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These relief items were transported to Suva on the RNZAF C-130 Hercules this afternoon.
An additional 2100 tarpaulins and 2100 water containers have been requested by Fiji Red Cross, and will be dispatched tomorrow from Red Cross’ Auckland warehouse. New Zealand Red Cross Secretary General Tony Paine says the devastation and distress caused by Cyclone Winston will be felt for a long time. “Entire communities have been virtually wiped out, and we’re hearing reports of more damage every hour. We need to come together to support our friends and neighbours in Fiji.
“We know this is going to be a difficult and complex relief operation. Many of the most remote communities have been hit hardest, and Red Cross is working urgently to get relief supplies to these villages.”
Fiji Red Cross is on the ground in some of the hardest to reach, worst-hit areas, including Rakiraki, Vanua Levu and Taveuni. Staff and volunteers are distributing relief supplies and are continuing to carry out urgent assessments across the country. There is now concern that diseases such as dengue and typhoid could spread in the cyclone’s wake.
“It’s vital we get clean water into communities and provide access to basic sanitation facilities and hygiene kits to prevent the spread of disease,” Mr Paine says. “Many families have also lost their homes, and they need emergency shelter to protect them from the elements.”
How to help
New Zealand Red Cross does not accept clothing, food or other goods, as they can clog up airports and ports and distract humanitarian workers from more important tasks. Often the cost of transporting goods is more than the value of goods themselves.We also work to ensure people receive goods that are equitable, quality and appropriate, and when we can we buy from local supplies which helps the local economy after a disaster. Cash moves fast, is more easily collected, transferred, distributed and accounted for.
Restoring family links service
If you have not yet been able to re-establish contact with a family member, or you are in Fiji, and wish to register yourself as "I am alive", please visit the ICRC's restoring family links website.
Alternatively, if you are in Fiji, you can contact the Fiji Red Cross on +679 3314 133 ext. 112, or +679 873 8803.
If you are in New Zealand you can contact your local Red Cross office, firstname.lastname@example.org or 04 494 1312.