Gracemere woman awaits call from dad after Fiji cyclone
FOR Gracemere's Asha Govind the aftermath of Cyclone Winston has really hit home in the last few days as she waits for a phone call from her dad.
Ahsa's hometown Ba, 62km from Nadi, was one of the town's hardest hit by the category five storm that tore through the South Pacific on Saturday night.
Asha, 53, said she was still waiting to hear from her 90-year-old father who still lives in Ba.
"I spoke with my dad on Saturday morning before the cyclone hit and that's the last time I've spoken to him," she said.
"I've tried ringing since the cyclone hit but all of the power lines are down and it will take a while for the power to be reconnected. I have a sister in Suva who I've been keeping in connection with and she hasn't been able to get onto my dad either but I'm sure he'll be okay.
"I made sure he had enough food to last him a few days as the roads are flooded and Ba is pretty close to the river so it could be a while until the road conditions get better. It's just very frustrating waiting to hear from him."
It was confirmed yesterday that the death toll has risen to 20 as authorities continue to assess the damage done by Cyclone Winston, the most powerful cyclone to have hit Fiji so far with wind gusts over 300kmph.
The mother-of-three said it was horrible to think of the lives that had been taken as a result of the natural disaster.
"It's very, very sad knowing people have lost their lives," she said.
"I've been talking to some friends who now live in Australia whose family's homes have been completely ruined and my old high school has been really badly destroyed. It's really hard to look at all the photos online that show all of the damage.
"The last time we were there was May last year but I'll be planning a trip there this year to see my dad and my sister. All we can do here in Australia is just pray for them, aid them in recovery and hope the death toll doesn't rise."