Fiji Time: 11:50 PM on Friday 19 December

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Lift the sunken hearts

Felix Chaudhary
Monday, December 24, 2012

LAISANI Bisi kept asking her father Nacanieli Natubu why they could not remain at their home when he rushed his family in the early hours of last Monday morning to Vitogo District School.

Mr Natubu, a security guard with City Security Services assigned for duty at The Fiji Times Lautoka office, said he knew from conversations with reporters that Tropical Cyclone Evan was a serious storm with devastating wind and he was worried about the safety of his family.

"I got my family together early on Monday morning and threw whatever we could together and moved immediately to the school because it was the designated evacuation centre," said the 39-year-old Vitogo villager.

"I heard the reporters speaking about how big this cyclone was and I knew that my home would not be able to withstand the force of the wind if Evan was going to hit us."

While Mr Natubu's older children helped in the evacuation to Vitogo District School without a fuss, Laisani, a Class Three student at the school, was not too keen about the move. This changed when she witnessed her small home being swept up into the air and thrashed to the ground.

"My heart sank when I saw her face. It's not easy to see everything you have and worked hard for being completely destroyed right in front of you," said Mr Natubu.

Mr Natubu was among hundreds of low-income earners who lost homes or had parts of their residences destroyed when TC Evan tore through the country in a 12-hour rampage, tearing up plantations, blowing down homes and impacting thousands of lives.

Vitogo Village, situated on the outskirts of Lautoka, was one of the worst hit in Lautoka. The historically and traditionally significant village suffered roof losses to many buildings.