In the wake Cyclone YASA that has devastated large areas of Fiji’s second largest island, Vanua Levu overnight, Plan International is working with local partners to determine extent of damage for distribution of essential relief to thousands of households across the country.
The following quotes can be attributed to Josefa Lalabalavu, Pacific Disaster Risk Management (DRM) Coordinator for Plan International Australia, who is based in Suva and available for interviews today:
“Based on initial reports from Plan International Fiji this morning, Suva has been spared the brunt of the impact. However, many other locations were less fortunate.
“In rural areas like the province of Bua, on the Southern tip of Fiji’s second largest island, Vanua Levu, many homes were destroyed. People from at least one community evacuation centre had to find shelter elsewhere as the centre was no longer safe.
“Another community spent the night sheltering in nearby caves. There is widespread damage and inundation. As TC Yasa continues to track away from the main islands of Fiji, the fear now is for the welfare of people living in smaller more exposed islands in the Eastern group.
“We are looking closely at how best to assist the most vulnerable within those communities including children, girls, people with a disability, and families living in endemic poverty.
“Plan International is currently coordinating the in-country coordinating committee of NGO’s under the Australian Humanitarian Partnership responding to the crisis. Part of that includes working with the Fiji Council of Social Services and NDMO (National Disaster Management Office).
Plan International Australia’s response with its AHP partners is built on strengthening the resilience of communities to deal with the impacts of disasters and extreme weather resulting from the worsening impacts of climate change,” he said.
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For further comment or to arrange interviews with Josefa Lalabalavu, please contact Plan International Australia Media and Ambassador Manager James Norman.