Man swept away, ends up on tree

Tomasi Ratulevu stands next to the frangipani tree where a three-metre wave dumped him during the height of Severe Tropical Cyclone Keni at Dagai Village on Kadavu. Picture: SIKELI QOUNADOVU

Tomasi Ratulevu stands next to the frangipani tree where a three-metre wave dumped him during the height of Severe Tropical Cyclone Keni at Dagai Village on Kadavu. Picture: SIKELI QOUNADOVU

TOMASI Ratulevu was on his way back home to pack some personal belongings when all of a sudden a huge wave as high as about three metres carried him for about 50 metres into the sea.

The father of two had left his wife and children at the school and while going home disaster struck.

He said by the time he regained consciousness, the wave had dumped him on the top of a frangipani tree.

“When I was carried by the wave, I thought I was going to die, I thought this was my time but God saved me,” said the 29-year-old farmer.

Since Severe Tropical Cyclone Keni destroyed his home, the Dagai villager has not been to his farm because of an injury to his right forearm.

“The wave took everything we had, these shorts that I have on is the same one I was wearing last week. I have not changed because we have lost everything.

“I built my home last year for my wife and children and now Severe Tropical Cyclone Keni has taken everything, so it will be a fresh start for me and I have to start all over again.

“I am happy and grateful with the help of fellow villagers who have been feeding and providing shelter to my family. As for me, I will wait for my injury to heal before I can go and have a look at my farm,” he said while sitting at the foundation of his once corrugated iron dwelling.