Falevao residents relive horror of Evan

Afetualauina Maligi, of Falevao in front of what's left of her home. [Samoa Observer]

Talking about Cyclone Evan is a painful experience for Afetualauina Maligi, of Falevao.

Speaking to the Weekend Observer yesterday, Mrs. Maligi is grateful she is alive.

“The wind came from all directions,” she said. “I wasn’t sure which way to run. The radio had announced that Evan would hit us a five o’clock and it did, precisely at five.

“Looking outside, the wind seemed to circle around us. It struck our house with a tornado-like force. It was horrific. It’s something I’ll never forget.”

Cyclone Evan smashed Upolu last Thursday killing five people. At least nine people from five fishing boats are still missing. Over 6,000 people have been displaced. They are being looked after at different emergency centres set up all throughout Upolu.

At the remote village of Falevao tucked away on the east of Upolu, residents remembered the horror.

As darkness descended on the village, Mrs. Maligi said she saw “something different.”

Mrs. Maligi and her husband, Avealalo Maligi sought refuge in the Congregational Christian Church inside the village center.

“As we ran towards the village center for shelter, looking back it was horrible, the wind picked up our fale and spun it into the backyard,” she said. “The trees were the same.They were picked up were twirled into the air. It was scary.”

The remainder of the Maligi household was scattered towards the back.

Since the cyclone, they have had to pitch tents as shelter while they try and salvage what they could.

They are hoping to rebuild.

“This was no ordinary cyclone where we can tell which direction it will come from,” she said. “It came from all directions and it circled us.

“It’s hard when the winds are unpredictable because you don’t know how to prepare or counter the effects which is what happened.We just ran.”

Mr. and Mrs. Maligi are proud owners of a large taro plantation around their house. It was completely destroyed. Today, they are using it to feed families nearby so that it is not wasted.

“We know this is a hard time for people and it is the children we feel for and so when we harvest the taro and we give some to those who are in need.”

Mrs. Maligi is thankful that her three children were not with them during the cyclone.


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