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Family survives big morning landslide

Vishaal Kumar
Wednesday, November 15, 2017

FOR Malingi Rokosuka and her family surviving two landslides within two years at Veisari along the Queens Rd in Lami has made them aware of the threat they face whenever there is heavy rain in the area.

Early yesterday morning, her family and others living at Veisari were caught by surprise when a major landslide happened metres away from her home.

Hours after the landslide, she was still thanking God that no one was harmed when a team from this newspaper spoke to her.

"I woke up around 3am and saw lights of vehicles outside my house. After this, I then called my daughter-in-law who lives on the other side. She then told me about the landslide," Ms Rokosuka said.

"Knowing this, we came out of the house with torches and saw what had happened. It was a huge landslide. It was still raining then." Ms Rokosuka said her grandson heard a loud sound about 2.30am.

"It must have happened between 2.30am and 3am. He told me it was a loud sound, but he couldn't make out what had actually happened," she said.

"Last year, I myself heard a loud noise when the landslide happened. That time, the Fiji Electricity Authority (FEA) post fell. This time we are lucky no post fell down."

Ms Rokosuka said since the first landslide, the family had been living in fear knowing there was a possibility of future landslides within the vicinity.

"We used to live further inside, but we moved down here because my mother was sick. Whenever it rains we are aware and cautious. We stay awake throughout the night flashing torches to check if something happened."

But despite two near-death experiences, Ms Rokosuka is determined not to leave the place she has called home for the past 30 years.

"We are still going to stay rather than move somewhere else. This kind of situations affects us a lot. Children can't go to school and especially the transportation side is also important. The first bus usually comes at 6am, but today it came around 11am."

She said after her relatives and friends heard about the landslide, she received several calls from them asking about her family's safety.

Ms Rokosuka said she was thankful to God for keeping her family and others safe from the landslide.

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