By PETER WARI
A lightning stgrike started a fire which burnt down a home at Ialibu in Southern Highlands on Friday.
The family lost properties worth thousands of kina and they described the lightning strike and fire as fierce and very shocking.
Ronnie Waka, who works at Lihir Newcrest Mining in New Ireland, had to fly back to his village to be with his family, who had moved into a makeshift home.
“I was away at work and all my family members were away busy with their daily chores when the lightening struck and burnt down the building,” Waka said. “As we were slowly recovering from the 7.5 magnitude earthquake, the sudden disaster has put us in an awkward position and we are completely lost.”
He believed the lighting hit the house via two trees in front of the house which had nails and wires.
“The lightening first hit one of the trees that supported the clothes line in which a six inch nail had been used to nail it to the other tree, all within the yard of the house.
“As the lightening hit one of the trees its current transferred to the other tree through the nails and wire that caused the fire.
“By the time the people came to stop the fire, everything was gone so fast that nothing could be saved.”
Waka said he was still in a state of shock. The family home was worth more than K20,000, excluding the clothes, beddings, cooking utensils, electrical appliances and his trade certificates which had all been lost.
He is appealing to the provincial disaster office and other organisations to help him and his family rebuild their lives.
By PETER WARI