On Saturday, November 4, 2017, Typhoon Damrey hit South-Central Vietnam causing terrible damage. The most affected city was Nha Trang, where people lost almost all their belongings because of the storm. The Lasallian communities in Nha Trang shared the same fate.
The Brothers have two communities in Nha Trang: Thanh Tam Community (on 137 Nguyen Khuyen, Vinh Hai Ward), which is at the service of disabled people, and Binh Cang Community (in the hamlet of Vo Canh, Vinh Trung Commune), a boarding house for secondary and high school students. Although the storm is over, most of Nha Trang City has no electricity, and communications are still down. We received some photos of the situation from Brother Quyet. Students and Brothers in both communities (Binh Bang and Thanh Tam) are unharmed, thanks God, but the properties were heavily damaged.The Brothers’ chapel and house in Thanh Tam were practically swept away.
In Binh Cang, the wind blew off the roof of the Brother’s residence, and the entire dome house collapsed – a multi-purpose igloo-like building where most extra-curricular activities for the boarding students took place.Please say a prayer for the Brothers and students of Nha Trang, so that they can be safe and at peace, and get help from generous hearts to swiftly repair the facilities and help the people.
Besides that, the statue of Saint John Baptist de La Salle in the campus of Nha Trang University on La Salle Hill is safe and stable, although the typhoon knocked down a tree that fell on his shoulders. (The place is called ‘La Salle Hill’ because it was owned by the Brothers before 1975. The novitiate operated there for many years before the Vietnam government took the property away from Brothers). The fact that the statue was unharmed was considered as “a miracle” by local people, many of whom took photos and posted them on Facebook praising God: “Thanks to God for keeping people safe and at peace, while the heavy rain and strong wind swept away almost everything”.
Francis Manh, FSC
Binh Cang community
Thanh Tam community
Statue of St JBDLS