3 Apr 2018

Call for state of natural disaster after Fiji cyclone

6:41 am on 3 April 2018

Fiji's opposition National Federation Party has called on the government to declare a state of natural disaster after Cyclone Josie.

Cyclone Josie leaving Fiji waters

Cyclone Josie leaving Fiji waters Photo: Fiji Met Service

The category 1 storm brought torrential rain and flooded large parts of the western division, causing the death of four people.

One person is still missing after being washed away by flood waters.

A ship, MV Spirit of Altruism, hit a reef amid engine problems and is stuck just past Levuka.

The more than 130 passengers are expected to be transferred to other vessels being sent.

The cyclone has been moving away from the main islands, now affecting mainly the Lau group with gale force winds.

By mid-afternoon, Josie was about 200km south south-west of Kadavu carrying winds with an average speed of up 65km/h and momentary gusts of up to 90km/h.

Cyclone Josie is moving south east at 7km/h.

The NFP said a disaster declaration would enable those affected by the devastating floods and freak winds caused by Tropical Cyclone Josie to be provided immediate assistance by the state.

It also said money from the COP 23 Presidency Trust Fund should be diverted towards immediate relief work.

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