30 Jan 2008

Fiji clean-up continues after Cyclone Gene

5:32 pm on 30 January 2008

Power is slowly being returned in Fiji, with the death toll from tropical cyclone Gene now at seven.

Fiji's Disaster Management Office is yet to assess the total damage but half the country's population may have been affected.

People are going without basic services in parts of both Viti Levu and Vanua Levu.

Aisea Quminakelo from the Disaster Management Office says much of Suva city still has no power.

"Right now there are areas where the waters have receded, like in Navua river, in Navua the water has receded. The Rewa river is still partially flooding and so is the Nadi town. It's still under water right now."

Aisea Quminakelo says the power being off is causing problems for the office communicating with its field officers, so the extent of the damage is not known.

Fiji Red Cross disaster coordinator, Vuli Gauna, says they've been told power should be back to 80 percent some time tomorrow.

And he says most people are back in their homes, but without power and water.

I think we had a total of more than 20 evacuation centres that had been open and closed and open again in the last two days. There are at least 2 evacuation centres that are still being monitored. The needs that the are looking at is just provision of food rations to those that are staying at the centres.

He says a few businesses have gone back to normal operations, but some still closed.