STC Harold: ‘We thought there was a war’

Villagers of Taunovo in Vatulele stand in front of what's left of a house destroyed by TC Harold. Picture: SUPPLIED/MALAKAI KANIHEWE

Keitou nanuma ga sa yaco dua na i valu (We thought there was a war).”

This was all Taunovo Village headman Paula Katamaiwai could say to describe the events that unfolded when TC Harold wreaked havoc across their village on Vatulele Island on Wednesday morning.

“It was almost the same like TC Winston, a lot of houses were destroyed,” he said.

“We thought there was a war because debris and tins were scattered across the village.

“There are fallen trees and homes destroyed.

“There was storm surge in the morning.”

The village is made up of at least 100 houses — 16 of which were destroyed and about 80 partly damaged.

The 16 families are billeted with families whose homes were spared by the cyclone.

Mr Katamaiwai is pleading with authorities, especially the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO), to quickly visit the village and see firsthand the devastation caused by TC Harold.

Meanwhile, neighbouring villages of Ekubu and Lomanikaya also reported damage to homes and crops.

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