We very much feel Avatar Adi Da's spiritual blessing for all the people of Fiji in this moment of great suffering. The death toll is now over 50, and there are more than 50,000 people in emergency shelters. That is over 6% of the population.
We spoke by satellite phone to our friends at Naitauba. They are going to be uploading photographs, video clips, testimonials, and letters in the next few days to help everyone to feel and understand more deeply what has occurred at that most precious Sacred Island.
They continue to have very minimal internet access via the V-SAT phone they have on the Island.
The people at Naitauba expressed deep gratitude for all the energy, money, and love communicated by all those who have given support in this time of great need. This is making such a difference in the morale of everyone on the Island. We told them that over $30,000 so far had been received by donors from all over the world who are not members of Adidam. They were so happy and delighted to hear this.
The first group of skilled volunteers arrived safely at Naitauba by seaplane this morning. They consist of arborists, carpenters, and art restoration experts. Another batch of volunteers with essential skills will be arriving at the Island next weekend, and more in the weeks following. Thanks so much to all who have volunteered their services. This is making a huge difference in this moment.
The above photos taken at Los Angeles airport show the first wave of volunteers headed to Naitauba
In the sea plane there were emergency food supplies for all the residents of Naitauba. Much more will be arriving this weekend by the freighter, the Sea Rakino.
In terms of Fiji's situation as a whole, it continues to be dire. Please pray for the safety and quick relief for everyone. The following is a note from a devotee who works at the UN:
A lot is going on here in the UN to work on the relief coordination for Fiji. A press release I'm working on with the Fiji mission is coming out soon and I'll post on Facebook ... also on Fri 26 Feb between 11am and 12.30 New York Time, the Fiji Ambassador to the UN (Peter Thomson) and the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance (UNOCHA) will do a briefing at the UN which will be broadcast live.
A recording of this briefing can be viewed here: http://webtv.un.org/search/ocha-briefing-on-the-humanitarian-situation-in-fiji-caused-by-cyclone-winston/4775980639001?term=fiji or directly below: