19 Dec 2012

Fiji agencies ready to provide cyclone counselling

3:04 pm on 19 December 2012

Agencies in Fiji are preparing to provide counselling services to people in the areas hardest hit by Tropical Cyclone Evan.

The storm, ranked four out of a five on a scale of severity, caused widespread damage in Fiji's northern and western divisions but especially in the western town of Lautoka.

A consultant with the non-governmental organisation People's Community Network says residents of squatter settlements have been hardest hit and they are often overlooked in government relief and rehabilitation efforts.

But Father Kevin Barr says after the floods earlier this year, many people also needed psychological help.

"They said you know, we've been brought food, we've been brought clothing, but nobody seems to care what's going on inside us. So they were very grateful for the opportunity for forms of counselling to assist them with depression and some people of course were even thinking of committing suicide because things were getting so bad."

Father Kevin Barr says one of the informal settlements between Nadi and Lautoka, at Nasoso, is reported to have been completely blown away.