20 Dec 2012

Fiji inmates cleaning up cyclone-hit Lautoka

7:38 pm on 20 December 2012

Fiji's prison inmates are helping soldiers help clean up Lautoka, the western division town that suffered most from the onslaught of Tropical Cyclone Evan earlier this week.

Timoci Tuiqali, who is from the Yasawa island of Nacula but was in Lautoka with relatives as the category four storm passed by, says they told him theyhave never experienced a storm of such intensity.

Mr Tuiqali says his aunt's house lost part of its roof and the town itself looks like a war zone but it is touching to see inmates helping to restore order.

"Prisoners here we tend to use them well. They dig graves, they do farming, it's a proper system but I've never seen them used in this manner, to be brought out in a natural disaster to help clear and to help rehabilitate Lautoka."

Timoci Tuiqali says cyclone damage to parts of the Yasawa and Mamanuca Islands is severe, including Yasawa-i-Rara, which he says has been decimated.