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UNICEF Pacific assists those in Cyclone affected areas

Suva, 19 March, 2010 – Landslides, destruction to homes, schools and health centers, and damage to vegetation were sighted when United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF Pacific) Emergency Coordinator, Mr Hamish Weatherly, accompanied the Australian Airforce which flew over the cyclone affected areas from Cikobia Island to the Southern Lau Islands yesterday.

“It was visible that storm surges and some flooding took place for instance in Cicia Island,” said Mr. Weatherly, adding that they “were not able to land but we could see that damage to buildings were either to the schools or health centers.”

In response, UNICEF Pacific sent 15emergency health kits to the Northern and Eastern Division for use and further distribution to those most affected by Cyclone Tomas.

Each emergency health kit can be used for 1,000 people and contains medical supplies such as dressing trays, forceps and antibiotics, as well as oral rehydration salts.

UNICEF is also sending 2,000 (10 litres) collapsible containers, communication material explaining how to purify water, soap to the affected areas.

There are other supplies such as tents for temporary school shelters that are ready to be dispatched if requested.

UNICEF staff who are members of its internal Pacific Emergency Response Team (PERT) are scheduled to leave for the affected areas this weekend to participate in a multi-agency rapid assessment on the situation of children and women in the Evacuation Centers.

Results from the rapid assessments will provide a basis for a potential response with further relief supplies.

For more information, please contact Donna Hoerder, Communications Specialist – External Relations on 9265518 or Hamish Weatherly, Emergency Coordinator (679) 908 7296..




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