7 Mar 2005

Fiji's landslide victims told to move out of area and concern over risk of disease

1:44 pm on 7 March 2005

Fiji's Red Cross says it is sending another team into the Baulevu area where landslides and floods destroyed at least twenty homes because it is concerned about the risk of disease.

The Red Cross's Disaster Manager, Vuli Gauna, says they've already provided basic items like clothing and blankets to families but they're now worried about sanitation and hygiene in the squatter area.

He says people were living in poor conditions even prior to the landslides so there is concern that there could be an outbreak of disease.

And, Mr Gauna says people in the area have been told by authorities that they need to leave.

"The families have been asked to move. The problem is to move them where. A few of the families have actually been allocated assistance for help to rebuild their houses but then there are about 100 families in that area alone. It's going to become a bigger problem to deal with than we thought at first."

Mr Gauna says they're liaising with the National Disaster Management office and have handed in a report detailing what people now need.

There are local media reports of criticisms from the squatters over the lack of government assistance.