NEWS

Past Experience Help Residents Move Quickly, Away From Flood Waters

Past flood experience has taught them to be decisive about moving to safety.
10 Jan 2022 10:56
Past Experience Help Residents Move Quickly, Away From Flood Waters
Women and children of Natakamo settlement after evacuating at the Kaleli Hall in Vatunibale on January 10,2022. Photo: Laisa Lui

Her experience from Tropical Cyclone Ana made her move to safety quickly as heavy rainfall and high tide began to flood the settlement of Natokamo outside Labasa.

Asenaca Vakaganu said heavy rainfall on Sunday night kept her awake. She was prepared for the worst.

The mother of one said she stayed up packing the essential items they would need at the evacuation centre and waited for daybreak to move.

“With the continuous heavy rainfall and strong winds, flooding was expected to greet us the next morning,”Ms Vakaganu said.

“Last year, before we could act, the water had entered our homes and the only safe ground we could move to was at the RFMF Sukanaivalu compound,” she said.

Ms Vakaganu said that their experience has taught them to quicken their decision making as it was still early morning when they moved to Kaleli Community Hall in Vatunibale for safety.

She said their village headman had gone to the store to buy groceries for their food ration and will stay at the centre until the water recedes.

About fifty residents from Natokamo Settlement are currently at the evacuation centre.

Commissioner Northern Uraia Rainima said all the evacuation centres are open in the Northern Division.

He said there are three evacuation centres open in the North – two in Dreketi, that is at Maramarua District School, Assemblies of God Church in Savadrua and the Kaleli Community Hall in Vatunibale, Labasa.

He advised that people should move to safety when the need arises.



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