Fiji - Cyclone Gavin DHA Situation Report No. 4

DHAGVA - 97/0112
1. The DHA South Pacific Programme Office (SPPO) reports that the National Disaster Management Committee met on 13 March 1997. A complete damage report regarding the impact of cyclone Gavin should be completed next week. To date, no request for international assistance has been made and a decision on this matter is not expected before the full damage report is available.

2. The death toll has increased to 7, with 18 persons missing.

3. Preliminary reports from the Yasawa Group indicate extensive damage to crops and 80 per cent damage to all buildings, including houses, churches, schools, health clinics and community halls.

4. A total of 78 evacuation centres had been opened in the Western, Northern and Central Division to cater for about 3,500 people. All evacuation centres were to close on 11 March.

5. Water supply in Rakiraki, Tavua, Ba, Lautoka, Nadi, Sigatoka, Labasa, Seaqaqa and Suva suffered much disruption through loss of power, blocking of intakes by debris and flooding of stations. Physical damage was, however, slight. In most of these locations, water supply could be quickly restored.

6. Electricity supply in the Central Region is again fully operational. Supply restoration in the Western and Northern Region is still underway and should be completed in four weeks.

7. Hotels and resorts which were in the direct path of the cyclone reported minimum damage, with one exception.

8. Taking into account information available at the National Disaster Management Centre as of 10 March, total preliminary damage estimates reached about FD 25 million (USD 18.3 million). This included, inter alia, damage reported by the Fiji Electricity Authority (FD 3 million), telecommunications (FD 1.2 million) and sugar mills (FD 6.3 million). Overall damage to crops is estimated at 30 to 40 per cent. Damage figures are expected to rise as detailed field surveys are still ongoing.

9. The Government of the United Kingdom made a contribution of FD 50,000 through the Fiji Red Cross and Bayly welfare for assistance to the cyclone victims.

10. DHA Geneva remains in close contact with SPPO and the DHA/UNDP Resident Representative in Suva, and will revert with further information as it becomes available.

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