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Our Students Run For Safety

Our Students Run For Safety
Students of the University of the South Pacific in Port Vila, Vanuatu, prepare for relocation as Tropical Cyclone Pam hits the island. Photo: Vilimaina Vasukicakau
March 14
10:46 2015

Twenty-one Fijian law students fled to higher ground for safety as Cyclone Pam hit Port Vila, Vanuatu, last night.

And as they hunkered down in an elevated building of the University of the South Pacific’s Emalus Campus in Port Vila, the roof started leaking.

Soon the room was flooded and they were forced to flee to the campus conference room. Shortly after that there was a power blackout.

Third-year student Vilimaina Vasukicakau, who filed this report said: “We are definitely scared because we haven’t felt anything this intense before. We are in lockdown mode.

“We are homesick.”

At 8pm, as they ran to the conference room, Ms Vasukicakau said the winds were very powerful and trees were falling.

“The boys’ dormitory is flooded and we are not allowed to go outside now because of the strong winds. It’s dark outside and it’s raining heavily.”

She said the university had provided them with relief supplies including food items like rice, tuna, noodles, onions, sugar, oil and spices.

The other students are: Adi Litia Vono, Ana Kaitani, Leilani Naigulevu, Anasimeci Wasasala, Emele Wakowako, Panapasa, Jeremaia Mudunaivalu, Timoci, Kinisimere Inise, Epeli Sau, Leah Duru, Azariah Kinivuwai, Ala Bilivalu, Maria Cobona, Kesaia Baleiwai, Samuela Lesukikadavu, Uraia Segati, Lauvili Koroitamudu, Lusiana Caucau and Lai.

Fiji’s honorary consul, Charles Valentine, said from Port Vila at 8.45pm, Cyclone Pam was battering the capital.

“Debris are flying everywhere. We are experiencing very strong winds but less rain,” Mr Valentine said.

“Some suburbs have lost power and water. Low lying areas are flooded. The CBD is flooded too.

“Crops and trees have been uprooted.”



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