800 homes destroyed or damaged: NDMO

Close to 800 houses have been either destroyed or damaged in the central and eastern divisions, officials say, but numbers will increase as figures from the western and northern divisions are still being collated.

Tropical Cyclone Harold hit Fiji on the night of 7-8 April, claiming 338 homes and damaged 445 more in the two divisions.  As at 9am today, 119 evacuation centres remained open in the two divisions, sheltering 1008 people – 26 centres housing 636 in the central and 93 centres home to 372 in the eastern.

Numbers acquired from the Fiji’s National Disaster Management Office showed that in the eastern division, 447 houses were affected –  244 destroyed and 203 partly damaged. In the central division, 336 homes were affected – 99 destroyed and 242 partly damaged.

The category 4 system displaced more than 6,000 people countrywide who had to move into evacuation centres. Thirty-six other evacuation centres remain open in the West sheltering 372 people.

TC Harold also caused power outages, blocked roads and widespread flooding. Communication lines were down in Kadavu and southern Lau making it impossible for authorities to contact them. Special charter flights had to be organised two days later to send teams across to gauge the situation on the ground.

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