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800 evacuees still in centres

Dawn Gibson
Monday, March 03, 2014

ABOUT 800 people who are badly affected by the depression over the Central and Eastern parts of Viti Levu are still living within the confines of evacuation centres after most of them lost their belongings from the floods on Thursday and Friday last week.

Although a number of evacuation centres have closed, 17 still remain open and are housing evacuees, many of whom are from the highlands of Naitasiri.

"The number we've given (about 800) are the number of the villagers — the population of the villages basically.

"They are staying in community halls and churches at the moment," explained National Disaster Management Office director Manasa Tagicakibau in an interview yesterday.

Mr Tagicakibau said : "Most of the evacuation centres have closed, the figure we have is that 10 have closed and 17 are still open."

He said the NDMO response teams worked hard throughout the weekend to get relief rations to the evacuees.

"Response teams are moving into these evacuation centres to at least provide them with some relief rations because most of the people who came into the evacuation centres — because their houses were flooded — they came in with nothing but the clothes on their backs.

"But relief rations are to the evacuation centres only though, not to the community at large — just the centres and we provided rations to sustain them for at least two days."

He said the office was working to get the evacuees back on their feet and close down all evacuation centres by tomorrow at the latest.

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