#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive: 2012-04-01

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Overseas aid picks up as children make best of evac centres

One of the children at the Nadi centre. pics MINFO
A look today at the face of Fiji's suffering and the more than five thousand children and infants in the evacuation centres.

The child with the sasa is at the Nadi evacuation centre and came into the frame as a result of the visit of the illegal president Epeli Nailatikau on what looks to be his first foray out to see the flood victims.
Nailatikau ventures out

The illegal regime wants the schools that have been serving as evacuation centres freed up so schools can resume on Tuesday but that raises the question of where the homeless will go. 

Friday, April 6, 2012

$65,000 being spent on evac centres but 'no food and water for victims'

Kanti Lal and his family sheltering under makeshift tent at Utalei,
Nadi. About 40 families in the mixed settlement whose homes were under flood waters say they have received no State assistance since Friday. pic FLP
Close to 15,000 people are spending Easter in evacuation centres with the regime believed to be paying $65,000 a week in the West alone to feed them, but many are falling between the cracks.

The number of flood victims jumped from 11,325 to about 14,638 after Cyclone Daphne passed over the country on Wednesday. Fiji was spared her wrath but the heavy rain and winds were enough to cause more devastation.

The Western Emergency Operation Centre says it was initially costing them $51,583 a week for food  for evacuees. Families are believed to be getting flour, milk, tin fish and dahl and rice as rations.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Regime in over its head - will it ask for help?

TWEET! Row, row your boat gently down the stream, life is but a dream. pic Shiri Ram Imagine South Pacific

It's the picture the dictator Frank Bainimarama tweeted to show the world all is well despite the country being hit a second time by floods in a matter of months.

But one day out from what should've been a busy tourist Easter weekend, Bainimarama and the regime are grappling with a national crisis: millions of dollars of devastation, 14 thousand people without food or a roof over their heads, severely damaged infrastructure and flood shy tourists.

DISMAC says the Western Division is 'fast recovering' with most of the major infrastructure and essential services being restored as authorities work around the clock to help Fiji bounce back.

The deadly effects of coups be it Fiji or Mali

Sanogo soldiers at impasse with Mali's neighbours

Civilians look for an out
Developments in three countries this morning of interest to Fiji, all of them coup related.

The West African country of Mali is bracing itself for economic sanctions as a result of Captain Amadou Sanogo refusing to relinquish his military hold.

The sanctions have been applied by Mali's neighbours via the West African body, ECOWAS, and is aimed at  suffocating the month old junta. Supplies going into the country of more than 15 million will be affected and Mali's borders are being closed off.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

14,000 in evacuation centres

Fiji Times notice
Fourteen thousand flood victims are tonight in evacuation centres.

DISMAC has confirmed the figures with  Provincial Development Permanent Secretary Colonel Inia Seruiratu saying there has been a surge in the number of people made homeless from the floods.

On the trail of Fiji's army

FBC News says this picture shows military officers cleaning up Nadi. Too far to see them or are they just not there?

Some sign of the Navy - a jacket.
Soldiers here in the midst at Tavua?
Media reports today of a strong contingent of army personnel working in the West to help with the clean up. 

In fairness after criticism of the obvious absence of our lean, mean army on the ground, we scoured known sources for pictures of them at work today and publish here the ones we found.

A couple at Tavua District  - where are the rest?
No sign of the big contingent boasted by one blogger in retaliation to our earlier story and nowhere near the more conservative figure touted in a story today by FBC News (see link below). 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Nadi shut as regime leader admits infrastructure not up to par

Nadi: devastated. pic smh.com.au
An admission tonight from the illegal leader of  the enormity of the devastation caused by the floods and that the regime has to be ready for the next one.
Frank Bainimarama told TVNZ a short time ago "hard and fast decisions have to be made about our infrastructure so we don't get bogged down every time there's heavy rain."
Cyclone Daphne skirted Fiji last night saving it from a further battering but the damage of the last four days of flash flooding have caused millions of dollars in devastation.

Nadi has been so badly devastated the town will be shut for the rest of the week with damage expected to be higher than $300 million - the cost of the 2009 floods for the area.

Nadi Special Administrator, Aisea Tuidraki, has told FBC News that businesses are cleaning up and a team has been appointed to clear debris.

Denarau: accessible file pic
“The water level this year is one metre higher than the one in 2009, so in three years time, the flood intensity will really increase. Floodings in Nadi used to be a rare occurrence but for it to happen within a three-year span with rising water levels, it is definitely a concern."

On Denarau Island, it appears to be business as usual with Starwood Fiji Group of hotels and resorts saying they are still in operation despite the flooding in the Western Division.   

Management says guests previously unable to access Nadi airports or flights out of the country, are now able to access the airports by road. It says all roads in and out of Denarau are open and accessible by car. 

Dry feet: army file pic
And some news on the efforts of army and navy. The regime says four teams of 20 military personnel are on stand-by at the Force Training Group in Nasinu. 

It also says military personnel helped Nausori Health Center staff this morning to open: "Military personnel restored the health centre by moving chairs, tables, beds and benches from the maternity unit to the general outpatient department."

Yesterday we asked what the army and navy were doing. It seems we've been given an answer but - moving chairs? And on standby at headquarters?  Not exactly frontline work or clean up. 

Naval officers were apparently also deployed to Wailotua yesterday and returned last night after a full assessment of the situation in the area. A spokesperson says military officers will be provided with 'logistical support' to ensure services to the public are restored as soon as possible.

League players give horror view of Fiji hospital

Wesser and mates: Surreal experience after a visit to Colonial War Memorial Hospital (below) for appendicitis.

"Outside the room where Wesser lay, bashing victims - including many women - lay on yellow blood-stained mattresses. Nearby, a man with one leg moaned and hunched forward while suffering stomach pains himself. Four dead bodies came into the hospital in the five hours or so that MacDougall and Cross stayed with their friend. 'It was just surreal".

April 03, 2012
By Glenn Jackson

Rhys Wesser was rushed to hospital in Fiji in the early hours of his birthday on Saturday, wondering if he was about to die, but it would not be the closest that a group of retired NRL players came to death during their trip to the island paradise.

As Wesser, the former Penrith and South Sydney fullback, lay on a bed surrounded by domestic violence victims waiting for treatment, Adam MacDougall went outside the dilapidated Colonial War Memorial Hospital for air.

A white taxi pulled up with two passengers inside, only one of whom was alive. A distressed woman motioned for MacDougall to help her, so the former Newcastle premiership winner leaned in to pull the man - who at that stage he thought was alive - out of the back seat of the cab. 

The man was stiff like cardboard, wrapped in a sarong to his neck, and his eyes were open. ''He's no good,'' the taxi driver said.

''I picked him up to lift him out,'' MacDougall said. ''When I realised he was [deceased], it's human instinct, I sort of freaked out a bit.''

Monday, April 2, 2012

Bainimarama in among the people but still no sign of army

He's smartened up his flood act but it's so slick it's unbelievable.

In January, the illegal leader was missing in action and fronted only after criticism from bloggers. 

In the latest floods, spin doctors have him at the evacuation centres, among the people and the little kids.

In a picture of him and a young boy, the story goes the child rushed up to hug the illegal leader.
In another picture of him with two little boys, the information says: "Evacuation center in Nokonoko Village, which includes farming families. PM remarked: "We must do everything possible to ensure our children are well cared for with fresh water, milk and food." He ordered a medical team to visit the village as some as the flu.

NZ ready to help Fiji because 'we love their people' says PM

Tourist gets help at Navo Bridge to get to the airport. pic: contributed


Fiji takes heart from Thai flood surviors : NaDraki Weather. 

The Prime Minister of New Zealand, John Key, says the country will offer flood assistance to Fiji whether Frank Bainimarama asks for help or not.

New Zealand says Fiji hasn't asked for international assistance yet but it is on standby to provide aid.

"Typically, that's been the case in the past when they've had floods and various natural disasters, New Zealand's come to their aid," Key told New Zealand's Radio Live.

"I know the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is monitoring it closely and no doubt we will end up giving some support there.

John Key
"Typically, what we've done in the past is give the resources to a non-government organisation on the ground we trust, say the Red Cross, rather than give it to the government to administer." 

Key says the Government's disagreement with the Fiji regime didn't stop it giving aid.

"Yes we disagree with the formation of that government through force but we have a long history with Fiji, we love their people and we are going to support them."

Floods spreading to central division as cyclone looms

The state of natural disaster has been declared but specific information about the number of people affected continue to differ.

The regime's spokesperson, Sharon Smith Johns, says the floods are now hitting the western and the central division, and that five thousand people have been evacuated with 62 centres operating. Is this logical since more people appear to be affected?

Media reports (some of them local) have said 8,000 people and 99 evacuation centres.

Australian and New Zealand tourists are being told to stay home until Fiji is flood-free.

The official death toll is said to be four. 

Bainimarama has called on officials to be prepared for the next spate of bad weather and not to be caught by surprise and has urged that people get enough food and supplies.

Yalalevu Road Ba
The Fiji First Party says it has written to the illegal prime minister, Frank Bainimarama, suggesting he allocate $130m for Flood Relief Response and a Revamp of Sugar Cane Farming.

It says: "Everyone is aware that skilled cane farmers have been moving out because of lease issues and past evictions. Once they move out they do not intend to go back, given it takes years of slow growth to accumulate the little that they have gathered collectively as a family unit. Without Government’s financial support right now directly to these victims, it may be too late for some cane farmers and other farmers and Fiji’s economy as a whole."

Sunday, April 1, 2012

State of emergency to be declared

It appears the regime will declare a state of natural disaster after the latest bout of flooding, caused by unexpected rain just a month after the flash floods of January.

There is conflicting information though over the death toll: overseas reports put it at six but Sharon Smith Johns says it's two.

The illegal leader, Frank Bainimarama, has meanwhile extended the 200% rebate on donations to the Flood Relief Appeal, which began in January, for another two months, to May 31.

It had expired yesterday. The rebate applies to donations over $1,000.