OCHA Situation Report No. 1
Fiji - Cyclone Ami
14 January 2003
This situation report is based on information provided by the Fiji National Disaster Management Office (NDMO), through the office of the OCHA Regional Disaster Response Adviser for the Pacific.
Event and Impact
1. Around 6 a.m. local time on 14 January 2003 (6 p.m. on 13 Jan., GMT), Cyclone Ami passed over the eastern part of Fiji, affecting Vanua Levu, the second largest island in Fiji, and a number of surrounding small islands. The cyclone came from the north, hit the area with the winds gusting up to 185 km/h and went through to the south towards Tonga.
2. Vanua Levu suffered from the strong wind and flooding caused by high waves. Labasa, the main city of the island, is under water and all communications to and from the area have been completely wiped out due to the damage of the telecom station. In Druadrua island, a few kilometers from Lasaba, two villages comprising approx. 100 population, houses and a church were damaged. In Savusavu, damage on school buildings was reported.
3. A number of surrounding small islands also suffered severe damage. On the islands of Koro, Ovalau, Gau, Nayau, Vanuavatu, Kabara and Moala whose populations are approx. 2,600 in total, tidal waves caused damage to housing, plantation, live stock and school buildings. Damage in the other two big islands in this area has not been reported due to communication problems.
4. The National Emergency Operations Center (NEOC) in Suva and divisional emergency centers in the affect areas, have been trying to get information on the damage caused. Based on the first assessment they made, a State of Emergency has been declared for the area of Vanua Levu and surrounding small islands.
5. More detailed assessment will be made by a government official team, which will leave for aerial survey on 15 January to define the priority areas.
6. OCHA has not received any request for international assistance from the Government.
7. The government of New Zealand has offered a reconnaissance flight to do an aerial surveillance of the affected areas. A team for the survey will leave on 15 January 2003.
8. The government of Australia has offered to pay for a helicopter to take a team to carry out a ground assessment.
9. The office of the OCHA Regional Disaster Response Adviser is in contact with the NDMO in Fiji and will revert with further information as it becomes available.
10. This situation report, together with information on other ongoing emergencies, is also available on the OCHA Internet Website at http://www.reliefweb.int
Telephone: +41-22-917 12 34
Fax: +41-22-917 00 23
In case of emergency only: Tel. +41-22-917 20 10
Mr. R. Mueller / Mr. S. Nakajima
Direct Tel. +41-22-917 3131 / 40 34
(in GVA) - Ms. Elizabeth Byrs, direct Tel. +41-22-917 26 53
(in N.Y.) - Mr. Brian Grogan, direct Tel. +1-212-963 11 43
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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