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Mossman Uniting Church extends helping hand after Cyclone Jasper

By Andrew McKaysmith, Synod Writer and Content Creator.

Mossman Uniting Church is assisting the community in its clean-up efforts following the significant damage caused by the severe Tropical Cyclone Jasper.

A strong and enduring storm, Jasper, brought heavy rainfall to Far North Queensland and made landfall as a Category 2 cyclone near Wujal Wujal on December 13, 2023.

Reverend Nadia Abraham serves as the Minister at Mossman Uniting Church. She said the region remains susceptible due to the damage to infrastructure and increased demands on supplies.

“There has been a substantial amount of damage to the road network, leading to severe disruptions in travel. The rivers and waterways have also been inundated, and there have been landslides,” she said.

“Port Douglas experienced a continuous power and water outage lasting approximately seven days. This situation has left the community feeling vulnerable, with ongoing interruptions in the water supply.”

Many homes have been affected by catastrophic flooding. Due to the high temperatures, mould develops rapidly, making it unsafe to inhabit and clean the affected properties. 

Rev Nadia reported that debris remains scattered across the district as residents labour in the oppressive humidity, disposing of their belongings into the now common skips.

“Everywhere you go, you’ll see utes and bins in front of houses and shops,” she said. “We (Mossman UC) arranged a sausage sizzle to ensure that all those assisting shop keepers with the cleanup had access to food.”

With the help of Carpentaria Presbytery Minister Rev Garry Hardingham and Synod Fundraising Support Manager Vanessa Griffiths, Rev Nadia obtained a grant for the rebuild and clean up.

She said the funds were primarily designated for food-related expenses and essential amenities.

“A substantial portion of the funds was directed towards supporting a recovery hub, and supplies were distributed directly to people in their homes. In partnership with Lifeline, we also allocated funds to purchase furniture for those who lost everything,” she said.

“Collaboration with other churches also allowed us to assist individuals we may not have reached who are also facing difficulties.”

The grant also helped cover some expenses for services like cleaning and restoration, as well as medical needs for individuals who were affected and lacked the financial means to cover medical appointments.

If you have been impacted by a disaster and are seeking information on how to apply for a grant, please contact Vanessa Griffiths at vanessa.griffiths@ucaqld.com.au.

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