Monday, January 13th
We headed back to the airport first thing this morning. We sent up 165 more tarps and 1 ton of water. There were 4 flights going today so we came flying back to town to go shopping. We purchase 2 large generators, 3 chain saws a water pump and 4 water filters at unbelievable prices! We bought up everything they had and even after we convinced them that they needed to give us a discount for emergency supplies, we paid so much money it almost made Alan sick. We had no choice. We had to have it and we had to have it right now. We also bought more water and had everything delivered to the airport. Ana went to the airport to receive it and we headed in to the office.
I am just going to insert my report to the Area Presidency in here. It tells it all.
Cyclone Ian Hits Ha’apai Islands of Tonga
Elder and Sister Webb
Sunday evening, 12 January 2014, a Regional Welfare Committee Meeting was held at Liahona High School to discuss the needs in the Ha’apai Islands. At the conclusion of the meeting the committee members returned to their respective stakes and wards. Information was sent to members of each ward concerning the needs of those affected by Cyclone Ian. Beginning at 7:00 am the next morning, donations were picked up and taken to the various stake centers. By 10:00 a.m. trucks began to arrive at the Welfare Office with donations to be loaded into containers and delivered to the wharf for shipment to Ha’apai. By 11:00 a.m. it was obvious that we could not handle all of the donations that were coming in. We moved the collection site to the wharf and filled the containers there. 14, 20-foot containers were filled. There was not room for more containers on the boat. The remaining donations were loaded directly into rooms on the boat, filling them to capacity. On average there were eight to ten truckloads delivered from each of the eighteen stakes on the island of Tongatapu. The response was overwhelming! Priesthood leadership managed the whole process. President Kupu, with the help of the other presidents and bishops, allowed everything to go smoothly. Hundreds of people came to help with the lifting and loading. Ana Ika, Country Welfare Manager and Elder and Sister Webb, Humanitarian missionaries, were on site to help throughout the day. By 6:00 pm the ferry was fully loaded with food, water, clothing, and bedding to help ease the emergency situation.
The boat sailed from Tongatapu on Monday night and arrived in Ha’apai Tuesday morning. On Monday, January 13th other equipment was ordered including two generators, three chain saws, a water pump, four water filters, 2000 pounds of water, 215 tarps, rope, hammers, axes, crow bars, and water containers. These were all sent by air.
A total of four flights flew from Tongatapu to Ha’apai on Monday, carrying people and much needed supplies. President Tupou (mission president) sent an additional 12 young missionaries to join with the 18 elders already on Ha’apai to help with the cleanup.
That is what we did today!! We ended with FHE. The Edwards showed pictures of the different islands they have visited on their assignment as CES missionaries. Then we headed home to bed. WE ARE EXHAUSTED!!!