Fiji: Severe Tropical Cyclone Winston Situation Report No. 20 (as of 31 March 2016)

Situation Report
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  • Only 337 people remain in 26 evacuation centres in the Eastern Division.

  • Thirty-seven typhoid cases have been confirmed since the cyclone.

  • At least 24,800 emergency shelter items have been distributed.

  • Following repairs, all damaged health facilities have resumed services.

  • The Post-Disaster Needs Assessment process started on 29 March.

Situation Overview

Response to Tropical Cyclone Winston is steadily moving into the early recovery phase. The Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) process started on 29 March with the aim of assessing the socio-economic impact of the cyclone, including quantifying the damage and loss in critical sectors of the economy. The PDNA will focus on key early, medium and long-term recovery and reconstruction needs in all key sectors, documenting these in a Recovery Framework scheduled to be finalized by 30 April.

At the same time, humanitarian concerns remain highly relevant. Following repairs, all damaged health facilities have resumed services, but clinical and public health services may not be reaching people in the severely affected hard-to-reach areas. Thirty-seven cases of typhoid fever have been confirmed since the cyclone. The outbreak dates to prior to the emergency, but extensive infrastructure damage to water and sanitation facilities may have contributed to further transmission. Reports of open defecation in the affected communities continue and are causing concern.

The number of people in evacuation centres has been significantly reduced from 54,000 on 3 March to 337 on 31 March. Of the 26 active evacuation centres, 20 are located on Ovalau in Lomaiviti Province. Several clusters have raised concerns about the required assistance reaching people who had left the centres. A total of 24,800 emergency shelter items have been distributed out of which 11,000 are tents, tarpaulins or shelter kits. However, significant gaps remain in the support to self-recovery phase with no core shelter interventions reported or planned, and only 500 households out of 7,500 targeted having received hardware materials, tools and fixing kits for shelter repairs.

The Republic of Fiji Military Force (RFMF) continues the transport of medical supplies, as well as food and water distributions in the Northern and Eastern Divisions. The Australian Defence Force (ADF) has commenced the next phase of their response with the HMAS Canberra having completed operations and returned to Australia on 25 March. The ADF will continue providing engineering assistance to the RFMF in high-priority locations determined by the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO). The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) continues to provide engineering support and humanitarian aid delivery in the Eastern Division and is expected to remain in the country for the following three weeks.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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