17 Mar 2010

Fiji's Labasa community expects significant damage from cyclone

11:02 pm on 17 March 2010

The Labasa Chamber of Commerce says Cyclone Tomas will affect the economy of the cyclone-hit region.

The Chamber's president Ashok Karan says the town of Labasa had been bracing itself for Cyclone Tomas, but was fortunate to escape largely unscathed when it shifted its path.

Mr Karan says the town suffered fallen trees on powerlines, but no structural damage, and business has now returned to normal.

But he says there's been significant damage in the east of Vanua Levu and outer islands

"Luckily it didn't go through Labasa where the sugar industry is actually concentrated but the other things, the root crops and the coconut industry has actually suffered substantial damage also."

Ashok Karan says people on the outskirts of Labasa depend on the cashcrops for a living so it will have an impact on them.