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Fiji cyclone death toll rises to 4 with one missing, seeks assistance from Australia
10:23 pm GMT+12, 20/12/2020, Fiji

The death toll from a powerful cyclone that battered the Pacific island nation of Fiji last week has risen to four with one missing, an official said Sunday.
 
While Cyclone Yasa on Thursday spared the capital city, Suva, and the major tourist hub of Nadi on Fiji’s largest island, Viti Levu, the full extend of damage was still being assessed.
 
Fiji’s National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) director Vasiti Soko told reporters that 7,731 people were still in 183 evacuation centers throughout the country.
 
Fijian Prime Minister is in talks with his Australian counterparts to get the ship, HMAS Adelaide, to assist in disaster relief efforts.
 
Voreqe Bainimarama is touring the Tropical Cyclone Yasa ravaged areas of Bua province and said the ship will greatly assist Fiji with its state of the art equipment.
 
The HMAS Canberra, one of Australia’s largest naval vessels, was positioned off Koro Islands for almost one month following the TC Winston in 2016.
 
Bainimarama said the RFMF personnel are in the North to assist in rehabilitation.
 
“Our troops will come and start clearing the Provincial Council Office in the Nabouwalu area so at least they can start going back to normal life and then they can start looking at clearing some of the villages. You can see just about all the villages in Bua took some direct impact from the Cyclone. Really sad, sad story.”
 
The Prime Minister remains confident Fiji will recover from this situation as it has in the past.
 
Meanwhile, tropical Cyclone Yasa relief supplies from the Australian Government have arrived.
 
The Royal Australian Air Force C-17 aircraft carrying these supplies arrived at Nadi International Airport Sunday.
 
The delivery included family tents, tarpaulins, kitchen supplies, hygiene kits, toolkits, and water purification systems.
 
Australian High Commissioner to Fiji John Feakes says his staff were working closely with NDMO personnel to ensure the immediate delivery of supplies to affected communities.
 
Feakes commended the Fijian Government for its preparedness and response in the setting up of evacuation centres and the quick deployment of support workers and supplies.
 
Feakes has given an assurance that Australia will continue to stand with the Government and people of Fiji, as they respond to the impacts of TC Yasa.
 
The C-17 aircraft, which is the largest aircraft operated by the Australian Defence Force was received by Deputy Australian High Commissioner Anna Dorney.
 
Airport officials were on-site to ensure COVID-19 protocols were strictly maintained.

SOURCE: AP/FBC NEWS


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