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Fiji cyclone - a first look at the aftermath (Taveuni) Not looking good for Rabi

Wed, 17 Mar 2010 6:00p.m. Michael Morrah

A 3 News camera was with the first relief teams to see the pain and destruction left by Fiji’s cyclone.

This morning the 3 News crew joined a frontline medical rescue mission that went in, well ahead of the Air Force Hercules sent by New Zealand.

The emergency medical team was one of the first to leave Suva for a rescue mission to islands directly in the cyclone's path.

It flew into Taveuni, a tourist area with a population of 40,000 and one of the worst hit.

“What can I say; it was the worst of the worst, the bad of the bad. As you can see everything has been taken down,” said one resident.

Entire villages were flattened by the cyclone, which hung over the tiny island for a day and a half.

One man narrowly escaped from his home as it was ripped apart by gusts of up to 260kmph.

“We had flying roofing iron, but took precautions and moved slowly to our neighbours,” says the man.

The emergency team could do little for the thousands who are homeless. But they could help one woman - who is pregnant and in pain.

She too had no choice but to ride out the cyclone, but at last can be flown to a hospital in the capital.

The New Zealand Defence Force is now in Fiji, fresh from flying aid to the Cook Islands.

The NZDF’s first job will be checking out how badly hit the main island to the north has been. They expect the island will be “devastated”.

The defence force will be surveying the damage and delivering aid, including tarpaulins and water.

Fiji's navy will follow, with more aid supplies on board for the survivors. But disaster officials say at least six people are now feared dead in the storm.

A nationwide curfew has been lifted, but thousands remain homeless in evacuation centres.

The cyclone has moved on but it's left behind a humanitarian crisis.

3 News

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Comment by Stacey King on March 18, 2010 at 2:06pm
Hi Saleshni sorry to know this is your parents home. Is it on Taveuni? Glad to hear they are safe, but must be very stressful time for them. Hope it is just the verandah and the main house is mostly intact.
Regards Stacey
Comment by Saleshni Lal on March 18, 2010 at 8:20am
this is my home back in Fiji. My parents still live in this house...Thanks God they are all fine


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