Cyclone Yasa: Fiji locals left with nothing after watching homes 'blown away'

Fijian locals who live in the hardest-hit areas of Vanua Levu are scrambling as they await government assistance.

Cyclone Yasa wreaked havoc in Fiji on Thursday night, hitting wind speeds up to 350km/h and killing four people.

Selevasio Barua and his family have lost everything.

He lives in the village of Nakama on Vanua Levu, Fiji's second-largest island, and says he is searching for cassava to eat in the wreckage.

But he is thankful to be alive after the category 5 cyclone tore his house apart.

He says he ran with his wife and two kids as the roof was ripped off.

"My house was blown away," Barua told Newshub on Sunday.

"The rain, the water and the wind is very strong."

In Nakama village there are 16 houses, 10 are now "blown away" - leaving just six behind.

"Ten houses were blown away... that's why we're lucky. Nobody dead, nobody injured."

Barua and his family fled to his uncle's house in Lautoka, on the mainland island of Fiji.

The family of four - Barua, his wife, son, 12, and daughter, eight - are all sharing one bedroom at the house. 

Barua is a security guard; he lost his former job at a security services company due to an approaching COVID-19 lockdown.

He has only $30 (NZD$20) to feed his family since being paid on Friday last week.

Barua isn't alone - thousands of Fijians were forced into evacuation centres after losing their homes due to strong winds and flooding.

Three men and a three-month-old baby have died, according to ABC News.