September 23, 2014

Cyclone Ian - A view from Viti Levu

[Editorial Note: Originally written sometime between Jan. 11th-13th].

From the suburban comfort of a gated house in Nasese, suburb of Suva, I'm thinking about Salesi in ʻUiha. The official report from the National Emergency Management Organization - Tonga's disaster response unit – says that 10 houses have been "damaged"out of 78 houses, alone.  Not sure of the other buildings such as churches, fale kava (kalapu), etc.

Here on the island of Viti Levu, or Fiji's main island, where Salesi and I have been posted since July 2011, its hard to visualize what Haʻapaiʻs gorgeous scattering of islands have been through, but its a lot.

Over 5 hours of intense 250-Kilometers per hour winds, and the narrow eye of Cyclone Ian still blistering through Haʻapaiʻs waters and lands. The UN calls it the "[S]trongest storm ever recorded in Tongan waters" (See the article here).

Reports are still coming in, but in Salesiʻs words, Pangai, which he reached after a 12 hour ferry ride on Tuesday night (today is Thursday), was "riddled", with almost every or every other building badly affected.

The headlines since then have been reading like a typical moral panic, with a twist: Haʻapaians were now largely "homeless".

Making me wonder, how would Māui Motuʻa react to this news of being "homeless" in our own homes, habitated for 3,000 years by US and ONLY US?? Pfffffffft!

Nah, weʻre not "homeless" brah.....We houseless and houses can be made and remade.

The saga will continue, as we fight to preserve autonomy in the face of destablizing climate wars and man made wars – and the coming of the deep seabed mining boom. Stay tuned sons and daughters of Māui. We all gonna be free soon!
Api ko Kali, Rest in Peace we shall reclaim this space...

Tātafa in the far left, Motuha salted and preserving its skin

The sima still stands

Rubble of materialism, with Uncle Tī's yacht upturned in the far left corner

Felled dead mei tree

Laying to rest

Still Standing!!!! Motuha for Life.