Welcome to Tongabunga! Here I will share my experience as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Kingdom of Tonga.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
I'm too exhausted to write much but I just want to update everyone quickly. On Saturday we were warned of a looming cyclone headed directly for the islands of Tonga. All of the volunteers in Ha'apai were told to consolidate to my house since it is at the highest elevation and is the strongest structure of any of the volunteer houses. Nine volunteers quickly came over with a ton of supplies to weather the storm, which ended up being a category 4 cyclone out of 5, 5 causing catastrophic damage. The storm lined up and hit us with its full force of 143 mile per hour winds and kept all ten of us confined to my house for 63 hours without running water or electricity. My house stood up well to the storm other than my front door which was ripped off and sent across my yard. Since the storm we have started a short recovery process and have gone around to each others houses and our office to begin cleaning up. The damage to our houses and around town is minimal. Only a few power lines and trees are down and several poor quality houses fell down. At this point it sounds like nobody was seriously injured. Over the course of 63 hours a ton happened and I have some great stories, pictures and a movie to show in the next few days. More info in about 3 days, the amount I will probably sleep after I publish this blog.