Cyclone Seroja – Update 1

(published 13th April 2021)   Update 1   Update 2   Update 3   Update 4   Update 5

Tropical Cyclone Seroja crossed the coast as a Category 3 strength cyclone just south of Kalbarri during the evening of 11th April 2021. The Day family is physically OK, and all of our congregation members are fine too – however, the devastation in the town is massive, with now an estimated 75% of buildings in town either damaged or destroyed. It is thought that around 30% of the town’s homes are structurally damaged, and 10% are uninhabitable – many injured, elderly or homeless have been relocated to Dongara or Geraldton, with latest plans including transporting some people over 600 kms to Perth. Some communications have been restored late today, but electricity and some other services may be weeks away from full restoration.

Our church building and other surrounding buildings suffered little to no damage. We are especially grateful to the Lord for a large gum tree falling and missing the corner of the church verandah by a matter of centimetres (and our home, if it fell the wrong way!) – unfortunately, a car did not fare too well and was crushed under the tree. There have been some water ‘leaks’ in the church hall but these were possibly caused by the ferocity of the cyclone and won’t show up under normal rain.

The church’s Rectory received minor damage to its roof, something that will need a roofer to look at, our garden shed in our backyard has blown apart and is spread over a few hundred metres around the church grounds – also, the back fence giving us some privacy and protection has fallen over, and is beyond repair. There’s a bit of a mess that needs cleaning up.

If you’re the praying type of person we’d welcome your prayers……..

Give thanks for ……
** the Lord’s mercy in keeping us and our congregation safe – we only suffered minor damage compared to others in Kalbarri
** many people supporting us with prayer and kind words that help us sustain our efforts for the gospel
** the resilience of the Kalbarri folk – their neighbourly care and help for each other
** help currently in town and those arriving soon; State Emergency Services, Police, St Johns Ambulance,
some over 100 Army personnel camping in our new back yard (sorry, the town oval!)
** some financial aid for Kalbarrians from both state and federal governments

Please pray for …..
** making the most of this stressful and sad time to minister to people’s spiritual hunger – as many ask ‘Why?’
** tourism operators who rely on visitors to our town- this obviously can’t happen at the moment, with the added sting that the current holiday period was one of their busiest….. They now face a huge financial burden without tourists and the cost of repairs etc.
** restoration of services in town, especially electricity, so that people can enjoy some comforts. Kalbarri has become jokingly the town of ‘power outages’ … Due to the size and complexity of the repairs needed the town will be without power for probably at least a week.
** safety for everyone in town – first responders and town’s people – there will be dangerous wreckage around town for some weeks, maybe months. The town has a high amount of asbestos building materials which need specialist treatment – pray for a safe and quick resolution to this issue for all with asbestos on their sites. Please note: we do not believe the church site has any asbestos issues.
** guidance and good planning for any extra ministry we undertake- especially thinking in areas of mental health and community building.

If you’d like to support us financially there are two possible avenues;

Directly to our church’s general account;
** Account name: St. Marks Kalbarri
** BSB: 086 886
** A/C no.: 19 683 5586
** Remark / Comment: Kalbarri offertory

Helping us reach our personal fund-raising target of $20,000 for 2021;
** Account name: Diocese of North West
** BSB: 706 001
** A/C no.: 30003846
** Remark / Comment: Days in Kalbarri

If you’d like to hear more of our updates they will appear at www.kalbarrianglican.com/seroja which we’ll update when we can. Give us a ring on David 0438-369-062 or Jenny 0438-095-570, currently landline and e-mail are not working.