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Family homeless after landslide

Aqela Susu
Friday, January 06, 2017

A MOTHER and her daughter are counting their lucky stars after they jumped out of their three- bedroom corrugated iron and timber home seconds before it was taken down by a landslide at Naveiwakau settlement in Valelevu, Nasinu yesterday afternoon.

Manju Lata, 43, her daughter Maanvi Chand, 16, and their relative, Doreen Singh, were in their house when their neighbour, Ana Cagi, called out to them to leave as the house was slowly losing its grip on the ground.

Ms Lata was too distraught to talk when asked for an interview by this newspaper yesterday afternoon.

Maanvi described what happened as one of the worst experiences she had ever gone through.

She said after the incident, she did not know how she felt because she was hurt and was still trying to overcome her fear of what happened and of how lucky she was to have come out alive.

"My mother and cousin were watching TV in the living room when they saw the soil slowly moving down, they called out to me. I tried to open my bedroom door but it was locked and couldn't open," Maanvi said.

"A minute after, the whole house slid a bit and my double bed fell on me. My mind was running wild and I was scared.

"I was thinking to God what is happening and how will I get out.

"I was thinking about what can I do and how will I survive here. I tried to call my mum with my phone but it seemed like I was blacked out and didn't know what to do," she said.

She said she was panicking and crying all throughout while trying to get to safety.

"Luckily, my cousin opened the door from outside and I jumped out as the house went down into the creek.

"My father saved up so much money to build a house of our own and it's so hurtful to see it just go down in minutes.

"I feel like crying and at the same time I just can't describe the feeling that I'm going through right now," Maanvi said.

Ms Cagi said the two were lucky that she had seen what was happening earlier.

"I was on my way back from swimming at a pool behind their home when I saw the soil eroding with the house at the same time. I then called out, aunty, aunty," she said.

"I pushed the door to call them out, she came out with another girl first and said her daughter was still inside.

"When they were all outside then the house went right down to the creek. They were so lucky," she said.

The family is homeless and now sheltering at their neighbour's house.

Ms Lata's husband, Mahendra Chand, said he was thankful that all those who were in the house at that time survived the ordeal without suffering any injury.

"I want to rebuild my house again," he said.








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