Fiji Time: 1:49 PM on Tuesday 23 December

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Gone with Evan

Felix Chaudhary
Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A building that was previously used as a refuge during natural disasters was levelled to the ground by Tropical Cyclone Evan.

The Tui Vitogo's traditional residence, once revered as the most prominent building in Vitogo Village was completely destroyed about 3pm on Tuesday.

Vitogo villager Ioane Nasikosiko said in the past, residents would have sought refuge in the historic building because it had withstood decades of cyclones and floods.

"This time, however, everyone decided to go to Vitogo District School instead. Thank God they did because had anyone been in the building when it collapsed, there could have been some serious injuries or even casualties," the 49-year-old said.

Mr Nasikosiko said many homes in Vitogo had suffered some form of structural loss with either loss of roofs and in some cases complete structural failure.

"There were many warnings in the media but many thought that nothing was coming because earlier in the day (Monday) the sun was shining and the sky was clear.

"While only a handful took heed of the advice, many just went about their normal business," he said.