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Fiji Time: 6:59 AM on Monday 21 April

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Couple cheats death as coconut tree crushes home

Friday, February 01, 2008

A COUPLE in Lakena, Nausori, was left homeless after Cyclone Gene shook the little squatter settlement outside Nausori Town.

The couple escaped death when strong winds tore off the top of a coconut tree and sent it crashing onto their home.

Ganga Prasad, 52, and his wife Shiu Kumar, 49, were in the house at 6pm on Monday when the roof caved in on them.

Mr Prasad suffered a gash to his chest and his wife was knocked unconscious. The tree damaged a tank water as well.

The couple said they were shocked and did not know what to do until neighbours ran to help.

Mr Prasad, a diabetic who earns a living by collecting empty cans, said he had no money to repair his home.

He said he spent the past 23 years struggling to make ends meet.

"I've never been so scared before in my life, this shed is all I have," he said in Hindi. "All I need is a room with a roof for my wife."