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Ono-i-Lau worst affected from islands on Gita's path

Mere Naleba
Wednesday, February 28, 2018

FOUR houses were destroyed and another 14 houses partly damaged after Tropical Cyclone Gita ravaged through Ono-i-Lau two weeks ago.

Lau provincial administrator Eliki Masa said a team from the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport and the Ministry of Economy were part of a government team that were on Ono-i-Lau last week Monday carrying out survey on the destroyed houses.

Mr Masa said only Ono-i-Lau was severely affected by TC Gita out of the three other islands, Vatoa, Ogea and Fulaga — that were also located on the path of the Category 4 cyclone.

He said the team from MOIT and the Ministry of Economy also assessed damage on public buildings such as schools, health centres, nurses' quarters and post office.

At Doi District School, on the Island of Ono-i-Lau, a teachers' quarters was reported to be partly damaged after strong wind blew off a side of the kitchen roof, while on Onolevu District School, a teacher was sharing quarters with another teacher after his quarters was completely damaged by strong wind.

Mr Masa said a decision was also made to evacuate the weatherman stationed on Ono-i-Lau to Suva after his house was destroyed.

The staff member of the Fiji Meteorological Service returned to Suva with his family.

"We had travelled with some non-government organisations for the sectorial damage assessment and they have also offered assistance, these services included counselling for children and adults by a team from Empower Pacific, Red Cross and several other NGOs," Mr Masa said.

Doi Village headman Mataika Pasi said only one house was completely destroyed and the owner of the house lived in Suva.

Mr Pasi said most of the owners of damaged houses were in Suva.

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