Govt Getting Prepared

Government is not taking any chances. It is preparing for the worst as a tropical depression, that could develop into a massive cyclone, moves closer to the west of Fiji..
10 Mar 2015 10:42
Govt Getting Prepared
Fiji Meteorological Services principal scientific officer Ravind Kumar in Nadi yesterday.

Government is not taking any chances.

It is preparing for the worst as a tropical depression, that could develop into a massive cyclone, moves closer to the west of Fiji..

The Fiji Meteorological Services principal scientific officer Ravind Kumar said Rotuma would be the first island to “feel the wrath of Tropical Depression 11F” today.

The system would bring strong winds and rain.

The weather office called on Fijians, especially those in maritime zones to monitor weather reports and to ensure that all precautionary measures were taken.

Those living in low lying or flood prone areas should monitor media reports for flash flood warnings.


Tropical depression TD11F

As the tropical depression TD11F continued to intensify, relevant Government departments met in Suva yesterday, for a briefing to discuss heightened alert and preparedness.

Minister for National Disaster Management, Inia Seruiratu said, “Preparedness is critical to ensure that there is no loss of life and minimum damage is done.”

He informed the Fiji Roads Authority, Water Authority of Fiji and Ministry of Infrastructure representatives that one of his major concerns was drainage.

“This is something that we’ve identified from past disasters, if we clean that up than half the problem is solved,” Mr Seruiratu said.

He advised ministry and department heads to prepare their staff for deployment in case the need arose.

“Start talking to your people to prepare their homes, families in case they are need to be deployed to assist people in affected areas,” Mr Seruiratu said.

He said the Commander of the Republic of the Fiji Military Forces Brigadier-General, Mosese Tikoitoga, had informed him they were carrying preparatory work as well.


National Disaster Management Office

Acting director NDMO,            Akapusi Tuifagalele said: “As of today (yesterday) the commissioners have stepped up their preparation, they’ve conducted meetings with their head of department’s and also with their relevant stakeholders.”

He said issues for consideration were the expectation of gale force to hit the country and heavy rain.

“Probably we’ll have a severe impact rather than just a gale force wind, but the issue that we’ve seen is the heavy rain band that covers the top of Fiji that will move down, that is what will bring a lot of flooding for us,” Mr Tuifagalele said.

He said flooding was something that was going to be a major issue for the country.

“The flooding that we are forecasted to have will most probably be similar to the March, 2012 flooding that affected the country where there were five to six deaths.

Things that need to be taken care off are the roads because we will be expecting broken bridges and blockages, farms will also be damaged.

Ministry of Finance:

The deputy secretary of the Ministry of Finance, Kelera Vakaloloma said: “If the situation worsens ministries and departments are requested to look within their budget first for funds.”

Ministry of Education:

Acting permanent secretary of the Ministry of Education, Kelera Taloga said: As of yesterday morning, they had sent out an advisory to all their heads of schools both primary and secondary warning them of the current weather situation.

“We’ve informed them to start securing their properties and continue to communicate with our district offices to stay update with the situation,” Ms Taloga said.

She said they were working their way around reaching out to schools that have limited communication access.

Ministry of Transport & Infrastructure:

Deputy secretary operation, Manasa Lesuma said:

The teams are on standby ready if there is any assistance requested. The Government fishing vessels are also now on standby should there be a requirement to utilise these vessels,” Mr Lesuma said.

Mr Kumar said the tropical depression was 1300 km North-west of Nadi at 2pm yesterday “On its projected path it is expected to lay about 1,200 km North-west of Nadi at 2pm today (Tuesday) and 1,100 km North-west of Nadi on Wednesday afternoon,” he said.

TD11F is not expected to directly affect Fiji.

Mr Kumar said, “The depression is continuing to intensify. It has a very high probability that it will become a tropical cyclone in the next 12-18 hours.”

Ministry of Health & Medical Services:

Permanent secretary of the Ministry of Health, Mecuisela Tuicakau said:

They were making sure to address those problems they had faced in the past disasters.

“We are looking at improving our readiness, making sure our health people are aware of the situation at hand. There are things like power, water and other necessities like medication stock we need to ensure in case an event takes place,” Mr Tuicakau said.

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