Fiji power back by Christmas | Pacific Beat

Fiji power back by Christmas

Fiji power back by Christmas

Updated 20 December 2012, 12:47 AEDT

Electricity supplies should be up and running in all major areas damaged by tropical cyclone Evan in Fiji and Samoa by next week.

Evacuation Centers in Fiji are currently hosting 13,976 people with another 4,858 people in Evacuation Centers in Samoa.

Ministry of Police in Samoa has confirmed that the number of casualties has risen to five with 12 people still missing.

Presenter: Geraldine Coutts

Speaker: Peter Muller, Regional Disaster Response Adviser for the Pacific at the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

Keywords:Cyclone Evan, Fiji military, emergency aid, clean up, relief operations


MULLER: Well there was no particular meeting this morning for the national agencies, but from the reports that have been circulated this morning and the discussions yesterday, it is becoming a bit clearer what the situation is. I think the northern division is coming back to normal. In the west there are still issues with water and power supply. But authorities have started to move trucked water around, the Red Cross and other agencies are providing emergency relief supplies to people, particularly in evacuation centres. And also particularly tarpaulins and that kind of shelter materials given the damages to houses, which seems to be substantive, particularly in the west around Lautoka. And that will become clearer what the exact numbers are as initial damage assessments are on the way.
COUTTS: Now there are nearly 14-thousand people in evacuation centres. We've also seen reports that some of the people are starting to return home. Is that accurate?
MULLER: Yes that would be expected. Some of those people are in evacuation centres because of flooding, particularly in the central division, and waters are receding from those areas people will be going home, yeah.
COUTTS: And are the military in those areas clearing out the mud and restoring the homes, is the military doing that?
MULLER: Yeah that's correct, yeah. There's a massive clean-up campaign going on and there's a lot of government agencies, including military but also Red Cross that are assisting in that.
COUTTS: How long will it take to get everything cleaned up, and the houses that have lost roofs back on again?
MULLER: There's no timeframe given for that. I understand that power is being restored around the country, what I've understood that they hope that around Christmas power will be restored in almost all major areas. But of course shelter and housing, that will take a bit more time.
COUTTS: What about food, because we understand that the crops in the most devastated areas hit by Cyclone Evan have also been devastated, how are they managing with the food and how will they manage now until the crops come back?
MULLER: Well the Department of Agriculture is also undertaking agricultural assessment to see what the damages are and where and in what crops. In the meantime relief agencies, like the Red Cross, like local NGOs and Rotary, are also distributing relief bags, including food.
COUTTS: Now illness, are there any signs of that because of perhaps dirty water? Any signs of diarrhoea emerging yet?
MULLER: There's been no casualties because of Cyclone Evan.

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