5 Feb 2008

Fiji hopes to get foreign help after Cyclone Gene

9:17 am on 5 February 2008

Fiji's director of National Disaster Management says Fiji hopes to get assistance from other countries, after declaring a state of natural disaster following Cyclone Gene.

Joeli Rokovada says Fiji's interim Prime Minister declared a state of natural disaster areas affected by Cyclone Gene on Friday.

Mr Rokovada says it meant they had the authority to remove victims for safety reasons, give police the right to search houses without a warrant and to release $3.3 million US dollars in emergency funds.

He says the Navua hospital has been declared uninhabitable along with other buildings, with many roads and other infrastructure badly devastated by the cyclone's strong winds and floods.

But he says more outside help is needed.

"Well government has made the declaration, so evidently we need assistance. That is one of the reasons too why we made the declaration. And because of the devastation from the cyclone and the flood and the large sections of the country that have been affected."

Joeli Rokovada says for 30 days the declaration will apply to areas in the Central, Western, Northern and Eastern divisions.

Navua, Naitasiri, Rewa Delta, Namosi, Sigatoka, Nadi, Lautoka, Ba, Rakiraki, Cakaudrove and Lomaiviti have all been declared disaster areas.