Fiji

Fiji PM says more rations needed for affected Fijians, Nearly 60,000 in evacuation centres

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Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says Australia and New Zealand have come on board with a lot of immediate relief supplies and Fiji is thankful for that.

However, Bainimarama says they will need a lot more supplies to help Fijians affected by Tropical Cyclone Winston.

The Prime Minister toured the Ra Province Thursday and delivered rations first hand to the Cyclone victims.

“No we will certainly need more, there is no doubt about it. Infrastructure for years as I have mentioned yesterday, what we have put on the ground for the last thirty to forty years overnight – in the last twenty-four hours or forty-eight hours so we need to have that replaced and of course people need homes, people need food, ration, water – we will try and have them sorted out.”

Assessments of cyclone ravaged areas continue and initial figure derived from reports received of cost to the country from the cyclone stands at $1 billion (US$460 million).

Meanwhile, Fiji has updated the number of people forced into evacuation centres by Cyclone Winston to 59,000 - more than 6 percent of the population.

A large number of homes and other buildings have been wrecked across the country.

A Fijian Government spokesperson, Ewan Perrin, said that number continued to rise as communication was restored to affected areas.

Perrin said, at this stage, there was enough aid in the evacuation centres to go around.

“We've got sufficient essential resources - food, water, medical resources at the moment. We have been very fortunate, the international community has provided a lot of aid and assistance, a lot of materials for us as well.

“So we are able to top those up as we need. We just need to keep an eye on that and see how it goes over the next few days.”

Perrin said 100 of the 850 evacuation centres were schools.

The death toll remained at 42, with two people missing.

He said 33 people had been hospitalised with injuries, and 146 other people were injured but did not need hospitalisation.

SOURCE: FBC NEWS/RNZI/PACNEWS