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WEATHER: Fijian Student In Cuba Tells Of Hurricane Irma Horror

WEATHER: Fijian Student In Cuba Tells  Of Hurricane Irma Horror
Ratu Epi Vuicuvu.
September 16
12:58 2017

Third-year medical student Ratu Epi Vuicuvu described how he was awoken around 2am on Saturday morning when Hurricane Irma made landfall in the Caribbean island of Cuba.

“At first I was not really worried because I was not informed much about the Hurricane and I have never come across one in my life,” Epi said.

“It was around 2 to 3am in the morning when we woke up to the banging of the windows and the walls of our dormitory. There was water around our beds. At that moment I started to worry.”

Ratu Epi said staying miles away from home made him feel more scared; however he tried to stay strong and comfort four fellow Fijian friends he was with.

“It was raining heavily and the strong winds blew off the bathroom doors and rain water was flowing into the rooms. It was scary to hear the banging of the windows because I was next to the window.”

As the winds gained momentum they moved downstairs to the more secured first floor where they stayed until morning.

“We had electricity but there was no water. We did manage to buy food, snacks and water before the hurricane hit us and some staff members checked in on us the next morning.”

Ratu Epi expressed his gratitude to the university staff and workers who stayed with the foreign students to cook their food and help out around the dorms.

“We were using a generator but it ran out of fuel so all the foreign students decided to collect money to buy fuel and we are using that daily from 2pm to 4pm and 8pm to 12 midnight.”

The next morning he described what he said were crowds of people fighting to get inside the few shops that had opened for business.

“I came to the shop the next day and everyone was fighting to get inside the shop first because food was less and there were long lines of people.

“It was still raining heavily the next day but we just had to walk to the park to use Wi-Fi to inform our families that we were safe. I had to contact my mother as she would have been worried about me and panicking.

“I must say that the Cuban government is doing their very best in keeping us safe.

“There are more than 20 medical universities around Cuba with foreign students.

“So they have been providing food and the generators are working. So for me I am really grateful.

“Although there was a lot of destruction caused by Hurricane Irma, the Cuban government continues to support and ensure the safety of all foreign students.”

Another Fijian student, Romeo Naiorosui, said none of the Fijian students were injured and they would be resuming classes on September 18.

“We have received tonnes of support, words of encouragement and prayers from friends and family through Facebook. Currently we are all well and are in contact with other Fijian students in the other province,” he said.

Edited by Mohammed Ali

Feedback:  fonua.talei@fijisun.com.fj

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