Cyclone Gita could have inflicted far more damage if it had stayed on for another six hours.
And because it didn’t, father Nonufuna’i Alapati, 55, of Fausaga Safata is a grateful man.
Mr. Alapati said he suspected Gita was more than a Category 1 cyclone when the winds started howling on Friday night.
He said he feared for his family’s safety.
“Our house only got affected by Cyclone Gita when a tree fell over it,” he said.
“The water came into our house but we were lucky our house is far from the river which saw some family homes get flooded.”
Mr. Alapati said his priority was securing their home and he did everything possible to do that before nightfall.
Elsewhere, he said the cyclone’s destructive winds were unforgiving.
“Our village women’s committee house right there in front of our house was destroyed,” he said.
“Our outside kitchen was also affected and I think the same thing happened to other families here in our villages because the winds were so strong.”
Apart from minor damages to homes, Mr. Alapati said the biggest problem is the damage done to plantations.
“I have just got back from visiting our plantation,” he said. “The winds have flattened everything. It was sad to see.
“Most of the trees have fallen and it’s going to take a long time to recover.”
Mr. Alapati said they remain without water and electricity.
“A lot of the electric poles have fallen from the strong winds.”
Despite this, he is grateful they are alive and well.
“We still don’t have electricity here in our village and the running water is still not good.
“We are still working on cleaning and repairing things that were destroyed by the floods.”
Lastly, Mr. Alapati said Samoa should be grateful that it was a Category one cyclone.
“It could’ve been far worse.”