TALES of survival, heroism and resilience emerged yesterday from communities and people who suffered the wrath unleashed by one of the biggest storms to hit Fiji.
People living in the Western Division bore the brunt of Tropical Cyclone Evan's more than a 110 kilometre an hour wind for at least 12 hours. By the time the category four storm left our waters yesterday, quite a number of people found themselves without homes or a roof over their head.
But the affected did not dwell on their losses. People woke up early to clean up and repair the mess left behind by Evan.
Many were eager to tell their stories but they were just as grateful that no lives were lost.
Most of the country was without electricity and water in the hours before and after Evan trekked through the Fiji Group as destructive wind caused damage to essential infrastructure.
More than 8400 people are seeking shelter at 147 evacuation centres around the country.
In response to the chaos, government declared a state of natural disaster in the Western and Northern divisions with Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama travelling to the west yesterday to see for himself the extent of damage caused by Evan and the rehabilitation work being carried out.
Communication to the Yasawa Group, that lay closest to the eye of the storm, was still unsuccessful yesterday.
Divisional planning officer west Luke Moroivalu said reports had only been received from three villages, Talobo, Yaqeta and Kese.
He said while there were no reports of casualties, reports indicated that 40 homes were damaged.