UNICEF emergency supplies ready for cyclone-hit Fiji, Solomon Islands

Gizo is a fishing village and diving centre in the Solomon Islands

16 March 2010 – The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is on standby with emergency relief supplies for thousands of people in Fiji and the Solomon Islands, which were pummeled by heavy winds and rains from two extreme cyclones.

Medical equipment, drugs, water containers, water purifying tablets, soap, tarpaulins and tents are among the supplies made possible through cooperation with the Australian Government, UNICEF’s Pacific Office has announced.

In Fiji, Cyclone Tomas intensified yesterday to a Category Four hurricane with winds up to almost 250 kilometers per hour, and was forecast to reach 280 kilometres in its centre.

There were initial reports of at least one death, significant infrastructure damage, flooding and widespread disruption of power. All schools were closed and people were told to stay home.

Fiji’s disaster management office, DISMAC, said an extensive emergency response was in place with more than 100 shelters set up.

In the Solomon Islands, Cyclone Ululi reached Category Five status with sustained winds of 260 kilometers per hour.

Authorities said they had received reports of a number of very remote islands hit, with severe flooding having been reported.


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