NEWS

Five Dead On Vanuabalavu

Five people are reported to be dead in Vanuabalavu in Lau. Their identity is yet to be confirmed, which will be done as soon as further communication is established with
25 Feb 2016 13:16
Five Dead On Vanuabalavu
Aerial view of Lomoloma Village in Vanuabalavu. Photo: Royal New Zealand Defence Force

Five people are reported to be dead in Vanuabalavu in Lau.

Their identity is yet to be confirmed, which will be done as soon as further communication is established with the island.

So far, 42 people are confirmed dead from around the country. More deaths are expected to be confirmed in coming days.

A Government team with relief supplies will be in Vanuabalavu today.

National Disaster Management Minister Inia Seruiratu confirmed that communication was established with the island after a portable radio was air dropped on the island during a reconnaissance trip.

The New Zealand Air Force assisted in the trip and the reconnaissance was done by the crew on the P3 Orion.

Meanwhile, an injured person was airlifted to the Colonial War Memorial Hospital in Suva from Vanuabalavu yesterday.

An official at the hospital confirmed the injured patient is believed to be admitted at the Acute Ward in CWM Hospital.

Lau Provincial Council chairman, Ilisoni Taoba told the Fiji Sun they were informed a chopper was deployed to Vanuabalavu to transfer severely injured people to Suva.

However, he said they had not been in touch with people on the island due to breakdown of communication networks damaged by Cyclone Winston.

“So far I have spoken to people in Lakeba; there had not been much damage there compared to Vanuabalavu which is the only island that was severely damaged by the cyclone in the Lau Group.

“Right now we are just waiting for directions from NDMO (National Disaster Management Office) on the situation in Vanuabalavu because the problem is that we don’t have resources to reach them since communication networks there are still inaccessible.

“We are also depending on radio broadcasts for information and the media,” he said.  Edited by Paula Tuvuki

Feedback:  arieta.vakasukawaqa@fijisun.com.fj



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