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Rebuilding shattered homes

Enia and her family have a mammoth task ahead of them - but with their community's support, better days lie ahead. Here is her story, in her words.

On Friday at 7pm the wind started to blow. By 9pm it became very, very strong. Then the house started to fall apart around us and we fled to the evacuation centre, a safer place.

I knew my house wasn't strong enough. It just had corrugated iron walls and a thatched roof.

I left the house with all that I could carry and my four children. Everything else I left behind.

All through the night the wind became stronger and we were not able to sleep. A tree fell on the roof of the evacuation centre and my children were very frightened.

When I came back the next day I found bits of my house scattered everywhere. I felt sad, everything was ruined. On Sunday I started to clean up, we rebuilt the kitchen, and now we have some shelter but we are sleeping with the neighbours together with three other families.

We plan to rebuild. Our community is strong and we have formed a working group, we are helping to rebuild each other's houses. We have already rebuilt five houses. I get strength from my community.

We have enough water, but food will be a problem, we are eating the fruit that fell on the ground, it will last another two weeks. Our garden has been destroyed so we will have to buy food, Luckily my husband has a job, so we will see what we can do.

We are managing. The kids are not at school and I have no idea when it will re-open. There are still people living in the school, it was used as an evacuation centre.

Red Cross has begun to distribute relief items to households in Eton Village in Efate.

Photo: Finnish Red Cross/Nina Svahn