15 Dec 2009

UNICEF in Fiji says at least 2,000 may be displaced by cyclone

1:23 pm on 15 December 2009

The United Nations Children's Fund in Fiji says several thousand people may have been displaced by Cyclone Mick as its focus is now on distributing emergency supplies like clean water.

UNICEF's Pacific Deputy Representative Tim Sutton says early indications are that at least 2,000 people have been displaced by the category two storm.

He says the flooding will affect families living in informal settlements that are near to rivers and in low-lying areas.

Mr Sutton says UNICEF staff are assessing people's most urgent needs.

"From UNICEF's point of view what we are focussing on is that we know that we know there is a water shortage now and we know there is a shortage of clean water and what we want to do now is to make sure we are able to distribute portable water containers and water purification tablets to as many of the affected population as quickly as possible."

Mr Sutton says they also have medical supplies in stock in Suva and will be distributing these today.