Cyclone Evan: Fiji declares state of disaster

Strong waves caused by Cyclone Evan wash a beach in Queen Elizabeth Drive, in Suva. Photo from Reuters
Strong waves caused by Cyclone Evan wash a beach in Queen Elizabeth Drive, in Suva. Photo from Reuters
A state of natural disaster has been declared for 15 days in Fiji as the Pacific nation begins the clean-up in the wake of Tropical Cyclone Evan.

National Disaster Management Office director Manasa Tagicakibau said the declaration would allow authorities to speed up repair work in the north and west, which began today, FijiLive reported.

Special Administrator for Labasa Vijay Chand said the weather in the north of the country had calmed and people were trying to get back to normal.

"People in the town started cleaning their homes today and the situation is calm. The Labasa market will be open tomorrow and we will also carry out further cleaning tomorrow," Mr Chand told the website.

"The roads in the town are open. There were some broken branches on the roads but they have been cleared. The enclosure of the Subrail Park has sustained damage due to the strong winds during the tropical cyclone.

Some of the shops were open today and we expect more shops to start normal businesses from tomorrow."

Government officials will travel from Suva tomorrow to see the damage left in Cyclone Evan's path in the north of the country.

Fiji Times reported 8416 people were in 147 evacuation centres around Fiji by this afternoon.

Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully today announced New Zealand would contribute $600,000 to Samoa for relief and recovery efforts.

Five additional New Zealand Red Cross workers to travel to Samoa to support local efforts and further requests for assistance would also be considered, said Mr McCully.

New Zealand would also make $50,000 immediately available to Fiji and $170,000 to the Fiji Red Cross which will help to replenish supplies for those in immediate need, he said.

Tarpaulins, water containers, generators and chainsaw packs were also on the way to Fiji on commercial flights.

Fiji was pounded yesterday by 270km/h winds, which uprooted trees and homes, ripped roofs off buildings and caused widespread power and water outages.

There were no reports of fatalities this morning.

Several charities have launched Tropical Cyclone Evan relief funds to assist affected communities in Samoa and Fiji.

- The New Zealand Red Cross is deploying a team to Samoa to assist the Samoan Red Cross. You can donate to their Pacific Disaster Response Fund here (http://www.redcross.org.nz/donate).

- The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) is on the ground in Samoa, working with the Samoan Disaster Management Office and providing food, water, blankets and clothing to those in need. To contribute to ADRA's Samoa Cyclone Evan Fund, phone ADRA on 0800 4 999 111 or donate online here (http://adra.org.nz/products-page/donate/samoa-cyclone-evan/).

- Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand has launched an Appeal for Pacific Cyclone Relief, and is committing an initial NZ$15,000 towards emergency relief in Samoa. Caritas Samoa sheltering more than 1000 people in its own basement hall and in three other centres in partnership with the Red Cross. Click here (http://www.caritas.org.nz/newsroom/media-releases/caritas-mobilises-paci...) to see how to donate.

 

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