Gov­ern­ment ready to help

Fiji Sun - - Front Page - LUSI BANUVE Edited by Percy Kean Feed­back: lu­siana.banuve@fi­ In­ter­na­tional re­ports > P10, 30, 31

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

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