Fiji: Tropical Cyclone Keni - Emergency Plan of Action (EPoA) Final Report, DREF n° MDRFJ002



Description of the disaster

Tropical Cyclone (TC) Keni was initially monitored over the Pacific waters as Tropical Disturbance 13F (TD13F) analyzed far West of Fiji on the 2nd of April. TD13F, later upgraded to a tropical cyclone category 1 as it moved East South East towards Fiji.
TC Keni increased to Category 2 as it moved towards the Fiji Group on the 9th of April 2018. On the morning of the 10th of April, TC Keni was upgraded to category 3 and was located near 17.8 South 175.4 east. Close to its centre, it reached average winds of up to 150 km/hr.
IFRC CCST Suva provided technical support to Fiji Red Cross and assisted in its communication needs, whilst FRCS worked alongside the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) to assist areas identified to be the worst affected from TC Keni. Kadavu was identified as a key focus area on the 12th of April as TC Keni had made landfall before exiting the group at 00.00hrs on the 11th of April.
Whilst the NDMO worked with donor partners for aerial reconnaissance in Kadavu, FRCS was able to secure a helicopter to mobilize a team of volunteers and staff on the ground to undertake assessments on the Island. Areas that were damaged by TC Josie within the Western Division were also areas worst affected in the aftermath of TC Keni and thus became key focus areas during the response period.
The NDMO worked with the Divisional Commissioner Eastern and the Divisional Commissioner Western during the response period, whilst FRCS Branches worked alongside their district offices in reaching affected areas. The northern division only experienced heavy rain and this was monitored by both the NDMO Divisional Offices and FRCS divisional north office.
As of the 13th of April, 90 evacuation centers were active with a total of 2,584 evacuees, which had declined from 12,000 evacuees recorded from previous days. A total of 446 schools were used as evacuation centers. Schools in the West, especially those in Ba, took longer to return to normalcy as Ba was one of the areas worst affected in the Western Division.

There were 89,250 people estimated affected in the Western Division by TC Josie, a huge proportion of which were also affected in the onset of TC Keni. A total of 700 people was affected in the Northern Division by TC Josie in sugar cane farm settlements, this figure dropped during the TC Keni response as affected areas were mainly in the West.

Summary of current response

Overview of Host National Society

The Fiji Red Cross Society was registered in 1971 and recognised as an independent National Society in 1973. The Society is officially recognised by the government of Fiji as a voluntary relief organisation, an auxiliary to public authorities and as the only Red Cross Society in Fiji. It is the most widely recognised and respected humanitarian organisation in the country.
FRCS has 16 branches with 44 staff members and 1,080 registered volunteers, out of which 196 were mobilized for emergency response operations. A total of 13 emergency response (ERT) trained volunteers in the northern division and western division were also deployed for response to TC Keni.
In its response to TC Keni, the Fiji Red Cross Society activated its National Emergency Operating Centre as well as its Northern Divisional EOC, while the Western Divisional EOC continued its support in response to TC Josie which affected the Western part of Fiji the weeks before TC Keni. All branches in the Western Division allocated skeletal teams in Branch EOCs which provided daily updates to the Divisional EOCs regarding Branch Assessments and Distributions carried out in each Division. These updates were then later compiled for the National EOC, which were then tabled as reports to donors and stakeholders on a daily basis.
Overview of Red Cross Red Crescent Movement in country National Societies in the Pacific, along with the IFRC country cluster support team (CCST) in Suva and partner national societies, were in regular communication and were already on high alert since TC Josie impacted on Fiji and other Pacific island which was immediately followed by sighting of TD 13 which later was named TC Keni by the Fiji Meteorological Service.
Australian Red Cross (ARC) had a country and partnership manager delegate embedded in the Fiji Red Cross Society who supported the liaison with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade (DFAT) post in Fiji.
The IFRC CCST liaised closely with FRCS and provided operational and PMER support. IFRC CCST provided support with the publication of the Information Bulletin as well as continuous technical monitoring of the operation from the National Office (Headquarters). In addition, it coordinated the assistance with IFRC APRO as well as PNSs in the Pacific.

Overview of non-RCRC actors in country

The Fiji Government led the operation all over Fiji and liaised with district offices and provincial administrators in coordinating relief efforts in their respective districts. UN, INGO’s and NGO’s conducted liaison with Government on efforts in response to TC Keni. Updates were provided through situation reports from these organisations which were consolidated by NDMO and shared with partners.
Inter-Cluster coordination was activated in the areas of WASH, Health & Nutrition, Security and protection, shelter and education. These clusters were composed of government and UN agencies.
The Australian DFAT and New Zealand High Commission also showed interest in supporting the affected areas. The PHT members as well as the members of the INGO network in Fiji also supported the response.