Seruiratu: Minimal damage

Minister for Disaster Management Inia Seruiratu (left) and Australian High Commissioner to Fiji John Feakes at Port Muaiwalu to oversee the departure of the government vessels heading to Lau last week. Picture: SOPHIE RALULU

Damage assessments on six islands in the Lau Group indicated minimal damage post Tropical Cyclone Cody, Disaster Management Minister Inia Seruiratu said.

He said two joint government teams were deployed to these islands onboard the MV Iloilovatu and the MLC Veivueti.

The teams which comprised of technical and scientific expertise from the Ministry of Lands and Mineral Resources, the Ministry of Environment, the Water Authority of Fiji and the Ministry of Fisheries had visited the islands of Vanuabalavu, Lakeba, Moala, Ono-i-Lau, Vatoa and Moce.

“They had completed the assessments and monitoring of the air and water quality, marine resources and food security in the six affected islands,” he said.

Mr Seruiratu said out of the six affected islands, Moce was identified as the only island that sustained damage to a few homes and crops.

“Despite this, I can confirm that upon the completion of the assessments conducted by all key agencies deployed to Lau, the water and air quality level remains normal.”

Mr Seruiratu said while there were reports of slight damage to corals and reefs on the island of Vatoa, there was no major damage to the marine ecosystems across all the six islands.

“This is good news as many of the villages in these islands depend on the sea for their daily livelihood.”

Mr Seruiratu said in terms of food security, reports show zero crop damage across five islands assessed by the teams.

“This excludes the island of Moce. The Ministry of Agriculture is looking into the provision of assorted vegetable seeds to support food and nutrition security in these islands.”

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