19 Jan 2009

Fiji Disaster Office welcomes international aid; more needed

6:21 pm on 19 January 2009

Fiji's Disaster Management office has welcomed international aid in the wake of last week's floods, but more assistance is needed to rebuild damaged infrastructure that's hampering relief efforts in some parts.

Over the weekend the Japanese government donated relief assistance items along with Australia, New Zealand, Tonga and America also donating emergency supplies and funds to help flood victims.

Eleven people died from the floods that devastated properties in the Western, Central and Northern divisions of Viti Levu, and forced thousands to evacuate homes and businesses.

DISMAC officer Jioji Satakala says now just over 4,000 people remain in emergency shelters, mostly in the Western Division.

In the worst affected areas, electricity and water supplies are yet to be restored to some parts, but badly damaged roads is making access difficult.

"He says with the flood damage now estimated at close to US$20 million dollars and expected to rise, more help is needed."

The roads. The access to all evacuation centres, we find it very difficult to access, due to the infrastructure that's been damaged - like this bridge that's been swept away by the flood. Those are some challenges.

Jioji Satakala says telecommunications have been fully restored.