Red Cross responding as Gita tears through Pacific

Report
from New Zealand Red Cross
Published on 13 Feb 2018 View Original

Red Cross is assisting on the ground in Tonga and Samoa as Tropical Cyclone Gita moves towards Fiji.

Red Cross is helping communities prepare for Tropical Cyclone Gita in Fiji as teams in Tonga and Samoa assist people already affected by the storm.

Gita crossed Samoa as a category two cyclone, causing widespread flooding, before hitting Tonga on Monday night as a category four cyclone. It is expected to intensify and may reach category five before hitting Fiji’s southern islands tonight.

Thousands of people sought shelter in evacuation centres ahead of Gita arriving in Tonga. The cyclone caused extensive damage throughout the country, especially to older houses and structures.

Red Cross teams in Tonga have been supporting the government to undertake assessments and volunteers have been mobilised to remote areas to help assess damage and needs. Relief items will be distributed to affected households soon.

In Samoa, Red Cross has started to distribute emergency relief items to damaged households and is continuing to assess needs throughout the country.

New Zealand Red Cross has transferred $10,000 from our Pacific Disaster Fund and has dispatched 300 tarpaulins from our Auckland warehouse to support response efforts in Samoa.

New Zealand Red Cross Disaster Management Officer Andrew McKie says Pacific Red Cross societies are well-stocked with emergency supplies but New Zealand Red Cross is ready to provide any further supplies or support needed.