Fiji Assessment Teams Prepare To Head To Lau Group

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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

Impacts of Cyclone Ula mostly felt by farms

By Mere Naleba

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Jan. 5, 2016) – A government assessment team will depart for Lau on Thursday to conduct an assessment on cyclone damage reported to the Commissioner Eastern's Office.

Provincial administrator Lau Eliki Masa said the teams would include officers from various government departments such as health officers, agricultural officers, those from the Department of Infrastructure and other agencies.

[PIR editor’s note: On Jan. 5, 2016 the Fiji Times reported that ‘The assessment team scheduled to leave for Lau on Thursday will be taking relief supplies including medicine, food ration, water tablets and other relief items that are readily available. ... Director NDMO Akapusi Tuifagalele said so far they had received reports that two houses on Vatoa Island were damaged by strong winds and rain and a lot of farms and plantations were severely damaged. ... He said food security on affected islands is a priority for Government.’]

"The weather has cleared up in the Lau Group. This is especially for the islands that were in the direct path of Tropical Cyclone Ula.

"In terms of damage, there wasn't much done on infrastructure but most of the farms were damaged by the strong winds and heavy downpour," Mr Masa said.

He said all reports provided through information gathered from the village headmen of Ono-i-Lau, Vatoa, Moce, Komo, Namuka, Ogea, Fulaga and Kabara showed mostly root crops were damaged.

"We are trying to deploy one assessment team on Thursday. The reports provided to us from the village headmen will be our initial damage assessment reports. We're now working on securing a government team to take the assessment team across to these islands," he said.

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