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Fiji Time: 6:56 AM on Thursday 17 April

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TC Evan's trail of destruction

Repeka Nasiko
Thursday, December 20, 2012

THE world renowned blue lagoon of the Yasawa Group did little to mask the destruction left behind by Tropical Cyclone Evan.

Homes were destroyed, several buildings were without roofs and many more residential dwellings suffered damage of sorts.

From the air, The Fiji Times team undertaking an aerial survey, could see the skeletal frames of wooden homes — the walls and roofs stripped off and scattered far and wide.

Several areas where homes once stood were turned into empty open spaces, dotted by clothing and household items.

Battered fishing boats lay washed up along coastlines.

White sandy beaches were littered with fallen trees and debris carried in by strong wind and waves that raged through some of the villages.

According to the Nadi weather office, category four Evan passed through the group on Monday morning.

Winds with average speeds of 185 kilometres per hour with momentary gusts of up to 270km/hr tore through and demolished sheds, and kitchens.

At Yasawa-i-Rara Village, the force of the winds and waves ripped apart and destroyed a jetty.

Many of the villagers went through a 15-hour long wait before they could set foot outside.

Villages like Tavewa, Nacula, Nabukeru, Teci, Bukama and Yasawa-i-Rara were the worst affected by Cyclone Evan.

Churches, community halls and schools could be seen without roofs while smaller bure were crushed to the ground.

Trees used by villages to build their homes were uprooted and covered the hilltops of the main islands on Naviti, Matacawalevu, Nacula and Yasawa.

Mats, clothes and mattresses littered village grounds as villagers tried to use the sun to dry out their belongings.

Many were also trying to salvage washed up wood and corrugated roofing iron to rebuild their homes.

It was evident from the hive of activity on the ground that people were picking up the pieces, working hard and quickly to get their life back to normalcy.