12 Jan 2016

Fiji's Lau group sent food rations post-cyclone

1:53 pm on 12 January 2016

Disaster authorities in Fiji are shipping more than US$92,000 worth of food to cyclone affected communites in the southern Lau group.

The Director of Disaster Management, Akapusi Tuifagalele, says the supplies should last a month for the nearly 3,000 people whose food crops were damaged during Cyclone Ula.

Mr Tuifagalele says it's hoped communities will be able to restore crops in the medium to long-term with seedlings provided by the Ministry of Agriculture.

He says the supplies will arrive in up to eight islands shortly.

"These are basic food for surivival that people can rely on before they get back into their proper sustainability. Food like, rice, flour, sweet peas, tinned meat and also tinned fish. For the children, the milk and oil and sugar. Those are the kind of food assistance that we provide for these communities."

Mr Tuifagalele says a government team will aim to go to two islands per day to deliver assistance and carry out further assessments.

Cyclone Ula has little impact on cruise ships

Meanwhile, Cyclone Ula has had little impact on cruise ship operations, with only one being diverted.

The category three cyclone is weakening as it moves down the Pacific towards New Zealand, but at the weekend was a category four with winds of up to 165 km/h at its centre as it passed southern Vanuatu.

A spokesperson for P&O Cruises says the company's ships are staying well away from Cyclone Ula, but the system has only had a limited impact.

The company on Monday made the decision to call off the Pacific Aria's visit to Mystery Island, in Vanuatu's Tafea province, instead heading direct to its next destination, New Caledonia's Mare island.

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