Survey of damage and repair work from Tristan Administrator

See also:

Update as Storm Relief Voyage Team gets to work

Report and photos from Tristan da Cunha Administrator Sean Burns
received on 29th August 2019

Structural Engineer Oliver Ingham with Inspector Conrad Glass inside the severely damaged Tristan Police Station.
Photos on this page were taken on 19th and 20th August.

A survey has been carried out by a structural engineer and I am pleased to report that there are no major structural issues with the Administration, Post Office/Tourism, Police Station, School and Residency buildings. Rebuilding any or all of these would have been a logistical and financial challenge. That said, they are all in a very poor state following the wind and water damage. Some will require a complete rewire and all need a total or partial refurbishment. This will take some months and given the pressure on the government workforce we will need external contractors here to lend a hand. We are in the process of identifying and recruiting these. We already have quite a few materials on the island but more will be needed. In the meantime, we continue to clear these buildings of debris to enable work to start as soon as possible. We have two teams of pensioners helping us with this. Their help has been invaluable.

Surveying the School Hall damage.

The communications team have been working through a programme and all the phones are now working. The internet is on but for the moment, restricted to government departments. With the arrival of more equipment earlier this week we hope to have all departments on line in the next few days. The internet café is open to the public. We hope to be able to extend internet service to the public once the equipment room has been properly surveyed and new equipment checked by an engineer who we hope will be visiting on the next ship. TV and radio were restored this week. The radio station, which also lost its roof, has relocated to the café. They will stay there until their new building, which was already under construction before the storm, is complete. The VHF repeaters have been checked and there has been some damage but we hope to have full coverage around the island and to Nightingale and Inaccessible soon.

Above and below: Oliver Ingham surveys the badly damaged Post Office and Tourism Centre,
above with Dawn Repetto and Iris Green.

Various other departments have had to relocate. The Treasury are in one of the government houses, the Police are working from Inspector Glass's study at home, the Administrator's office has set up in the residency and the Post Office/Tourism team are working from the Prince Philip Hall.

How you can help

In terms of assistance, we are very grateful to all of those who have contributed to the Tristan Association appeal on our website, which has a dedicated July Storm section and an Emergency Fund Appeal [closed February 2021]. We will rely on grants that the Association will be able to forward to the island.

Continued assistance (financial and technical) from the UK government is also much appreciated and we are also grateful for the Red Cross appeal on St Helena.

Photos above and below show inside the damaged Tristan Council Chamber

The Administrator's Office awaiting attention