Last night’s gale destroyed the Frank family’s Vabukori home as well as blew their roof off, dropping it a few metres away on a nearby hill.
Wari Frank told this newsroom that the house, which was a few feet away from their family home, belonged to her son Kila, who shares it with his wife and three children.
Yesterday, between 8 and 9pm, Kila was spending time with his parents when he decided to check on his house after a particularly large gust, only to be met with the wreckage.
“Fortunately there were no casualties as his wife and their two daughters had gone to Baruni to celebrate New Year with her family,” Frank said.
“When the incident happened we were all awake; we were having a family chat, not knowing that the house was broken by the big wind.”
Frank said they started experiencing strong winds and rain this week, but last night’s was particularly brutal, coupled with the heavy downpour.
“It was very, very strong that’s why it blew off the roof and the side frames.”
She said they had experienced a similar catastrophe a couple of years back when their new home lost seven large pieces of corrugated roofing.
She is now appealing to their relatives and friends to assist in the rebuilding of her son’s house, which was built three years ago.
She further cautions residents to heed strong wind warnings and keep clear of risk areas like the sea.
Apart from the Frank's home, other properties around the area have only suffered minor damages so far.
Meantime, the National Weather Service yesterday warned that strong northwest surge of 25/34 knots, with stronger gusts reaching 48 knots, are expected to continue for the next 24 hours causing rough seas and high sea waves.
The NWS said this weather is linked to Ex-Tropical Cyclone Penny, which is currently over the Coral Sea.