Tuesday, March 16, 2010

TVNZ says New Zealand ready to help battered Fiji [Click to watch TVNZ video clip]

New Zealand is ready to help Fiji as soon as Cyclone Tomas passes and damage can be assessed.
Prime Minister John Key and Foreign Minister Murray McCully say help was on stand-by for the battered Pacific country.

"Obviously we are going to wait for the storm to pass through for a damage assessment to be undertaken, and then at that point we will go on and look at what they options are for New Zealand," Key says.
"But it would be my expectation that if there is as significant damage as we anticipate, that New Zealand would step up and help Fiji. We did that recently and would be there to help our friends in Fiji again."

McCully says "we've got everything on standby".
read more;
It is noble for Aotearoa to be ready to step in and help Fiji after assessing the cyclone damage, as echoed by both the Prime Minsiter John Key & Minister for Foreign Affairs & Trade, Hon Mr McCully.
Thank you New Zealand.
Luvei Viti Team.


  1. UNICEF Ready To Respond To Cyclones In Fiji And Solomon Islands

    Read More:
    Dennis McKinlay Contributor:
    Voxy News Monday, 15 March, 2010 - 15:32

    UN Children's Fund staff are ready to assist in the wake of two extreme cyclones which hit Fiji and the Solomon Islands simultaneously today.

    Cyclone Tomas, now over Fiji, has intensified to become a Category Four Hurricane - one short of the maximum. There are initial reports of at least one death, significant infrastructure damage, widespread disruptions to power supplies, drinking water and transportation, flooding and eight metre sea-swells in the north. The cyclone is moving south along the eastern side of Fiji.

    Fiji's Meteorological Service has forecast damaging gale force winds exceeding 200kmh and extending about 280km from the cyclone's centre. All schools have been closed and civil servants told to stay home.

    Meanwhile, Cyclone Ului has become a Category Five Hurricane moving west across the southern Solomon Islands with a number of very remote islands hit in the last 12-18 hours. Authorities have already received reports of damage in several villages in Makira/Ulawa Province while storm-surges last night resulted in some people being evacuated to safer areas.

    Severe flooding in low-lying coastal areas is expected today. Further damage assessments will become available in the next day or so as authorities try to re-establish communication links. Sustained winds of over 200kmh, with maximum gusts to 260kmh, are being recorded.

    UNICEF NZ Executive Director, Dennis McKinlay, says that UNICEF stands ready to assist where required.

    "UNICEF's network of offices in the Pacific and long history in emergency response means we are well placed to help with yet another disaster impacting our Pacific neighbours. Our hearts go out to the people affected."

    UNICEF staff in the Pacific are ready to assist both countries with pre-positioned emergency response supplies. These include medical equipment, drugs, water containers, water purifying tablets, soap, tarpaulins, and tents together with written information materials promoting key hand washing, breastfeeding and sanitation and hygiene behaviours.
    footnote: Vinaka 'UNICEF'.

  2. Aid arrives from New Zealand as noted by BBC News

    Australia and New Zealand have begun airlifting aid to the Pacific island nation of Fiji, battered by a powerful cyclone which sparked sea surges.

    The planes are taking relief supplies, including tarpaulins, and are also carrying out surveys of the damage.

    A state of emergency was declared after Cyclone Tomas struck on Monday and Tuesday, battering the north and east.

    The country's military leader described the damage as "overwhelming". So far only one death has been confirmed.

    However, the director of the country's National Disaster Management Office, Pajiliai Dobui, said there were unconfirmed reports of "a few" deaths, AFP reports.

    "Those who have experienced other cyclones say this is the longest and the strongest they have come across - and the most destructive," Mr Dobui said.

    The full extent of the damage is still unknown because communication lines with the hardest-hit remote areas were cut off for days.


    Australia's foreign ministry pledged $1m in aid and said the country would consider offering additional assistance after the damage had been assessed.

    Some of the houses have blown away. A lot of trees have been uprooted, some of the roads have been blocked off

    Julian Hennings on Koro island
    Cyclone Tomas, a category four storm with winds of up to 205kmh (130mph) at its centre, is weakening as it moves away.

    However, the sea surges have caused significant flooding and will probably take up to 36 hours to subside completely, according to Fiji's tropical cyclone centre.

    A nationwide curfew was lifted on Wednesday.

    The eastern Lau group of islands - which have a population of about 11,000 - bore the brunt of the storm. Officials say that half of the buildings there are believed to have been either destroyed or badly damaged.

    "Some of the houses have blown away. A lot of trees have been uprooted, some of the roads have been blocked off because the waves have picked up rocks and coral and have dumped it on the road," Julian Hennings, a spokesman for the Dere Bay Resort the northern island of Koro, told the Associated Press news agency.

    The country's second largest island, Vanua Levu, was also hard-hit.


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