3 Apr 2018

Aid distribution underway in Fiji post cyclone

6:00 pm on 3 April 2018

The clean up and distribution of aid is underway in Fiji following Cyclone Josie, as schools in worst affected areas remain closed.

Tropical Cyclone Josie causes major flooding in Fiji's Ba

Tropical Cyclone Josie causes major flooding in Fiji's Ba Photo: Fiji Village

Four people died and one person is still missing after the cyclone brought severe weather to Fiji as a Category 1 storm over the weekend.

The western half of the main island Viti Levu was worst hit by widespread flooding.

The Fiji Red Cross has been busy giving out aid like dignity kits, hygiene packs, jerry cans, and solar lights to those worst affected

People are still taking shelter in evacuation centres.

Nadi houses the most evacuees, with 471 people making use of eight evacuation centres in the town.

The National Disaster Office said it was working hard to restore power and water.

Most roads are now clear and back in use, but some roads still have debris to be cleared or damage that needs repairing.

The Fiji government has distributed emergency food and is hoping for fine weather in the coming days to assist in the clear up, although a heavy rain alert remains in force.

The Fiji Met office said this afternoon ex Tropical Cyclone Josie was moving southeast away from Fiji.

Fiji's NFP calls for disaster declaration

The Fiji National Federation Party leader Biman Prasad said the Western Division needed to be declared a disaster zone.

Professor Prasad said initial assessments by his team showed the level of flood damage was worse than that of previous floods.

Major flooding in Ba, Fiji.

Major flooding in Ba, Fiji. Photo: Fiji Village

He said the damage was massive and the government should consider rehabilitation packages for people who are now worse off.

"To have a very good co-ordinated efficient and effective relief effort, the government needs to declare that area as a disaster area so that proper assessments and relief efforts and proper rehabilitation efforts can be put in place."

The deputy opposition leader estimated millions of dollars in damage to homes, crops, businesses and other infrastructure in the worst affected areas of Lautoka, Nadi, Rakiraki and Ba.

Constant threat

Fiji's prime minister Frank Bainimarama said the cyclone was another reminder of the constant threat of extreme weather events that were becoming more frequent and severe due to climate change.

Launching a climate change film in Suva today he appealed to people to stay out of floodwaters.

He said Fiji was trying to adapt to "a frightening new era" and he urged people to support Fiji's global effort to tackle the root causes of climate change through its presidency of COP 23.

Richard Divendra (left) a resident of Yalalevu briefs the Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama at Yalalevu, Ba.

Richard Divendra (left) a resident of Yalalevu briefs the Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama at Yalalevu, Ba. Photo: Fijian Government