NEWS

Seruiratu Leads Preparation

The National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) yesterday started preparations against the tropical disturbance that could affect the country. Although it is currently forecast to pass to the West of Fiji
09 Mar 2015 11:23
Seruiratu Leads Preparation

The National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) yesterday started preparations against the tropical disturbance that could affect the country.

Although it is currently forecast to pass to the West of Fiji rainbands and thunderstorms could affect the country.

This tropical disturbance to the North West of Fiji was forecasted to become a tropical cyclone in the next 48 hours.

While the Fiji Meterological Service is closely monitoring the movement and development of the system, the Minister for National Disaster Management, Inia Seruiratu yesterday conducted a meeting to plot Fiji’s preparedness.

“It’s all preparatory work at this stage. For us being the ministry responsible for national disaster management, we want to prepare early and alert our stakeholders because it will definitely help save lives and minimise loss,” Mr Seruiratu said.

He was briefed by NDMO acting director Akapusi Tuifagalele and divisional commissioners in Suva yesterday.

“It is probably 48 hours away in terms of becoming a cyclone, but Fiji could feel the affects by mid week with rain and thunderstorms, even if it stays to the West of Fiji.

“It is slow moving right now, but it may also pick up speed.”

He said they were co-ordinating with the Fiji Meteorological Service in Nadi and there is yet to be a warning issued.

Mr Seruiratu also briefed the Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama yesterday.

“The NDMO office is now monitoring and of course the four divisional commissioners as well. At 9am today (yesterday), they’ve sent us their preparatory reports and they’ve informed all their key stakeholders.”

He said today the commissioners would arrange for meetings with their heads of departments and key stakeholders in their respective divisions.

The ministry will also call a meeting with its stakeholders today.

“By now preparatory work also needs to be carried out by the public in terms of securing their belongings, their livestock and their emergency stores, and most importantly their homes,” Mr Seruiratu said.

He said members of the public should be prepared for heavy rain and strong winds.

Meanwhile, Government has made some changes in terms of institutional arrangements to improve emergency responses.

“One of the significant ones was the merging of the hydrology unit which used to be with the Public Works Department. They have been shifted to the Met office. We have improved on cluster arrangements and the capabilities that we have,” Mr Seruiratu said.

He said Government had spent money investing into equipment that will help in emergency response like water pumps, boats, generators, and so forth.

Feedback: ana.sovaraki@fijisun.com.fj

 

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