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Fiji Time: 10:37 PM on Friday 18 April

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Disaster zones declared

Ropate Valemei
Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A STATE of Natural Disaster has been declared for the Western and Northern divisions.

National Disaster Management Office director Manasa Tagicakibau announced yesterday that the State of Natural Disaster was effective immediately.

He said the situation status was approved by the Prime Minster Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama about 11am yesterday.

"All the paperwork has been done which have resulted in this announcement."

Mr Tagicakibau said this would also allow the authorities and relevant stakeholders to speed-up rehabilitation works in the aftermath of Tropical Cyclone Evan.

"This will allow authorities and relevant stakeholders to pursue facilitating relief supplies and rehabilitation works to the affected."

He said the State of Natural Disaster would be in effect for 15 days.

"The system has gone past us and the weather has turned out fine where it permitted us to go out there to do actual initial damage assessments."

Mr Tagicakibau said DISMAC lost communication with the Western Division on Monday while updating the status of its operations there.

"All modes of communication were lost and we were not able to get contact with them for the actual facts and figures on the progress of operation down in the west."

He said DISMAC adopted its Plan B yesterday by deploying its staff from the National Disaster Management Emergency Operation Centre.

Mr Tagicakibau said damage in the north was not as bad as they had expected.

However, he said most of the essential services were restored as of yesterday afternoon.

For the Western Division, he said Lautoka felt the brunt of Tropical Cyclone Evan.