Fiji Time: 8:17 AM on Wednesday 7 October

Fiji Times Logo

/ Front page / News

The dead move

Repeka Nasiko
Monday, February 10, 2014

THE discovery of human bones on the beach — and the hair-raising feeling that spirits now dwell in their midst — has forced a village in the Yasawa Islands to begin the relocation of 100 graves already under threat from rising sea levels.

When this newspaper's team arrived at Navutua Village on Nacula Island this week, the grave site had already been disturbed with six of the eight graves usually totally submerged during high tides relocated to higher grounds.

The remaining two graves are that of brothers Ovini Caqusau and Aporosa Nasusu who were laid to rest in 1990 and 1968 respectively.

Seawater has washed away cement, leaving the tombs exposed and vulnerable. Their skeletal remains have turned a shade of orange as seawater seeps into the grave site.

Turaga ni Koro Petero Nadriva, Mr Nasusu's son, was at the site supervising the reopening of his father's grave. He said the relocation began a few weeks ago.

"We started burying human remains just after New Year's Day when we found that some bones and human skulls on the beach had been washed up by the waves," he said.

"Some of the bones were spread across the beach where our grave site is, so we had to find and collect the bones and bury them in a safer area."

Mr Nadriva said the new grave site was located about 100 metres from the beach.

"In one grave we have about six skeletons. In the other, we collected about four.

"We couldn't put all of the remains in individual graves because the skeletons were not intact."

Mr Nadriva said the villagers were shocked when they first discovered the human remains on the beach.

"We did not expect the tides to be this strong but it's our reality now," he said.

Turaga ni Vanua Ratu Peniasi Vu said the village needed help from the authorities.

"Other graves are still in danger," he said.

"We need a sea wall built to protect the graves."

Mr Vu said about two rows of the grave site had been destroyed.

"There is a need to protect the ones that have not been destroyed and we need that barrier urgently because a few other graves are still in danger."

He said the gravesite was founded in the late 1800s.

Fiji Times Front Page Thumbnail

Kaila Front Page ThumbnailFiji Times & Kaila Frontpage PDF Downloads

Use the free Acrobat Reader to view.

Code Inward TTs Outward TTs
CAD 0.61410.5951
JPY 57.033254.0332
GBP 0.30900.3010
EUR 0.41900.4070
NZD 0.72780.6948
AUD 0.66430.6393
USD 0.47080.4538



Exchange Rate updated on 6th October 2015

Today's Most Read Stories

  1. Fisherman has whale of a day
  2. The murders and tragedies of Vatuwaqa
  3. Sex offenders top list, taxpayers foot $15,660 per day
  4. Royal haunting or bang on the head? Welsh see ghosts in Surrey
  5. Fiji coach favourite to lead Sunwolves
  6. Cyclone shift
  7. Naholo under injury cloud
  8. New taxi permits order stays
  9. Clan land for projects
  10. Onus on the State

Top Stories this Week

  1. Rugby outcry Monday (05 Oct)
  2. Tired Wales march on after holding off feisty Fiji Friday (02 Oct)
  3. Fisherman has whale of a day Tuesday (06 Oct)
  4. RWC 2015 ball hunters Wednesday (30 Sep)
  5. 13 seek refuge in Fiji Wednesday (30 Sep)
  6. English tutors in demand Wednesday (30 Sep)
  7. Man faces further charges of rape, indecent assault Friday (02 Oct)
  8. Botia up for Wales clash Thursday (01 Oct)
  9. Family robbed, fear for lives Monday (05 Oct)
  10. Escapee on the run Thursday (01 Oct)