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Serafina Silaitoga
Friday, February 28, 2014

NATIONAL Disaster Management director Manasa Tagicakibau may activate the Emergency Operating Centre (EOC) if he sees the depression a threat to human lives — even without the declaration of a state of emergency.

In an interview with this newspaper, Mr Tagicakibau said by procedure, the activation could only happen after the government declares a state of emergency.

"But we won't wait for that, especially if I see this depression becoming a threat to human lives and national security," he said.

"We will just monitor and if I see it a human threat, I will activate the EOC and when the declaration comes through then all other government ministries will join us.

"When the EOC is activated, only a handful of us will be part of it and we will be assisted by officials from other ministries once the declaration is done."

Mr Tagicakibau said only a standby team had started operations which started early this week following the depression warning.

"But the EOC has not started and that will only be activated when this depression become a threat and I see it fitting.

"We continue to work with our people on the ground, mainly the divisional commissioners.

"We have asked them to get in touch with provincial administrators and district officers for them to monitor the situation in their communities."

The villagers have also been asked to get in touch with the nearest district office if they needed assistance.

"We have met stakeholder officials from other government departments, advising them about our public advisories and the situation."