TC Tino: Mum joins search for loved ones

Nuku Primary School teacher Napolioni Kaitavu who was allegedly swept away by strong currents at Naimasimasi Village in Serua yesterday. Picture: SUPPLIED

ROSALIA Kaitavu left her home early yesterday along with other villagers of Naimasimasi, Serua, to search for her husband and eldest daughter.

Her husband Napolioni Kaitavu, a secondary school teacher and her eldest daughter Aliti Kaitavu were allegedly swept away by strong currents while trying to cross the flooded Wainikavou creek on Thursday.

When a team from this newspaper arrived at their house at Nuku Secondary School yesterday, Vereima Likuivalu, a teacher, was looking after the couple’s children.

She said Mrs Kaitavu had asked her to stay with her three children because she wanted to accompany a team who were trying to locate her loved ones.

Ms Likuivalu said Mr Kaitavu had gone to pick their two children who were attending Nuku Primary School when he was swept away.

She said they were surprised to see Mr Kaitavu’s son return on his own on Thursday evening.

“When we saw his son return with another man we knew something was wrong so we asked the man what had happened and he said that the two must have been swept away by strong currents,” she said.

According to Ms Likuivalu, Mrs Kaitavu had been distraught and on edge since she received the news.

“She couldn’t sleep well last night (Thursday) and I just hope for the best for them.”

Meanwhile, the police search and rescue team said they found it difficult to conduct a search on Thursday because of strong currents.

Police media officer Savaira Tabua said the matter was reported at the Navua Police Station by the head of school.

She said a quick search was conducted by villagers and teachers on Thursday.

“Members of the public are urged to remain alert and vigilant and take advisories from relevant authorities seriously in times of disaster,” she said.

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