Fiji Time: 2:30 AM on Tuesday 23 December

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Rescue for 100

Tevita Vuibau
Tuesday, December 18, 2012

MORE than 100 villagers fled Vio Island early yesterday as storm surges brought by Tropical Cyclone Evan caused flooding to their homes.

Quick action by the villagers and headman Semisi Mana saw them come across from the island just off the Lautoka coast as TC Evan began to make its presence felt in the west.

Three boats and police trucks were used to transport the villagers to safety from as early as 7am.

"We were listening to the updates on the radio and when the water started to come into the village. I called the DISMAC office," Mr Mana said.

"We were able to bring ourselves across from the island and the police were waiting here at the fisheries wharf."

Mr Mana explained that 100 villagers were still on the island.

"Most of the villagers who came across were women and children, there are about 100 men left in the village to watch over the houses," he said.

However, he remained hopeful the flooding in the village would subside when the tide receded.

"When we left the island the winds were starting to become strong and it was high tide, so the water was coming in to some parts of village.

"Hopefully, as the tides go out the flooding will stop."

Villager Lepani Volau said they were awake since 6am packing their belongings.

When The Fiji Times visited the villagers at the fisheries wharf yesterday, they were patiently waiting to be taken to evacuation centres in the Sugar City.

They had come across with the clothes on their back and precious few other possessions in their dash for safety but their spirits remained high despite this.

By yesterday afternoon the villagers were evacuated to Lautoka Methodist School.

Meanwhile 11 families from the flood-prone area of Naviyago were also evacuated to the Naviyago Community Hall yesterday.





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