Homes, crops on Fiji’s Ono-i-Lau left devastated

By: RNZI

 

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Meanwhile nearly half the residents of Fiji’s Ono-i-Lau island are in evacuation centres because their homes were so badly damaged by Cyclone Gita.

The category four cyclone passed over the small island, halfway between Tonga and Fiji, close to midnight on Tuesday.

The chief of Matokana village on Ono-i-Lau, Noa Sukanasau, said more than 200 locals were staying in centres across the island.

“The eye of the cyclone, Gita, passed really close to Ono island and we experienced very high wind, damaging wind.

He said the cyclone began bringing “terrible damage” to all four villages about 11 o’clock.

“Total of 12 houses were blown completely out, right on the ground and about 24 I think, or 28, were badly damaged.

“Part of the roofs, corrugated iron roofing were blown off.

He said gardens were damaged by the storm and the villagers would likely have to watch their plantations rot away.

“From today all the villages are busy cleaning. Cleaning the villages.”

“We’ve received news from the government that the next boat will be sailing sometime this week, it will be brining in kumara crops, tapioca, banana crops for us to replant everything again.

“We are fortunate that we have the government looking at our plight right away.

Mr Sukanasau said Cyclone Gita had been one of the most severe storms in memory, but residents on the island are resilient and he is confident they will recover.

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