3145 in evacuation centres

Commissioner of Police Brigadier-General Sitiveni Qiliho (left), Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and Ministry of iTaukei Affairs permanent secretary and chief executive officer iTaukei Affairs Board Naipote Katonitabua during a briefing at the NDMO yest

Commissioner of Police Brigadier-General Sitiveni Qiliho (left), Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and Ministry of iTaukei Affairs permanent secretary and chief executive officer iTaukei Affairs Board Naipote Katonitabua during a briefing at the NDMO yest

A TOTAL of 3145 evacuees are now seeking shelter at 54 evacuation centres active in the Western Division.

National Disaster Management Office director Anare Leweniqila, while briefing the Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama, Commissioner of Police Brigadier General Sitiveni Qiliho, Republic of Fiji Military Forces Commander Rear Admiral Viliame Naupoto and other members of the National Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) said the number of evacuation centres and evacuees were expected to increase later on.

Mr Leweniqila said the Category 3 storm had the potential to be more destructive because of the rainbands that Fiji had been experiencing for the last few days.

“We anticipate the wind to be strong because as it comes close to Fiji, it is picking up strength and speed of a Category 3, which should be between 120-150km an hour,” Mr Leweniqila said.

“At that strength, expect trees falling and roofs flying if they are not nailed down properly.”

He said the destruction caused can be likened to that of Tropical Cyclone Evans which hit Fiji in 2012 and left behind a damage bill of $169.9 million.

Mr Leweniqila said the most vulnerable would have been houses without proper engineering certificate.

EOC contacts:

Ministry of Health and Medical Services National EOC – 3544228;

Lautoka Hospital EOC – 6660399;

Northern Health EOC – 8812522 and

Colonial War Memorial Hospital EOC – 3313444