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Fiji Time: 9:31 AM on Thursday 24 April

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400 seek refuge

Maciu Malo
Friday, December 21, 2012

ABOUT 400 people who were victims of earlier floods this year were once again forced to leave their homes at the height of Tropical Cyclone Evan.

Seeking refuge at St Andrews Primary School in Nadi, 89 families from Nawejikuma, Korociri, Nawaka and nearby settlements vacated their homes because of the intensity of wind unleashed by Tropical Cyclone Evan earlier this week.

According to spokesman Joseph Balekotoyawa, roofs were blown off homes and families were living in fear for their safety.

"Nearly all of us here were affected by the last two floods," said Mr Balekotoyawa.

"Most houses were destroyed by the cyclone and we have no other choice but to come here to the school.

"Evacuees have been told to bring whatever food was left in their homes and to share it with other evacuees while we wait for the government's assistance.

"We are just recovering from the flood and again we have been hit by this cyclone."

Mr Balekotoyawa said the early warning made through the media was helpful.

"We didn't want to take risks and most families started moving before the cyclone hit Nadi.

"We thank the government and the media for alerting us before the disaster struck."

Mr Balekotoyawa said there would not be much to celebrate this Christmas and New Year.

"Definitely most of us will not be celebrating but instead we will be rebuilding our lives.

"It will take time for us to fully recover from this loss and we are pleading with the government to assist us," he added.