Fiji Time: 12:32 PM on Saturday 1 November

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Fijians survive night of terror

Torika Tokalau
Saturday, December 15, 2012

AS Tropical Cyclone Evan battered Samoa with strong wind and rain on Thursday night (Fiji time), Fijians living there prayed for the morning to arrive.

When dawn finally broke and the wind weakened, what met their sight was the destruction left behind by the wrath of nature.

Luke Waqabuli, a Fijian living on Upolu Island, said 200-plus members of the Fijian community in Samoa had reported they were safe.

Mr Waqabuli said the chairman of the Fijian community, Jovilisi Suveinakama, had been in constant contact with his members to check on their situation.

"He kept calling us last night (Thursday) and repeating advisories on keeping safe and relaying to us information about Tropical Cyclone Evan," said Mr Waqabuli, a consultant at an engineering company in Samoa.

"Jovilisi also reassured us that all Fijians he has been in contact with are safe."

Mr Waqabuli, who lives at Vaivase, 10 minutes from the capital Apia with his wife Lucy and eight-month-old baby Luke Junior, said Tropical Cyclone Evan had caused devastation to that country.

He said it was a terrifying experience and they did not go to sleep until 3am yesterday.

"We did not know what would happen. All we could hear was the strong winds, the rain battering outside and trees landing on roofs of the houses," he said.

"It was pretty intense. The wind was pretty strong. A tree fell on top of our roof, and also on our neighbour's home. We had no electricity and no water supply since 10am on Thursday and all the telephone land lines are down."

Mr Waqabuli, who is originally from Nakorotubu in Ra, said he had stocked up on food after he finished work on Thursday and they had enough supply, including water, to last them a week.

"All the plantations have been destroyed everywhere we look. We are blessed to still have a roof over our heads and food and water supply from our water tank.

"I do not know about the other Fijians and everyone else."

He said they were glad they woke up to another morning all safe.

"Last night (Thursday) we had no idea we would survive until the morning. That was how intense it was. We are just thankful to God for allowing us to wake up another morning and live another day."

Another Fijian citizen in Samoa, Joeli Leqa, said he was thankful they lasted the night.

"We are OK. We survived the night but the country is in really bad shape. We pray it doesn't reach or do much damage to Fiji."





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