21 Mar 2016

Fiji extends state of natural disaster by 30 days

8:41 pm on 21 March 2016

Fiji's state of natural disaster has been extended for another 30 days through until April 19th, to allow relief and rehabilitation work to continue where basic services and facilities remain limited.

A team of 25 engineers from the New Zealand Defence Force and the Republic of Fiji Military Forces have been deployed to Driti village to help clear trees and rebuild homes and schools.

Photo: New Zealand Defence Force

In a statement the government says the declaration applies only to the Red Zone - those areas severely affected by Tropical Cyclone Winston.

They include the northern Yasawas, Bua, Wainunu, Wailevu, Vaturova, Tunuloa, Savusavu, Rabi, Wainikeli Cakaudrove, Koro, Gau, Ovalau, Verata, Wainibuka, Nakorotububu, Saivou, Rakiraki, Tavua, Ba and the northern Lau group including Vanua Balavu.

The Fiji Times has quoted the natural disaster management permanent secretary Meleti Bainimarama saying the extension would allow the continuous deployment of state resources and personnel for relief operations.

He also says it will mean health authorities can allow for any possible disease outbreak, especially in severely affected areas, and to fully utilise the foreign aid and expertise that's available.