The Declaration of a State of Natural Disaster has been extended for a further period of 20-days for the Northern Division, effective from Monday, February 15.
The extension for the Northern Division was again approved by Cabinet in accordance with Section 17 of the Natural Disaster Management Act 1998 and on the advice of the Emergency Committee.
This extension comes at the expiry of the 30-day extension of the Declaration for the Northern Division over the weekend. The last extension for the North came into effect on January 15th to allow Government to efficiently and effectively plan and coordinate the response phases for Tropical Cyclone Yasa.
Unfortunately, 16 days into the extension period, Fiji was again hit by Tropical Cyclone Ana.
The Category 2 cyclone had brought a lot of rainfall that caused major flooding and associated hazards such as landslides, causing widespread devastations across all four divisions.
The Northern Division which was in the direct path of TC Yasa in December was again severely affected by major flooding during TC Ana.
National Disaster Management Office Director Ms. Vasiti Soko said the extension of the Declaration for the North this time around also indicated the severity of the plight faced by Fijians in the North after being struck by two disasters in a span of less than two months.
“As we all know, TC Ana had hit us in the midst of our response operation and recovery period for Fijians still reeling from the impact of TC Yasa.
As a result, Government deemed it necessary that we extend the Declaration for a State of Natural Disaster for a further period of 20 days for the Northern Division to allow the continuation of life-saving assistance and early recovery efforts to severely affected communities,” Ms Soko said. “Also, damage to critical infrastructure such as roads and jetties were more severe during TC Ana compared to TC Yasa.
For TC Ana, a total of 317 Fiji Roads Authority infrastructure was affected compared to 185 for TC Yasa. The Northern Division was again devastated with flooding and landslips and reconstruction works on most of these infrastructures are still progressing.” Government is also working on restoring essential services yet to be restored in severely affected areas in the North.
To date, Government has deployed more than 85,000 emergency food ration packs to affected communities across the country. In addition to this. Government had also pushed out more than 30,000 Non-Food Items (NFIs).
This included items such as shelter kits, kitchen set, water tanks, hygiene kits, water purification tablets, blankets, towel and sleeping mats to name a few.