20 Apr 2004

Disaster officials struggle to get to flooded areas in Fiji

9:31 am on 20 April 2004

Fiji's National Disaster Management Organisation says they are struggling to access low lying interior areas on the main island of Viti Levu.

The Operations Team Leader, Beni Lomaloma says they are thankful for a New Zealand funded helicopter and charter plane to fly in rations and assess damage in hard to reach areas.

But, he says problems remain in getting access in to the interior of Fiji's main island.

"The problem that we're experiencing is servicing and reaching some areas which are inaccessible. The roads have been made unpassable because of the flood and that's where this helicopter has come in very handy and that's our major problem at the moment."

Beni Lomaloma says so far they have assisted 112 evacuation centres providing 20,000 villagers with food and water rations.

Mr Lomaloma said officials from the New Zealand High Commission and the Fiji Government were to meet to discuss possible further assistance.