NATION

Islanders’ Readiness Comes Under Praise

Fiji Red Cross director-general Filipe Nainoca has lauded the people of Ono-i-Lau and Vatoa for being conscientious of disaster preparedness. And, Mr Nainoca said that there were no casualties as
19 Feb 2018 11:00
Islanders’ Readiness Comes Under Praise
Relief supplies being loaded onto MV Iloilovatu bound for Ono-i-Lau and Vatoa, in Lau on February 18, 2018. Photo: Nacanieli Tuilevuka

Fiji Red Cross director-general Filipe Nainoca has lauded the people of Ono-i-Lau and Vatoa for being conscientious of disaster preparedness.

And, Mr Nainoca said that there were no casualties as a result of the quick implementation of an evacuation plan.

Ono-i-Lau and Vatoa were directly in the path of Tropical Cyclone Gita.

Mr Nainoca said if it wasn’t for the evacuation plan, lives could have beeen lost.

“Preparedness works as an old proverb goes, if you fail to prepare be prepared to fail,” Mr Nainoca said.

“The four villages in Ono-i-Lau are under Fiji Red Cross care.

“In the villages, we have our community-based volunteers.

“Having the communities understand the dangers of a cyclone, having a plan for preparedness and knowledge works.

“This preparedness plan is something we will carry out in Fiji.

“Rebuilding is something you can do but you cannot bring someone back to life.

“This is why a preparedness plan is needed.’’

He said there are about 50 villagers around Fiji that are under the Fiji Red Cross.

“As auxiliary to Government, together we are trying to build a resilient Fiji,” he said.

“We train our community-based volunteers in disaster preparedness, health and hygiene and psycho/social support.”

He said 203 people in Vatoa and Ono-i-Lau were spread over five schools and community halls used as evacuation centres.

“They were listening to radios for weather updates,” he said

“When they heard that the cyclone would directly hit them, they quickly moved to evacuation centres.

He is urging the general public to build homes that can withstand category five cyclones.

“Weather is something we cannot control but we can strengthen (the structure of a ) home,” he said.

“People should now expect cyclones to be of a category five strength.”

Edited by George Kulamaiwasa

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