Weather forces villagers to take shelter

VILLAGERS on Yacata Island in Cakaudrove had to move to evacuation centres after heavy rain and strong winds was experienced on the island yesterday.

Village headman Peni Qusa said he advised villagers to take shelter at the village hall if the path of the cyclone changed for the worse.

Mr Qusa said they felt heavy rain and strong winds from Monday night until yesterday morning.

“I have advised the whole village to prepare their food, water and other belongings and move over to the community hall whenever they are ready,” he said.

Mr Qusa said the Severe Tropical Cyclone Winston experience had taught them valuable lessons and was the reason they had to take precautionary actions during the day.

“We also advised parents to closely monitor their children,” he said.

“There are 220 people in the village.”

For Qila residents on the island of Taveuni, Nitesh Swami said they had not felt heavy rain or strong winds on the island.

“The weather looks good this side, but we are taking heed of the weather warnings and we are not going far from our homes as we are scared the wind direction might change and head our way,” he said.

Pacific Transport manager Prakash Sami said the weather looked good on their end yesterday.

“We have not felt any heavy rain or strong wind, but we are prepared for the cyclone,” he said.

“Buses are not in operation and we haven’t seen a lot of movement lately on the island.”

Roko Tui Cakaudrove Filimoni Naiqumu said Tukavesi did not experience strong winds or heavy rain.

But he said villagers were advised to move to the evacuation centre at Kama District School.