NEW CYCLONE FEARS IN FIJI AS BAD WEATHER LOOMS

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, Jan. 21) - There are new fears in Fiji that the country could be hit by another cyclone in the next few days.

The director of meteorology, Rajendra Prasad, says a low pressure system to the north-west of Fiji and north of Vanuatu could intensify and move south.

Prasad says the system is likely to bring rain and strong winds and is responsible for the current hot and humid conditions.

He says since the South-East Pacific is still in the cyclone season, people must always be prepared.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister, Laisenia Qarase, says relief will be provided in two stages for victims of Cyclone Ami which struck northern and eastern Fiji last Tuesday.

Qarase says in the first phase, essential food rations and other assistance will be provided to people in evacuation centers.

In the second phase, food rations will be sent for a period of time to be decided by cabinet on the recommendations of the state’s Disaster Management Center.

With much of the town of Labasa still without piped water, there are reports of water borne diseases hospitalizing children.

And traders are reported to be profiteering by filling tankers with river water for sale in town.

The Red Cross has flown a water purification plant to Labasa for use by the local hospital.

In another development, police have arrested 15 youths on Taveuni Island for looting during the cyclone.

January 21, 2003

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com 

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