March 31, 2023

By Kate Cornwell …

After that awful day Friday 20th November, when tornadoes hit our island and devastated many homes from Catalkoy to Kayalar,  little did I know that it had destroyed much of the Lapta International cemetery.

A friend phoned me the following Friday to say that she had gone up to look at her villa,  to see if there were any problems due to that Friday.  She found my husband’s plaque that had been on the cross at the head of his grave, near someone’s villa pool!  Shocked she decided to have a quick check of the graveyard to find the place destroyed.

I went to see for myself the following day, early morning and just walked around with my mouth open and with tears in my ears – dear god what a mess.  The gates into the cemetery had been blown off and were lying on the floor, graves damaged extensively, the shelter area where funerals are conducted, is completely destroyed, and several trees decimated. The place looked as if had been in a warzone!

The Foreign Residents in the TRNC (TFR) wrote to their members the following :

Dear members of TFR!

Our Head of the Cemetery Sub-Committee, Tommy Rognmo, has this information for you:

“Lapta International Cemetery

On Friday last week our island was devastated in many areas by extreme weather. Many public areas were affected and many residents suffered severe damage to their homes.

Here in Lapta the International Cemetery was hit by a tornado, the sheltered area where funerals are conducted was completely destroyed, several established trees were decimated, the gates left hanging from their hinges and a large portion of the fence destroyed, but worst of all there was damage to many graves.

Lapta Municipality workers spent time on Saturday removing a lot of debris from the cemetery. Members of the TFR Cemetery Sub-Committee spent time on Monday with the aid of a ground plan and identified all the graves that are in need of repair.

There is still a lot of work to be done to restore the cemetery. TFR Cemetery Sub-Committee has decided to build a new pergola for the cemetery at a cost of 30,000 TL.

If you are a relative or friend of someone buried in the cemetery, please go and check or alternatively contact Tommy Rognmo on 0533 847 6908 or Sandy Oram  on 0542 872 4291.

If anybody can help in any way it will be appreciated by all who have family and friends buried there.”

If anyone is interested in helping in any way, to try and restore this cemetery to some form of what was a beautiful, peaceful place, then PLEASE contact Tommy and/or Sandy.

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