Here we go again. Times listed are PHL. It could hit Friday about noon US time.
Tracy Maine Maurer It's on our radar too
First Predictions of Where the Typhoon Will Go
As promised here's the update: Transfers for this week were cancelled as most missionaries couldn't get transport in yesterday for it, and certainly wouldn't been able to leave again today to return home. We just couldn't have coped with feeding and housing 120 missionaries for more than one or two days.
All missionaries on the eastern coastal areas of Samar have been either evacuated to Tacloban, or to inland areas in safer apartments . Same with missionaries serving in eastern Leyte and Biliran - except for those in Tacloban. All other missionaries are grouped by Zone in safe apartments, close to local meeting houses. They all have at least a weeks worth of food and water and adequate basic medical supplies, fully charged cell phones (with extra batteries) and other survival supplies. They have been instructed to remain where they are unless it becomes too dangerous, so we know where they are if cell phones become inoperable and we have to physically locate them. If they have to move they will leave instructions on where they are heading. Tacloban missionaries (and those evacuated here, as well as the 23 new missionaries) are still in Tacloban. We will further assess the situation this afternoon to determine whether we need to evacuate the missionaries from here. We have adequate cars and fuel to move them an hour further inland if needed.
We are closely watching the developments as the storm approaches from the east. The latest projection is that it will cross the coast at Borongan City Saturday night (our time - it's currently Friday morning), and then go further West. Currently the weather here in Tacloban is calm and at times sunny.
This morning we took our new missionaries down to MacArthur Park and did our regular photo shoot there. A peaceful gentle breeze washed over us as we listened to the story of MaCarthur's return. The missionaries are calm and excited about being here. They are a great batch of missionaries.
President will be sending an email out to all parents today updating the situation. I will try to keep updating here, but at some stage we may lose power, internet and even cell phone connection. Please do not fear. Satan would have us fear in his attempt to derail our purpose. We have hope and a determination to be of service to the people of the Philippines. This is a special opportunity for us to do that.
Tracy Maine Maurer feeling thankful
Promised update: this morning we woke up to beautiful weather and a calm gentle breeze. I've never felt it so cool here. It's now 2 pm and the rain and stiff wind have set in. We've been monitoring things closely (thankful for one assistant who thought to bring a protractor with him on his mission) and pored over the predictions. We feel we have done all we can to ensure that all missionaries will be in the safest places. We have decided to keep all Tacloban missionaries, and evacuated missionaries, in the apartments here. But all other missionaries in the mission are currently staying in chapels now. The eye of the storm will hit the east coast of Northern Samar between 8-10pm tonight. Ruby seems a little reluctant to move along and has taken forever to get here. She's currently moving at a snails pace of around 10-13kms/hr. We have just done a phone check around all the zones and all missionaries are well and safe. In our meeting a 1/2 hour ago we determined to begin a fast (since it's fast Sunday tomorrow). So if you wish to join us we will begin at exactly 6pm tonight (3 hours from now). We love you and thank you for your prayers and love. We feel them.
We will be having a meeting in the next hour to continue to assess the situation. I'll provide an update for you then. But know all missionaries are safe as of this moment, we are in contact with all of them.