Extension Made For Natural Disaster Declaration In Fiji

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Authorities add a week for worst-affected areas

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Jan. 3, 2013) – The director of the National Disaster Management Office in Fiji says a state of natural disaster declared after Cyclone Evan has been extended for a week in the worst hit areas.

The category four cyclone caused widespread damage to Fiji’s northern and western divisions almost three weeks ago and 125 people are still in evacuation centres.

The 15-day state of natural disaster declared after Evan hit expired yesterday but Manasa Tagicakibau says it will apply for seven more days in the Yasawa Group, the Mamanucas, Malolo, Vatulele as well as Lautoka, Ba and Nadi on the main island of Viti Levu.

He says the remaining evacuees are expected to be able to return home to temporary accommodation over the next five to 10 days.

"We are providing them with tentage and for the partially damaged houses we are providing them with tarpaulins, just to provide cover or a roof over their heads while repair is conducted on their properties."

Manasa Tagicakibau says the focus now is on rebuilding the many schools damaged by the cyclone in time for the start of the school year at the end of the month.

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