Hurricane Tomas

Sunday, March 28, 2010

For three days in mid-March, 2010, Adi Da Samrajashram (the sacred island of Naitauba) and many neighboring islands in Fiji were battered by Cyclone Tomas, a category 4 storm. After hurried preparations we (the 70 devotees of Adi Da Samraj and 130 Fijian staff and their families living on Naitauba Island) barricaded ourselves in buildings, at times fearing for our safety as the storm raged outside with indescribable ferocity. For hour after hour winds reaching 150 mph (240kmh), tore at buildings, and wreaked havoc with vegetation. Huge waves swept the island’s shoreline, and over 14 inches (350mm) of rain fell in a single day.

After 27 hours we emerged from shelter to a scene of staggering destruction. Now we urgently need your help!

Cyclone Tomas was the most destructive event to have occurred on Naitauba in living memory. Gracefully, no one on the island was injured, and the many empowered temples and holy sites were miraculously spared. Although numerous huge trees and branches fell within inches of sacred buildings, almost no damage was done to any of these structures. However the damage to the island’s infrastructure - roads, power, communications, water, gardens and more - is very extensive and will take many months and considerable expense to fully restore. In addition, several residences, offices, and meeting places were severely damaged or destroyed.

A large proportion of our daily food on Naitauba comes from our extensive organic gardens and orchards. Almost all of these have been totally destroyed. The ashram has ample supplies of dried foods, but for the coming many months fresh fruits and vegetables will have to be imported. Some can come from within Fiji, but as many other Fijian islands suffered similar damage it is likely that much will have to be expensively imported from other countries.

As you can understand, we have no idea yet what it will take to repair the damage and restore Adi Da's Holy Island-Hermitage, but we do know that the cost will be enormous. We are still in the process of developing a fuller picture of the scope of the damage so that we can begin to estimate costs, but we estimate that we need around $500,000 USD to 'jump-start' the process of repairing and rebuilding.

What is needed to fully restore and protect the Sacred island of Naitauba is far beyond the means of Adi Da’s formal devotees. Therefore we reach out to anyone and everyone who is heart-moved to respond. We very much look forward to your financial help and any other offerings in the form of skills and ideas for further support. Thank you!

  • Building destroyed by storm
  • Forest downed by Tomas