Cyclone Amos: One grateful country

By Diedre Fanene 26 April 2016, 12:00AM

Despite banana patches being ruined and some trees being uprooted, the people of Samoa are mighty grateful. They know they have been spared one more time as Cyclone Amos passed on Saturday night.

No lives were taken and apart from some roads destroyed by heavy flooding, the country remains relatively unscathed.

A mother of four from the village of Leauvaa, Foketi Matini, echoed how many Samoans felt on Sunday.

“I’m just thankful,” she said.

 “What would we have said if we were to wake up today and our families and loved ones are all gone?

“It was scary; I couldn’t sleep properly because my mind was with my children and thinking of where we would go if the storm took our home. I’m sure we wouldn’t have survived.”

But amidst the howling winds on Saturday night, there was a sign of relief.

 “When I heard the loud thunderstorms and lightning, I knew right then and there that God is still with us and that the cyclone will be gone by the morning and I was right,” she said.

“When we woke up this morning, I prepared my children for church, I just whispered a prayer to say thank you God.  

 “There were only banana trees beside our house that have fallen and that was it. Our home is still standing and everything else so today is the day of thanksgiving.”

A father of four from Faleula, Fatu Afele, agrees.

 “What can I say except thanking God for watching over us,” he said.

“What happened is a miracle. No matter what anyone says, I will just say that God has done a miracle in Samoa because He has chased away the cyclone from Samoa.”

On social media, newsfeeds have been filled with people expressing gratitude that Samoa has been spared.

Peone Fuimaono wrote: “A miracle is when the impossible happens and it happened to Samoa early this morning. Joining in Hemi’s favorite song now ‘God gave me a song; I will sing for the rest of my life; Jesus is the light, the Light of the world!’”

The post has received many likes.

Another prominent Samoan, Vaimasenu’u Zita Martel, expressed her delight with a post on Sunday.

“Today dawned with the sound of birds singing, and absolutely no wind,” she wrote. 

“I never cease to be amazed with the power of nature and how she lets us know that she does exist. 

“The shopping frenzy was evident everywhere yesterday as we all stocked up with food supplies, candles, buckets for water, plywood, sheeting iron, and whatever materials available to board up windows and lock-down our homes. Diesel and petrol generators were selling like crazy down at SMI Ltd and Bluebird Lumber and tarpaulins went like hot banana pancakes. 

“Then we came home and secured our homes. The sound of hammers banging rang throughout the neighbourhood yesterday all day and early night. 

“Our children played hide and seek in the rain as it was an exciting adventure while we worried and planned and worried some more. 

“The sound of hammers was soon replaced by the howling winds and then we wait and pray that we’ll be spared the full force of Amos and the winds started to die down around 2am. 

“My fu’afu’a forest that surrounds my home is intact with some broken branches but no uprooted trees as they’re close to each other. 

“The forest acts as a really good wind breaker for our open home and we’ve lived through several cyclones together. And like my forest as a protector, I would also like to Thank You all - my dear family and friends - for your prayers of love and protection for all of us in Samoa.”

The feeling was certainly shared by thousands of Samoans around the country, filling up church services on Sunday morning to say thank you.

By Diedre Fanene 26 April 2016, 12:00AM

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