Inia Seruiratu, Fijian Minister for Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management, on Wednesday urged Fijians to prepare early for disaster.
Seruiratu said with up to three tropical cyclones predicted to cross Fiji’s Exclusive Economic Zone during the 2020/2021 cyclone season, a disaster is expected.
In a press statement, Seruiratu said that with the cyclone season, an annual forecasted event, it was vital that Fijians ensure they were prepared accordingly.
The tropical cyclone season runs between November and April.
“The 2020/2021 seasonal forecast has already been released.
“The key message to all Fijians is for us to start preparing early so we can minimise damages if we do go through a cyclone again.’’
He said preparation is very critical and it is important that every level of community will start preparing accordingly.
“And of course we also need to start the cooperation and discussion between the agencies and service providers so that we can prepare before we go through the season.’’
Seruiratu said his ministry was also looking at its state-of-readiness internally.
“And of course after that we will also start looking at all the key service providers and key stakeholders as well. We intend to do our operational readiness check.
“It is important for us to understand our state of readiness before we go into the season so that we can identify critical areas that need to be addressed.
“Who is going to take responsibility and what resources are needed if those areas or critical issues need to be addressed. That is the key preparation that we are undertaking.’’
In 2016, Fiji was hit by tropical cyclone Winston, killing 44 people and making extensive damages which the island nation is still recovering from.