THE government is tapping all avenues to ensure the lives of Fijians are protected during natural disasters.
And to turn their efforts into reality, the groundbreaking ceremony of government's more than $3.6million Laucala Bay Meteorological Office was done yesterday.
Officiating at the ceremony, Minister for Works, Transport and Public Utilities Colonel Timoci Natuva said the project would take two years to complete.
Col. Natuva said the new centre would play a crucial role in supplementing the back-up operation of the National Weather Forecasting Centre in Nadi for the whole of Fiji.
"The new centre will be equipped with modern weather equipment and information technology facilities to address the demand in weather and climate information around the country. Most importantly the new complex will be the main Aviation Disaster Recovery Centre."
Col. Natuva said extreme weather patterns were becoming prevalent and in an event of natural disaster where the Nadi Meteorological Office was severely damaged, Fiji, its people and the aviation industry would be vulnerable to weather related danger.
"This new complex will provide the primary disaster recovery site for our services in Nadi as a back-up centre to ensure business continuity in the provision of essential services to the public and the region."
Col. Natuva said under its weather and climate services, Fiji Meteorological Services contributed substantially to the protection of life and property against natural disasters in terms of safeguarding the environment and enhancing the economic and social wellbeing of all sectors of society.