NATION

Wiped Out

Cyclone Winston left a trail of destruction across the nation causing severe damages to properties and loss of lives. But on the small village of Naigani in Batiki, what used
24 Feb 2016 10:52
Wiped Out
Naiqani villager of Batiki Island, Tevita Seqabobo sits in the ruins of 18 houses which was complete wipe-out by massive title waves and strong winds on Saturday.

Cyclone Winston left a trail of destruction across the nation causing severe damages to properties and loss of lives.

But on the small village of Naigani in Batiki, what used to comprise 18 houses is now left with nothing but the walls of their church.

A villager, Tevita Saqabobo, said he was terrified after he experienced the most horrendous disaster of his life last Saturday.

“We were so scared! In my 52 years I have seen two tidal waves. One was only about a metre that came to the land but I have never seen anything so horrific such as this,” Mr Saqabobo said.

The villagers experienced strong winds around 1pm last Saturday and the whole village sheltered at the church for refuge.

What added to the disaster was a five to six-metre tidal wave which completely wiped out the entire village except the church walls.

“The villagers ran up the mountain to save their lives as we thought it was a tsunami and we thought the higher we go the safer we will be,” Mr Saqabobo said.

All 18 houses in the village were damaged from its foundations leaving families homeless and nowhere to go but to shelter in Manuku, the neighboring village.

The villagers are running out of food supplies as their only source of food was their cassava and breadfruit plantation which was destroyed leaving the villagers with a canteen’s leftover food which is just a bit of flour, noodles and the mercy of the next village to supply food.

The villagers are planning to relocate to higher grounds so they can be safe again.

The only school on the island, Manuku District School has a roll of 71 Primary School students will not be able to resume in a week’s time as students are still stranded.Other villagers that were affected were the Mua and Yavu villages.

Goundar Shipping will be transporting food supplies from today to Gau, Nairai, Batiki and Wakaya Islands.

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