63 Mataso locals evacuated to Efate

from The Pacific Islands News Association
Published on 31 Mar 2015 View Original

The leaders of Mataso community, in partnership with the Government, have carried out a significant decision which saw at least 63 of the vulnerable people on Mataso Island, including old women, children and their mothers, and those living with disability evacuated to Port Vila for temporary refuge.

On Saturday evening, the Solomon Islands Patrol boat, Auki, berthed at Mala Base to pick up the group, described as ‘vulnerable people’ with their luggage.

Members of the Mataso community in Port Vila prepared food and greeted them on their arrival. It was an emotional welcome where everybody shed tears for the loss of their loved ones and for surviving “monster” cyclone Pam.

Most of the children evacuated, attend the school on the island, but their parents reside in Vila.

Daily Post witnessed mothers hugging their children and shedding tears, happy to see them alive.

Mataso, like all other islands making up the Shepherds group, was severely hit by the Category 5 cyclone.

Only two homes on the island were able to survive the cyclone, but the whole community sought refuge in caves.

Two people were killed in Mataso.