NEWS

Landslide Sweeps Dreketi Village

A landslide wreaked havoc on the village of Dreketi on Qamea Island as 20 buildings were badly damaged including houses being upended, the school destroyed and the health centre pushed to
19 Dec 2016 11:00
Landslide Sweeps Dreketi Village
The school left in ruins after the landslide yesterday in Dreketi Village, Qamea Island. Photo: Alumita Wakoloilagi

A landslide wreaked havoc on the village of Dreketi on Qamea Island as 20 buildings were badly damaged including houses being upended, the school destroyed and the health centre pushed to the sea.

“Life will never be the same again,” said Lusia Wakoloilagi of Dreketi Village.

Ms Wakoloilagi’s home was displaced in the landslide at about 6.30am yesterday.

She was at work during the incident, but was contacted by her sister-in-law telling her the news.

Ms Wakoloilagi said: “My house is upside down at the moment due to the landslide which has altered the village setup.”

The Qamea Island Resort and Spa assistant manager said her family would be residing at the resort at the moment.

“I might have to move to Taveuni because right now we have nowhere to go, but as of now we are at the resort.”

And while heavy rain continues, people have started to move to nearby communities as they fear it might strike again.

Speaking from Dreketi, Mikaele Tawake said it was one of the most terrifying ordeals.

“This occurred when the sun was up around 6.30 to 7am this morning (yesterday). Some houses were turned upside down, the school is completely destroyed and the Health centre was pushed to the sea,” Mr Tawake said.

“We are scared and people have started to move to nearby communities and villages as we fear it might strike again.”

Mr Tawake said people have moved as precautionary measures in the fear it might happen again as the heavy rain persists.

“After the landslide we saw that water was springing from the ground and if this rain continues, this could be repeated,” he said.

Dreketi Village on Qamea Island in the Northern Division was the most affected there during the recent Tropical Depression 04F (TD04F). The school, which sits on a hill, collapsed and the health centre that sits at the foot of the hill now sits at the sea.

It is understood that three houses were burnt in the process of the displacement and the Dreketi community Hall was destroyed and pushed to a different location.

Police spokesperson Ana Naisoro said: “We received a report that 20 houses from Dreketi Village, Qamea, Taveuni including Dreketi Primary School and Health Centre has been damaged due to land sliding, whereby villagers are waiting along the seashore for assistance.”

Meanwhile, a man is injured after a landslide in Togo Village on Qamea Island, which also destroyed two homes. In nearby Naiviivi Village, 10 people have gone to the Naiviivi Primary School for refuge.

Edited by Rusiate Mataika

Feedback:  jyotip@fijisun.com.fj


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