10 Houses Destroyed, 26 Partly Damaged On Islands

10 Houses Destroyed, 26 Partly Damaged On Islands

Ten houses were destroyed and 26 were party damaged on Ono-i-Lau and Vatoa in Lau during Cyclone Gita.

Rootcrops and vegetable plantations were extensively damaged also.

Speaking from Matokana Village on Ono-i-Lau yesterday, Josefa Nadavo, who gave a brief report, said their immediate need was relief food supplies.

He said the winds were powerful. He was speaking on behalf of the other village headmen on the island.

“The headmen of villages in Ono-i-Lau are meeting here today at Matokana to talk about the damage caused by the cyclone,” he said.

At Matokana Village he said the cyclone hit the village from 6am to 9pm and was moving very slowly. The same happened in other villages.

At Matokana, one house was destroyed, four were partly damaged, 10 toilets and 11 kitchens were extensively damaged.

At Nukuni Village, he said four houses were destroyed, and 11 were partly damaged.

At Lovoni  Village, three houses were destroyed and eight were partly damaged.

At Doi Village, one house was destroyed and two were partly destroyed.

On Vatoa one house was partly damaged.

A Government team will be leaving today or tomorrow to survey the damage on Ono-i-Lau and Vatoa. The Fiji National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) director , Anare Leweniqila, confirmed this yesterday.

He said a team from the Ministry of Agriculture would assess the damage to the plantations.

Mr Leweniqila said they would be taking food rations for the affected people.

He said their food security was at risk and whatever they had on the ground now would last for two weeks.

“There have been damages to vegetation and root crops on Ono-i-Lau and Vatoa, which are the two Southern most islands in Lau. But in other islands, initial communications received indicate that there has been little or no damage to crops,” he said.

As of 4pm yesterday, 288 evacuees were currently situated in five evacuation centres, in Southern Lau. These figures, he said, were expected to drop as clearing and cleaning of debris continued in the affected areas.

Fiji Red Cross Society’s Esaroma Ledua said they were working closely with the NDMO.

He said they believed their main focus should be on shelter and water. “We have prepared accordingly and have enough non food items (NFIs) to meet the needs of the population of Vatoa and Ono-i-Lau of 800 people or between 160 to 200 families.

However, he said, water would be their major issue and in this regard they had emailed New Zealand Red Cross to request two portable desalination plants that could be sent to the island to assist in the production of water.


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