SIXTY years ago today, Suva was shaken to its core when the largest, most devastating tsunami recorded in the last 150 years hit, killing five people in its rage.
In the 30 plus tsunamis Fiji has experienced over the years, this one, the Suva Tsunami in 1953, was the worst having taken lives and flooding most of the low-lying parts of the city.
Entire villages located along the coast also fell prey to the tsunami's destruction, as several of them were completely wiped out.
According to a September 15, 1953 The Fiji Times and Herald publication, the day after the shocking natural disaster hit, people were reported missing and others reported dead.
"Innumerable stories are told of narrow escapes from yesterday's tidal waves which swept the cost of the south-eastern corner of Viti Levu as far west as Naitonitoni," the news article read.
"Those killed were an elderly Fijian man who was caught in a landslip at Nukusele, near Namuamua, Namosi, a Chinese man who was killed by falling masonry at the Samabula Sikh Temple, and a child drowned by a tidal wave at Nasese."
Reports of the tremendous waves covered numerous pages of the The Fiji Times and Herald in the days following its destruction — stories of loss and despair.
The paper also reported cars being caught and tossed by strong tidal waves, ships being wrecked and coastline villagers being scared for their lives and refusing to return to their settlements.
Number of people were also reported to have slept outside on the evening of September 14 with the fear of buildings collapsing on them being too much to bear.
The waves struck at around midday after being generated by a 6.75 magnitude earthquake off the southeast shore of Viti Levu.
Although the devastation was terrifying, the ruins could actually have been worse, as the tsunami hit at low tide.