At least seventeen people have died and thousands have been made homeless by the worst hurricane to hit the Fijian islands in 20 years.
At least seventeen people have died and thousands have been made homeless by the worst hurricane to hit the Fijian islands in 20 years. Hurricane Bebe swept across the Pacific island group on October 24. The main island of Viti Levu--hardest hit by the hurricane-is still partly covered by floodwaters.
A massive relief operation is getting under way to supply food and clothing to the tens of thousands of homeless victims. Government and relief organisations fear they may have to provided food for up to 50,000 people over the next six months.
SYNOPSIS: Floodwaters still covered most of the main island of Viti Levu in Fiji almost a week after hurricane Bebe hit the island group. Seventeen people were killed when the 180-mile-an-hour winds smashed through the towns and villages that dot the Fijian coast. And, damage is estimated to run into millions of dollars (pounds sterling).
Rescuers were working in the remote regions of the islands to reach these stranded by the floodwaters. And the problem of supplying food and shelter to the homeless--estimated at tons of thousands--is one of the biggest problems facing the Fijian Government. Relief operations may have to last for some time. Government and relief organisations fear that they may have organisations fear that they may have to provide food for up to fifty-thousand people over the next six months.
Hurricane Bebe was the worst storm to hit Fiji in twenty years. And, its effects will be evident for quite a while. Those buildings that were not blown down by the high winds could not avoid damage from the floodwaters. And now, the massive relief operations underway will attempt to prevent the death toll from going higher from starvation and disease.