Family ‘caught by surprise’

MOHAMMED Yasin said his 89-year-old grandmother Jamira Bibi had lived through numerous storms.

But, in her words, nothing could compare with the strength, unpredictability and ferocity of Severe Tropical Cyclone Winston.

At the height of the 300 plus km/h winds, Ms Bibi did not protest when Mr Yasin and other family members wrapped her in a blanket and fought through the winds and rain to carry her to safety after the roof and walls of their home came crashing down.

“We have lived in our home since birth and our home has withstood a lot of cyclones, so I thought we would be able to go through TC Winston without any problems,” the 46-year-old labourer said.

“When I told my grandmother that a cyclone was coming, she said ‘don’t worry, we’ll be okay’.

“But what happened last Saturday night is something that none of us will ever forget.

“The radio station said the cyclone would start to affect us at midnight or 1 o’ clock in the morning but the winds hit us at 7pm.

“My home is tied to the foundation with three steel cables and this cyclone snapped the cables like they were made of cotton.

“We were really caught by surprise and when the house began to fall down around us, my cousins came from across the road and we wrapped our grandmother up and took her to their home.”

Mr Yasin said while they were grateful that water supply had not been disrupted, their immediate needs were education supplies and food.

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