NEWS

Winston Hammers Levuka Heritage

Landmark buildings that had stood over a century and witnessed a number of changes over the years in Levuka caved in last Saturday as Cyclone Winston battered our old capital.
24 Feb 2016 12:55
Winston Hammers Levuka Heritage
The old capital after monster Cyclone Winston. Photo: Courtesy of Mahesh Vithal

Landmark buildings that had stood over a century and witnessed a number of changes over the years in Levuka caved in last Saturday as Cyclone Winston battered our old capital.

Businessman and owner of Lomaiviti Studio in Levuka, Mahesh Vithal, said: “We are saddened we have now lost the buildings that made Levuka a National Heritage town and all we have now are memories of those building that have stood the test of time.

“It is sad seeing all this building collapse right before our eyes and witnessing how the waves forced its way in to town smashing, damaging and breaking down all our sea wall  leaving nothing left  but debris of what was once a piece of Levuka Town.”

The Morris Hedstrom Hardware, the Old Copra Shed, Lomaiviti Studio, Katudrau Trading and St Vincent De Paul were severely damaged.

Mr Vithal and his family sought shelter at their neighbour’s house and watched helplessly as their shop’s door was swung open by the strong winds.

In the midst of Cyclone Winston hammering the town, Mr Vithal said his wife saw two people lurking.

“My wife saw a dark figure of two men who were strolling in the middle of the night when everyone was locked indoors and she quickly informed us and to this we went to our shop and discovered $300 cash missing from the shop along with some fishing line and fishing rod,” he said.

“This is really scary because things like this don’t usually happen and people don’t get robbed in the middle of a natural disaster but now we do.”

Mr Vithal is hoping relief supplies and humanitarian aid will reach the island as soon as possible.

“We also seek help from the Town and Country Planning Office, National Heritage Office here in Suva, UNESCO to please come by and help rebuild our town,” he said.

 

Edited by Naisa Koroi

Feedback:  luisa.qiolevu@fijisun.com.fj

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