NEWS

Monster Winston Killed 4 In Boitaci

Tui Boitaci Sakiusa Railala, 77, is a chief in grief. Monster Tropical Cyclone Winston killed his  youngest son, his elder sister, his brother-in-law and a nephew when it struck Boitaci
26 Feb 2016 11:13
Monster Winston Killed 4 In Boitaci
Boitaci Village chief Sakiusa Railala with his injuried wife Lusiane Sotia, who survived the fury of Cyclone Winston. She is now in Lomaloma Hospital. Photo: Litia Cava

Tui Boitaci Sakiusa Railala, 77, is a chief in grief.

Monster Tropical Cyclone Winston killed his  youngest son, his elder sister, his brother-in-law and a nephew when it struck Boitaci Village in Vanuabalavu, Lau, last Saturday.

Mr Railala yesterday could not control his tears as he described the ordeal his village went through.

According to the official death reports of TC Winston, five deaths were recorded on  Vanuabalavu. Four of them were from  Boitaci.

Dead are Gauna Bale, 82, and his wife, Salaseini Tavo, 85, Sakiusa Veiqaravi, 35, and 22-year-old Temolesi Lesi.

Mr Railala said his youngest son, Mr Veiqaravi and his cousin Mr Lesi died as heroes while trying to save their elderly aunty and uncle.

“My advice to my family during the fury attack of Tropical Cyclone Winston that night was not to care about our family belonging, but to make sure that everyone was together at all times.

“At about 8pm, I felt that my concrete house could not withstand the storm so we moved to the second house which is my elder sister Salaseini Tavo’s house,”he said.

Mr Railala said after an hour, he told his family and his sister and her husband to move to the next house since the house they were in was also shaking from the force of winds.

“While in the next house, I could hear the house crash so I ran back with my son and there I found my wife lying injured.”

His son’s body was discovered the next morning together with his aunt and uncle. They were buried on Sunday afternoon.

“My youngest son’s body, my sister and her husband and also my nephew’s body were all buried in the same house.

“I still cannot belive what happened and I am still in a state of shock.”

Mr Railala’s wife,74-year-old Lusiane Sotia is currently admitted at the Lomaloma Hospital.

Boitaci Village headman, Simeli Batibala said luckily the worst of the cyclone and tidal waves attack happened during the day.

Mr Batilala said a total of 35 households were destroyed by TC Winston.

“This is one of the most tragic and sad incidences that has ever happened on the island of Vanuabalavu especially for the village of Boitaci,”he said.

 

Feedback:  litia.cava@fijisun.com.fj

 

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