4 Aug 2006

Fiji's Rotuma Island runs out of fuel

10:06 am on 4 August 2006

A critical fuel shortage on the Fiji's most northern island of Rotuma is reported to have closed schools, shut down water and electricity supplies and stopped all transport.

The Fiji Times reports that the senator for Rotuma, Dr John Fatiaki, has appealed to the government to send emergency relief supplies before the situation worsens.

Dr Fatiaki says the situation has reached crisis point and there is nothing the islanders can do.

He says fuel from commercial outlets dried up two weeks ago and that from the Public Works Depot five days ago.

Dr Fatiaki says fuel is delivered to Rotuma monthly but recent supplies have been less than what is required.

Water supplies are being rationed to two hours a day to conserve the little fuel remaining while the Rotuma Hospital has only a little fuel for its standby generator.

Dr Fatiaki says the people of Rotuma will have to endure these conditions for another 12 days until the next ship arrives.