, Anuta and Fataka, said he had received reports of 350kph storms tearing through the islands on 28 and 29 December. He said: "The strongest typhoon I have ever experienced in my 37 years of missionary life was one which hit the Philippines in 1970, at the velocity of 250km per hour." He described that as "disastrous." He said that with more than 1,000 islands in the archipelago, distances were vast and the government was not prepared for a disaster on this scale. On Tikopia, he said there were no telephones, electricity, clinic or even radios. Another Catholic church spokesman in the Solomon Islands told the BBC that the islanders were used to cyclones and he was praying that they would have sought shelter underground and in caves. But he said they would need a great deal of support to rebuild their communities in the aftermath of the disaster. To make a donation to the Salesian community, send cheques to: ANZ BANK: Swift Code: ANZBSBSB ≠ Mendana Ave, Honiara, Solomon Islands ≠ 4137497; Don Bosco Community.
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