Thursday, March 18, 2010
NZ and Aust hailed
Despite strained official relations, New Zealand and Australia have pledged aid and sent immediate help.
A Royal New Zealand Air Force Hercules aircraft was the first to arrive. It brought in supplies and then quickly helped with aerial surveys of damage.
“In this respect under the arrangement of FANZ which is the arrangement between France, Australia and NZ for assistance to Pacific Island countries, these countries shall be providing emergency relief supplies and assist in carrying out aerial surveys to determine the full extent of the damage," said Commodore Bainimarama.
“The NZ Air Force landed in Fiji this morning with the French and Australians ready to be deployed for assessment flights later today.”
Cyclone Tomas caused devastation for people living in Cikobia, eastern Vanua Levu, Taveuni Lomaiviti and Lau groups leaving many homeless and government is prepared to aid those affected.
“Government’s first priority at this stage is to carry out an assessment to determine the full extent of the damage,” Commodore Bainimarama said.
“While carrying out these assessments, emergency supplies including food and water shall be delivered to the affected regions.”
Three Fiji Navy vessels left late last night carrying emergency relief supplies including food, water, tents and tarpaulins.
“The navy vessels will leave respectively for the Lomaiviti and Lau group tomorrow and Cikobia,” Commodore Bainimarama said. “These vessels shall carry emergency relief supplies including food, water, tents and tarpaulins.
On Friday, the Prime Minister said, government vessels, the Iloilovatu and the Rayawa will leave for Lau and Lomaiviti groups with more supplies.
“They will carry planting material from the Ministry of Agriculture as well as Republic of Fiji Military Forces engineers and public servants who will be deployed to carry out rehabilitation work.
The Prime Minister said the Commissioners in various affected divisions would be responsible in assessing the damage.
“In this respect, apart from providing emergency supplies of food and water, government shall focus on rehabilitating medical centres and schools that have been damaged.”
He said apart from the outer islands, relief work and assessment were being carried out in affected parts of Vanua Levu, Taveuni, Rabi and Kioa.