A man’s frantic effort to salvage his belongings

By Joyetter Feagaimaali’i-Luamanu ,

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UNFORGIVING GITA: The cyclone not only brought flooding, it devastated farms and caused landslides throughout the country.

UNFORGIVING GITA: The cyclone not only brought flooding, it devastated farms and caused landslides throughout the country. (Photo: Misiona Simo)

At 3am yesterday, Luanne Mariner, was a busy body.

He was trying to salvage his belongings threatened to be washed away by the rising floodwaters. 

The 29-year-old from Lelata was awoken by strong winds and felt water above his knees, including no electricity. 

“I jumped inside my car and drove up to Hans Keil to park my car and when I walked down to my house to get clothes, everything was wet,” he said.

“My television, refrigerator, pots and pans, clothes, wires and beddings are all ruined and it would take a lot of time and a lot of money to repair them or purchase new ones,” Mr. Mariner said. 

He shared with the Samoa Observer that they’ve lived there for a very long time because it’s a family land and they also witnessed the effect of Cyclone Evan in 2012.

“It’s a family house, six people live here but for now it’s only me because the rest are in Savaii.

“Living in Lelata has its advantage because we have access to town and other urban centers.” 

When we visited his home yesterday, floodwaters started to decrease. 

“What you see this morning (yesterday) is nothing compared to what I saw last night (yesterday) because my house is vulnerable to any flood, especially when the river flows behind our property. 

“When I woke up, floodwaters were up to my waist and once it receded, it left behind large deposits of mud and rubbish inside my home.

“The floodwaters also covered our Samoan house, with only its roof visible, now you can see the floor, but it’s covered with mud.”

Mr. Mariner says there could have been more information delivered regarding the cyclone, instead of only heavy rain warnings. 

He is asking for any assistance at all in the aftermath of Tropical Cyclone Gita. 

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