TC Winston

Officers recount escape as Winston ripped through police post

An officer of the Dawasamu Community Post tells his tale of how they ran for their lives as severe TC Winston ripped the roof off the police post. Dawasamu Community Post was one of the many Police posts reported to be destroyed by severe Tropical Cyclone Winston when it hit on February 20th, 2016. Reminiscing […]

Staff Writers

March 26, 2016 9:00 am

An officer of the Dawasamu Community Post tells his tale of how they ran for their lives as severe TC Winston ripped the roof off the police post.

Dawasamu Community Post was one of the many Police posts reported to be destroyed by severe Tropical Cyclone Winston when it hit on February 20th, 2016.

Reminiscing the day the cyclone occurred, Special Constable Maikeli Seru remembers how he and another constable had to run almost 300 metres from the post to find shelter.

Strong winds began here in Dawasamu at around 3 pm on that Saturday afternoon and these strong winds were like they were never going to end.

I was on duty here at the time, and when we started to experience these strong winds, I had to warn my colleague to prepare to leave the post in search for safety.

We watched from inside the police post to see if there were any movement outside, across into the village, however, we could not see people moving but only tins and tree branches flying across.

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The Fiji Police Force flag can still be seen flying high in front of the severely damaged Dawasamu Community Post. Source: Fiji Police.

The constable, who is originally from Dawasamu village, grew up in the village and admits that TC Winston was the first Category Five cyclone they had ever experienced.

SC Seru said that when the police post roof was ripped off by strong winds, SC Seru and his colleague decided to make a run against TC Winston, for shelter.

We ran for about 300 metres from the police post, going downhill and then had to climb uphill to where the school was located.

The school was earmarked as an Evacuation Centre and this is when we decided to run towards the direction of the school.

Upon reaching the school, the duo were locked out as evacuees in the classroom had shut the door and kept on pushing the door to prevent the wind from forcing the door open.

When we reached the school the classroom door was closed and we had to push and at the same time yell to the people inside to open the door for us to enter the room which eventually we entered.

Special Constable Seru said that after six hours of strong winds and rain, he counted himself blessed tot have survived such an ordeal.

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Dawasamu Police Post is no longer operating from its known location and has relocated to a new site, due to severe damages caused by TC Winston. Source: Fiji Police.

Chief Operations Officer ACP Rusiate Tudravu, who recently visited Dawasamu Community Post and was informed by the police staff of the post that the Fiji Police will continue its service to the community.

Sir, the post may have been gone and is now no more, but the Fiji Police still stands tall to serve the public at large.

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