DECEMBER 9, 2016
Unprecedented heavy rains hit the east coast of New Caledonia beginning on November 21, with over 400 millimeters (15 in.) of rain reportedly falling in a 12-hour period. The rains caused major flooding and landslides, resulting in the deaths of five people; another three are missing and six were injured.
Of the five confirmed dead, two were Jehovah’s Witnesses. Their two adult children are among those reported missing.
The day after the disaster, two representatives of the New Caledonia branch office of Jehovah’s Witnesses arrived to provide spiritual support and relief supplies. Over 40 local Witnesses volunteered to assist in cleaning the flooded homes of fellow believers.
The Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses is coordinating the disaster relief efforts from their world headquarters in New York, using funds donated to the Witnesses’ global ministry work.
International: David A. Semonian, Office of Public Information, +1-845-524-3000
New Caledonia: Jean-Pierre Francine, +687-43-75-00