490 families take shelter

A TOTAL of 490 families have taken shelter at 10 evacuation centres in the North.

Commissioner Northern Jovesa Vocea said nine of these command centres were opened in Macuata while one was opened up in Vunivesi, Savusavu, Cakaudrove.

Mr Vocea said the families who were evacuated yesterday in Labasa as a result of the flood had prepared themselves for the evacuation centre having packed food, clothing, warm clothes and beddings.

In the list of their evacuation goods, some men also packed basins and bowls for grog sessions.

Most of these families were evacuated at 3am as floodwaters intruded the residential area of Naodamu.

And about 6am, another six families were evacuated from Vulovi, outside the town area.

The affected families were taken to the Guru Nanak Khalsa School where they have remained.

Mr Vocea thanked the families for providing for their own food supply.

“It’s good to see and it’s very encouraging that families came prepared with cooking utensils and food and it is a sign that our people know how to respond to disasters like this,” he said.

Naodamu resident Wati Kaikaivalu said most affected families were prepared and had started packing their things for evacuation.

“At 3am when the police and fire officers arrived, we all had our bags ready and the children were all dressed so the officers just accompanied us into the trucks,” she said.

“It was very encouraging seeing parents prepare their families for the evacuation centres and most of us prepared ourselves after experiencing heavy rain throughout the night.

“The evacuation process was also easy because families were prepared to move.”

Vulovi evacuee, Laisa Vunitiko, said they had also prepared themselves with food and warm clothes.

“At about 6am this morning (yesterday), our area was flooded and we started preparing ourselves because police had arrived to take us to the evacuation centre,” she said.

“It’s good to see the attitude of people changing.”