Fiji cyclone death toll rises to six
SUVA, 05 APRIL 2018 (FBC NEWS)— Six people have died and a child remains missing as a result of the mass flooding in the Western Division brought on by Tropical Cyclone Josie.
National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) Director – Anare Leweniqila has confirmed that the death toll has increased.
“The number of fatalities for the event is now at six, we have six confirmed dead and we have a young boy that is still missing, Police are still yet to locate his body. We had initially had five, we were informed by Police that they had also received a report of a man and a small boy that went missing also in the week, so that brings up the total to seven.
So we can confirm that six bodies have recovered while one is still being treated as a missing person so that brings up the number of victims for the event currently at seven,” he said.
Police Director Operations – SSP Livai Driu says the latest two victims was a 59-year-old grandfather and his grandson that had gone out to look for crabs at Vitogo Village in Lautoka on Saturday evening when they were overrun by flash floods.
Police were alerted by the family that the two had not returned home the following day.
While the grandfather’s body was recovered on Monday, his 7-year-old grandson remains missing.
NDMO said there are 40 evacuation centres currently open with 2278 evacuees.
The increase from 21 centres and 2041 evacuees Leweniqila says it due to the state of homes and the challenging clean-up as well as accessibility to areas which were cut off.
Meanwhile, the government’s top priority right now is to meet the basic needs and restore essential services in areas affected by the recent floods caused by TC Josie.
The NDMO office said the Office of the Divisional Commissioner Western is leading the emergency response.
In the immediate aftermath of the floods, clearing debris from communities and municipalities was spearheaded by personnel from the National Fire Authority, Military, Police Force and the Corrections Service.
There are 75 military personnel and 21 fire officers engaged in the cleaning up.
Clearing of debris now makes way for the deployment of public health teams from the Health Ministry to conduct health assessments of evacuation centres and affected communities.
The teams are conducting health screening, general health awareness, and inspection of sanitation and hygiene conditions.
Disinfection and mosquito spraying is also being carried out where required. Health officers on the ground are also monitoring food and water quality.
The Office of the Commissioner West has distributed food rations to evacuation centres and affected communities.
Teams from the Fiji Electricity Authority and Water Authority of Fiji are working continuously to ensure the full restoration of electricity and water supply in affected communities and municipalities.
Water tanks are being placed and filled in strategic accessible locations while water carting takes place simultaneously…..PACNEWS