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Naqia villagers happy to have survived Winston

February 24, 2016 11:39 pm

Tropical Cyclone Winston has been described as a Monster and worse than Hurricane Bebe of 1972.

Fifty-six year old Paula Maraivalu of Naqia village says they lost all communication by 2pm Saturday afternoon and by 3pm the winds had picked up becoming dangerously strong.

By this time Maraivalu says they were already hearing corrugated iron being ripped off many roofs and people started running for shelter.

When roofs started flying, Maraivalu advised the rest of the village to take shelter under the floors of their houses as it was now impossible to stay safely inside the house.

‘’It started raining heavily while we were still under the floors. But when we looked around all we could see were roofs and tins flying around, trees had fallen, we could hear the strong winds. When all this was happening, we had lost hope and was not even sure if we were going to see each other the next day. But when daylight came, we looked around and all we can say now is that we will have to start again. The foundations that had been established by our forefathers have been destroyed, vegetation has been affected and some of us don’t have clothes. The only clothes they have is the ones they’ve been wearing since the cyclone attacked’’.

He and his family stayed under the house for four hours and he says it was a long nerve-wrecking experience.

Maraivalu says they have never seen a cyclone that has caused so much damage and although they have lost everything, they are thankful to have their lives.