Devastated by Cyclone Gita
Tropical Cyclone Gita devastated a number of Pacific island countries last week. In Samoa, it left many families at Lelata, Ma’agao and Vini devastated. What was going through your mind during the cyclone? And what would you do differently if another cyclone comes? Nefertiti Matatia asked in today’s Street Talk and this is what people said:
Rosalia Iona, 64, Falealili
Well I was not aware of the time the cyclone hit, I heard people talking about it. I was positive that there was no cyclone coming because God is alive, we are his people and we do not need to worry about any natural disaster.
People were packing up their goods and they left immediately when they heard about it. If God calls his people then we have to accept it, if we die in our homes or at the market, then it is because He has called us home to where He is.
I stayed put at the market here at Fugalei because I have faith in His will, the cyclone came and I was sleeping at our block with my daughter. People kept on saying to come over to the other side because it was safer, but we just stayed.
It was around 4am I walked to see how the others were doing in the market, but they were all crowded in one spot looking for refuge there. People need to take heart and believe that they are in safe hands. The water almost reached into the market, but I am thankful that God had His way in this and turned the cyclone away from Samoa.
I think that the cyclone came to wash off all the illnesses that were spreading and cleaning up drainages where there was so much dirt and rubbish. That is my belief. Nothing at my home in the rural area is affected we are safe.
Lesolo Asolua Fatu Fauoo, 67, Lauano Fagaloa
When the cyclone hit, it was around 7:30 to 8pm, it was just my wife and I in the car when we noticed the strong winds and it was raining heavily as well. So I went straight home and packed the torch, our gas bottle and our little oven to be able to cook our food, radio and clean water bottles.
I was aware of the cyclone coming because I remembered on Wednesday night that the public were warned on television about strong winds, not a cyclone, but it was on Friday night when I noticed the difference.
The minute when that happened I told my family to be prepared and to relocate to my mother’s house for safety because there would be no time for anyone to come out of the house when the cyclone struck. I was certain that the cyclone was coming.
The wind was really strong it was the same as the time when Cyclone Evan hit Samoa in 2012, but the cyclone was only in Samoa for a short while, it was not that long.
Although my house and plantation has been affected, at least my family is safe.
Tofi Eti, 38, Se’ese’e
I was on the road when the cyclone happened which is the reason I was not aware of the time when the cyclone hit Samoa. I was here at the market, but I was heading home to my family. There was not much that was damaged, it was only our kitchen that was affected, the iron roofing just flew everywhere, but that was it. But it was my neighbors who were affected far worse than us because their homes were ruined.
It was through the people here at the market is that I found out that there was a cyclone that was coming, I was not sure if it was a cyclone or strong wind that hit the country, but when things were damaged, that’s when I finally realized it was a cyclone.
Despite how heavy the tyres we place on top the roofs of our house, God knows best and He will do whatever He wants at the end of the day. Most of the families that I saw they were tying things around their house to protect it from the cyclone, but the floodwater still was able to enter their homes.
Sivanila Lolopo, 60, Vaoala
I heard that Tropical Cyclone Gita was approaching Samoa and we were advised to be prepared for the cyclone, so that was exactly what my family did preparing for the unexpected. After the cyclone, there was nothing major that was damaged, everything was well.
The only things that were ruined were the fallen trees from the strong winds and also our crops such as bananas. Our houses were safe. The reason people are not safe and are in trouble is because they never look ahead and be prepared for what is yet to come.
This is nothing new and nobody will ever be able to avoid natural disasters when they reach our shores, when it comes then we are left with no choice but to accept it. But I am thankful to God’s love, even though there were some damages that have been made but He still protects His people. I am grateful for the Government as well for visiting families that have been devastated by the cyclone.
Aulalo Mulitalo, 44, Lefaga
I knew that the cyclone was coming. It was my mother who woke me up because where I was sleeping was all wet, this happened early Saturday morning. I was at the Fugalei market together with my parents and sister. We slept there.
Also on Saturday, it was raining, but it was not as bad as Friday night. Majority of my crops are ruined and our house is all wet too because of the cyclone. We were at the market during the time when the cyclone happened and we went on Sunday to check the house and the condition it was in.
We stayed put in the market for refuge from the cyclone, but the rain was able to enter and our block was all wet. Praying to God is the only way to be safe and to take away the cyclone, strong winds and the rain.