Home-Overcoming adversity - The Vaiala Beach School story

Cyclones

Cyclone Ofa

‘’Get in the house! Get in the house!!” Those were the cries heard as Cyclone Ofa swept down on the Samoan Islands on February the 1st to the 4th 1990. Entire regions and landscapes were devastated by these 200 kph winds. Also electricity and telecommunications were all cut off or down. Water supply was cut off in most areas and villages. Some portions of road around Upolu, Savaii and Tutuila/Pago Pago were also washed away as if it was made entirely of paper. Two airstrips in Savaii were also heavily damaged. This meant that transportation by plane and/or boat was cut off.

Vaiala Beach School, which was only two flats, was completely destroyed except for the concrete stairs which are still there to this day. The school then shifted to Hunters which was located at Apia Park. From there, Lorraine shifted the school to Vailima where the school has been ever since.

Rudolf.

Cyclone Val

Cyclone Val was the second cyclone that hit Samoa in 18 months. It hit on December 4 1991. It was a windy night, the people of Samoa were devastated by the 290 kph winds that killed 9 people. The worst hit were the main islands of Savaii and Upolu.

Our school is on Upolu. In 1990 the Cyclone Ofa had smashed it down. It was re-built but 18 months later Cyclone Val shocked the principal Lorraine Williams by damaging the school at their new location. Lorraine then built on a mountain where is it is safe from all natural disasters.

BJ

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