State of Natural Disaster declared for the whole of Fiji

State of Natural Disaster declared for the whole of Fiji

By Iva Danford
Thursday 17/12/2020

A State of Natural Disaster has been declared for the whole of Fiji for the next 30 days.

While making the announcement NDMO Director, Vasiti Soko says this is active from yesterday.

Soko says this declaration will come with regulations.

She says this allows the NDMO to call on all of the government's assets to be on standby and be mobilized.

Soko says the declaration allows the NDMO to efficiently and effectively plan and coordinate the preparedness and response phases for Tropical Cyclone Yasa.

She says it will also assist NDMO, ministries and departments to manage and control activities to ensure the safety and security of the public.

The declaration means the evacuation of people in their own interests, or in order to facilitate the necessary operations of the Police or Military personnel, the temporary acquisition or control of any property, undertaking or land, the entering and searching of any premises and the supply and distribution of essential relief supplies, medical assistance, shelter or other resources.

It also means the maintenance of transportation by land, sea or air and the control of the transport of persons and resources, directing the movement of persons by land, sea or air in the interest of safety and prohibiting the unjustified exploitation of a disaster for profit.

Soko says this declaration was made upon the advice of the Emergency Committee, as per the powers conferred on the Cabinet by section 17 of the Natural Disaster Management Act 1998.

She says should members of the public require evacuation after 4pm, they can contact their District Office or Police Station nearest to them but has advised the public to ensure that all movements especially evacuations occur as much as possible before 4pm.

Under the declaration, any person, body or entity who contravenes any order made by an officer of the Fiji Police Force or the Republic of the Fiji Military Forces in performing a role or discharging a responsibility under these regulations commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $2,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or both.

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