Cyclone Ami leaves Vanua Levu devastated

  • 17th January 2003
  • 2003
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Cyclone Ami had passed Fiji on South-southeast direction with maximum average winds of 150 kilometres per hour and gusts of 200 kilometres per hour close to its centre. The cyclone left a trail of devastation including communication blackout in Vanua Levu and some islands in Lau.

Nine members of an extended family are dead, buried alive in a landslide at Namoli Settlement, Labasa and eight people are feared dead after being swept away by a storm surge at Korotari, outside Labasa, while seven others are still missing at sea.

At Druadrua Island, hurricane gale force winds have left two villages severely damaged and 100 people homeless. At Savusavu Secondary School, classrooms and teachers’ quarters were damaged while all homes at Savarekareka Settlement destroyed. At Vunikodi, at Undi Point, hurricane force winds destroyed 21 of the 22 houses, blew the school ad the church away.

The whole of Labasa Town was flooded with some areas under 9-feet of water. All single story houses in Town, Vunimoli and Wailevu were under water – most people having to spend the nights on roof.

Cane crops in Labasa and Seaqaqa have suffered extensive damage through severe flooding and have been flattened. Much of the food crop has been destroyed by the flood.

There is no water supply and roads in many areas remain closed. A number of business houses in Labasa Town were looted, barely hours after cyclone Ami had hammered Northern Division. The looters broke into two commercial banks and several shops.

FLP parliamentarian Lekh Ram Vayeshnoi is in Labasa touring the affected families and have organised $4000 worth of food rations to be given out as immediate relief to the devastated community.