21st January 06:01 AM
10 houses severely damaged by TC Gita in Ono-I-Lau
By Iva Danford
Thursday 15/02/2018
Director National Disaster Management Office Anare Leweniqila

Preliminary reports show that 10 houses have been destroyed and 26 partially damaged after Tropical Cyclone Gita battered Ono-i-Lau and Vatoa on Tuesday night.

This has been confirmed by the National Disaster Management Office who say the government's focus is to complete damage assessments and respond to immediate needs in Southern Lau.

Director of the National Disaster Management Office Anare Leweniqila has indicated that the Office of the Divisional Commissioner Eastern would deploy teams aboard government vessels as soon as the weather permits.

Leweniqila says they have received initial reports from Turaga‑ni‑Koros indicating that housing and agriculture are the sectors with the most damages and they will deploy multi‑sectoral assessment teams with immediate relief supplies to verify reports on the ground.

He says the Australian Defense Force is facilitating an aerial survey on their behalf, and the data received will allow them to make concrete plans of response.

The National Disaster Management Office says Ono‑i‑Lau is more affected than others with regard to farms but with other islands, initial communications received indicate that there has been little or no damage to crops.

Leweniqila says 288 evacuees are currently situated in 5 evacuation centers in Southern Lau and these figures are expected to drop as clearing and cleaning of debris continues in the affected areas.

He has commended the preparedness of the people in Lau and Fiji in general as no casualties or injuries have been reported so far.

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