Village slowly getting back to normal

See also:

July Storm Impact Update, 15th August 2019

General Report four weeks after the 18th July Storm

View from a drone camera operated by Robin Repetto shows the row of Government buildings
severely damaged by the 18th July Storm, including the Transport Warehouse,
Police Station, Administration Building, and Post Office and Tourism Centre.

Life on Tristan is slowly getting back to some order as work continues as normal for those who had no storm damage, while others are coping in their temporary workplaces. Thankfully now the phones are all in working order and contact can be made with family and friends away. Internet is up and running in the workplace, but the community only has access via the Internet Café. Sadly, the television is not yet on, so people miss the news and other programmes.

This is the second week for the children back at school. They seem to have settled in well in their new premises and are all now catching up on lessons they missed out on during the storm.

Administration Building workers, including the Administrator's Private Secretary Cynthia Green and Island Council Clerk Geraldine Repetto have set up office in the Rectory, but internet access was only set up on Friday 9th August.

The community eagerly awaits the arrival of the MFV Edinburgh, presently expected on Saturday 17th, and hope for fine weather so that Administrator Sean Burns and his wife Marina, as well as the team onboard coming to assess the damage, will land safely and all the materials for repairs get offloaded.

One silver lining of the storm was newly available firewood as during the storm, heavy rain caused the gulches to flood and carry wood down from the mountain. There was also a landside to the east of the settlement at Pigbite, where many trees were washed down into the sea. The salt sea water then hardens the wood and with the heavy swells pushes the wood back onto the beach. It is perfect for firewood and with a lot of people having fireplaces it saves on gas.

Chief Islander James Glass has updated a previous report which mentioned that only one island house (belonging to Rodney Green and family) was damaged. In addition, Nigel Lavarello had part of his front roof taken off as well, and other islanders had broken windows, water into their houses, damage to their roofs, sheds and huts.

James also noted that as the Electrical Project funded by DIFID a few years ago ran power cables underground, the island only suffered a short loss of electric power. After the 2001 storm, when the wires were run on poles around the village, island homes were without power for six days.

Robin Repetto's photo above shows that only the main girders remain of the 'Disaster Building', designed to provide shelter on the Patches Plain in the event of the village being threatened by landslides enduced by an earthquake or a volcanic eruption. Obviously not storm-proof.

Robin Repetto's photo shows typical damage to islanders' huts at the Potato Patches, used to 'camp' overnight.

Lorraine Repetto's photo shows an upturned container, wall collapse (these black boulders are black lava blocks from the 1961 volcanic eruption, used widely for wall-making in the village) and the damaged Government Guest House behind.

Two views of the damaged fish factory from Lorraine Repetto.
Two views at Calshot Harbour from Lorraine Repetto show water cascading onto the quay
and the barge Atlantic Wave just about held by its mooring rope.