It's easy for reporters to tell about the fallen trees, power-lines, lack of clean water in the taps, etc. in Suva, but the stories from remote areas barely get told. People with really flimsy houses in the distant villages, with subsistence food gardens blown away, sugar cane in puddles of water as the floods recede, the kids who can't go to school.
Anyway the clean-up has started but the major infrastructure will be an on-going financial nightmare. I heard that a $5 million bridge has all gone on the Kings Road and recently 'repaired' roads at Seaqaqa in Vanua Levu have fallen away again! And it seems that the wind and water damage this time was very, very widespread so impacts upon the larger and smaller islands.
Our son emailed yesterday (using a generator as all the electricity was down) saying the family are all safe, so that's what really counts. I say; Shelter your family, and look out for your neighbour. That's the only motto needed in life. In the time of the clean-up it's an opportunity for neighbour to help neighbour, and that's what the 'real' Fiji is about. Cut out the talk-fests about charters and just get on with real action.
Debris from Cyclone Gene evident in Central Division
29 Jan 2008 04:58:03 (from Fiji Times)
Scenes of up-rooted trees and damaged power lines were evident in the capital and surrounding areas, as daylight broke. But there have been no reports of major damage to infrastructure in Suva and Nasinu. In Nausori, the Rewa River was higher than its normal levels this afternoon, blocking access to certain roads.
The car park in the basement of the Civic Towers building became water logged last night due to blocked drainage trapping about 6 vehicles. The water could not be pumped out as there was no electricity. In other parts of Suva, workers were busy clearing fallen trees. It was the same along the Queen Elizabeth Drive in Nasese but none of the three fallen trees blocked the main road.
The strong winds also uprooted trees at the Suva Grammar School in Flagstaff near Marist Brothers and near the Nasese Police Post. In Laucala Bay, signage and bill-boards outside the Vodafone Arena also succumbed to the elements... A government quarters also had a close call with a large tree missing the house by mere inches.
A similar situation at a home in Nasinu near Pilling Road when a tree fell on what used to be a shed for church services, narrowly missing the home itself. This is the Toga Road, the only means of access for three villages situated next to the Rewa River.
As the Rewa River swelled to its banks, flood waters spilled onto the road, blocking of all access and leaving about 250 people of Moana village stranded. Some resorted to using make-shift bilibilis...before proper outboards could be sourced.