NATION

UNFORGETTABLE WINSTON

  Tropical Cyclone Winston not only left behind a trail of destruction but a lifetime image that many of the victims will never forget. When the monster storm hit Balekinaga
01 Apr 2016 10:29
UNFORGETTABLE WINSTON
Bucalevu Primary School headgirl, Asilika Marama with her mum, Lusiata Wate at Bucalevu Primary School in Ra yesterday. Photo: Arieta Vakasukawaqa

 

Tropical Cyclone Winston not only left behind a trail of destruction but a lifetime image that many of the victims will never forget.

When the monster storm hit Balekinaga Village in Ra, Lusiata Wate grabbed her children and ran for cover beneath their ravaged corrugated iron house.

This is an image that still brings tears to the mother of three from Tunuloa in Cakaudrove.

With tears flowing freely, she said: “It’s been a month now since the cyclone hit but to me it feels like yesterday; I have never seen my children terrified, I held them tight in my arms and tears started flowing when I saw my children in fear.

“We didn’t expect the cyclone to be that bad but after we saw the roofs of our house blown off we then realised how bad it was; I gathered my children and ran underneath our house.

“I can still remember when we were at home with my children; everything was calm when strong winds hit our village and we felt out house shaking.”

With winds blowing at more that 300km per hour and nonstop rain pelting the floor of their damaged home Ms Wate and her shivering children endured the wrath of might Winston for a full four hours.

Mrs Wate said this was one cyclone experience she would never forget.

“The whole experience also taught me a valuable lesson; to take cyclone warnings seriously,” she said.

“We crossed a stream to get to the other village for safety when the winds calmed down; the water level was rising when we were crossing the stream and all we did was cling on to debris so that we can safely reach the other side.”

Her daughter, Asilika Marama, labelled her Winston experience as one of her worst. Asilika is also the headgirl of Bucalevu Primary School.

“All my school books were damage during the cyclone and our house was damaged. Now we have to stay in the kitchen until our house is fixed,” she said.

“It has really affected our school; I have to try and catch up with what I have missed out on and this is also the same story with my classmates.”

Edited by Naisa Koroi

Feedback:  arieta.vakasukawaqa@fijisun.com.fj

 

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