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The Fijian government will spend the next 30 collecting information and assessing the damage caused by severe Tropical Cyclone Winston.
National Disaster Management Minister Inia Seruiratu says, this is the immediate step taken during the thirty days ‘state of natural disaster’ declared by government.
Once the government gets a clear picture of the damage sustained – its next step will be to put together a medium-to-long-term recovery and rehabilitation plan.
“Basic needs – I mean shelter, water, food and then we will look at accessibility and of course their livelihood as well that is the first essential task. Two we are looking at the restoration of essential services – the lifelines – again electricity, water, ports, jetties, airfields, roads, communication, health and education and three is the economic recovery and livelihood”.
Seruiratu today mobilised staff and assets that will focus on immediate recovery and restoration of essential services.
Meanwhile, tropical Cyclone Winston has no doubt left behind scars that will be hard to heal.
There is little doubt about the ferocity of this Cyclone which claimed many lives and left hundreds homeless.
Winston has been described as one of the deadliest storms since Cyclone Meli in 1979 which claimed 53 lives.
National Disaster Management Office director Akapusi Tuifagalele says, reports from the four regions are still coming in and the figures are bound to change.
He said the Western Division evacuation centers hold the highest number of evacuees.
“The evacuation centers as I have mentioned there are 122 in the central division, 110 in the Western division, nine in the Eastern and 33 in the North, with a total of 274. In terms of evacuees, in the central division there are 4880, western 6,483, 514 for the Eastern division and 2035 for the Northern division.”
All government departments are working around the clock to ensure people who have been affected are assisted in every way possible.
SOURCE: FBC NEWS/PACNEWS
Pacific Islands News Association
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