STC Harold: To declare a state of emergency in Fiji has been part of talks – Soko

NDMO director Vasiti Soko. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA

The declaration of a state of emergency in the country has been part of recent discussions between the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) and other relevant stakeholders.

This was revealed by NDMO director Vasiti Soko during a press conference on Fiji’s response to Tropical Cyclone Harold yesterday.

“To declare a state of emergency, there are a few triggers that we need to actually meet – unless and until we acquire the triggers that we need to declare a state of emergency, we will then declare a state of emergency,” Ms Soko said.

“One is for sure you can probably all know that already the lives of the people are at risk, the second one if and when the economy can no longer cope and with lots of threat to people’s lives.

“Like I said, it’s one of the agenda that we’re currently discussing.

“But as we speak right now, we are currently coping, that’s why we’re asking the public to please not give us more stress and stay home and let us do our job and help those who are really in need.”

Meanwhile, the Australian and New Zealand governments yesterday expressed their intentions to assist in relief efforts for Fiji following the devastation left behind by TC Harold.

Australian High Commissioner to Fiji John Feakes confirmed they had pledged an initial $350,000 for the Fijian Government’s relief efforts.

New Zealand High Commissioner to Fiji Jonathan Curr said the NZ government was getting ready to provide any needed emergency humanitarian and disaster relief to the Fijian Government and the NDMO through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Trade NZ and the NZ Defence Force.

 

(Editor’s note: This article was published in The Fiji Times on Thursday, April 09, 2020)

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