NEWS

Christchurch Shootings: Timothy Ratubalavu Never Expected This In New Zealand

“After the attacks, you could feel a sense of fear spread through the whole community. There wasn’t a single car on the road, nor could we see anyone walking on the street.
16 Mar 2019 10:05
Christchurch Shootings: Timothy Ratubalavu Never Expected This In New Zealand
Fijian citizen Timothy Ratubalavu in Christchurch, New Zealand on March 15, 2019.

A Fijian citizen living in close to the scene of two deadly mosque shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand, has described a climate of fear and shock in the aftermath of the incident.

Timothy Ratubalavu, who moved to New Zealand nine years ago, lives in Riccarton, which is approximately 3.5 kilometres from Masjid Al Noor, one of the two mosques attacked yesterday.

Mr Ratubalavu described a neighbourhood that became “lifeless” and “quiet” as Police put the city on lockdown after the attacks.

“This is normally a very lively neighbourhood, but everyone has become very nervous after what happened,” he said.

“After the attacks, you could feel a sense of fear spread through the whole community. There wasn’t a single car on the road, nor could we see anyone walking on the street.

“The police have told us to stay inside until it’s safe. We are shocked because we never thought we’d see this happen in New Zealand, of all places in the world.”

New Zealand Police said 49 people died and many were left injured in the ‘terrorist attacks’.

New Zealand has raised its national security level to ‘high’ as a result.

Mr Ratubalavu claims the panic and fear that ensued the shootings was akin to the February earthquakes that rocked Christchurch in 2011, killing 185 people.

Another Fijian citizen, who works in the Christchurch City, said the events that unfolded after the attacks “felt like scenes straight out of a movie.”

“Absolute fear; in fact, the word fear is an understatement,” she said, preferring to stay anonymous.

“During the police lockdown, we were all hiding in our offices because the shootings happened just two to three blocks away from us.

“The entire time we had to stay down because our building has large glass windows. We had to duck walk if we wanted to go to the bathroom.”

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback: sheldon.chanel@fijisun.com.fj

Fijisun E-edition
Tanoa Waterfront Lautoka Fiji
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
Fiji Sun Instagram
Fiji Plus
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
error: