Government ready to help
Severe Tropical Cyclone Gita was expected to be 250 kilometres south of Kadavu by 8am today. As the cyclone, with winds gusting to 275km/ hr, moves away Government stands ready to assist communities that will need immediate assistance and long-term recovery. Permanent Secretary for Rural and Maritime Development, Disaster Management, and Meteorological Services, Meleti Bainimarama, said that in the past several days, the National Disaster Management Office had been closely monitoring and providing continuous public advice on TD07F. This then developed into Tropical Cyclone Gita. He said: “Pro-active measures were adopted and government agencies have collaborated to identify plans of action. “Today, all Government Permanent Secretaries, the heads of our Disciplined Forces, and the diplomatic corps were respectively briefed on the operational focus as good coordination is key to any successful response. “Based on forecasts and continuous incoming situation reports from government officials on the ground, we’ve highlighted primary risk locations in Southern Lau.” Mr Bainimarama, who is also the National Disaster Controller, said: “Once the cyclone passes and data comes in, we will then be able to develop a better situation overview of damages and needs and reveal concrete action plans. “Based on these further assessments, government will then allocate various resources and assets as part of the response plan.”
Jagdish Chand of Lovu in Lautoka, wasted no time after returning from his errands yesterday as he boarded up his home, putting extra nails into his roof and making sure food supply was in stock at home.
When Fiji Sun News visited him, Mr Chand was on the roof of his house hammering away.
“While it is still daylight I want to do all this so I can have my family secure inside at night when the rain and the wind come,” he said.
“We have learnt from TC Winston. Never again will I take the warnings for granted. It is better to be safe and so we are taking precautions.”
Next door neighbours Shabana Nisha and Rakesh Kumar were also boarding up their windows.
“We have learnt from TC Winston. This afternoon we bought our supplies, and stored up on water, kerosene and other essentials.” “You never know what can happen so it’s best to prepare.”
At Natabua seaside, families secured their belongings and started nailing roofing iron over their windows in preparation for the winds and rain.
At Namoli in Lautoka, flatmates Riya Nand, Asena Kalouvinaka and Temalesi Siga were shopping for canned foods, candles and other things that they would need should TC Gita hit Viti Levu.
“We all work together and so we decided that each one would look after a section, like Asena is buying canned foods and kerosene, I’m getting batteries, torches, snacks and other little stuff and Tema is getting cords, pegs etc to hang our clothes on,” Ms Nand said.
“We have stored water and our landlord has already put shutters on our windows and secured the garage.” ALSO READ