Friday, February 26, 2016

Fundraising for Fiji in Geelong

in the Geelong Advertiser Saturday 27th February:

Fijian couple George and Letila Ratawa call on Geelong to support Pacific relief efforts

George and Wendy Ratawa have family connections to Fiji and have joined forces with the Fiji Geelong Friendship group to colelct donations. Picture: Mike Dugdale
IMAGES of destruction across an island paradise have hit home for Newcomb’s George and Letila Ratawa.
The Geelong couple migrated from Fiji more than five years ago and have been horrified by television bulletins and conversations with relatives relaying the impact of Cyclone Winston.
The category-five cyclone belted the island nation last weekend, leaving more than 40 dead and forcing 8000 people to evacaution centres.
The damage to Yacata Island after the most powerful cyclone in Fiji's history battered the Pacific island nation. Picture: AFP Photo / New Zealand Defence Force
Mrs Ratawa comes from the island of Yacata and her family had two houses in the village, both of which were destroyed.
The Fiji Geelong Friendship Club is appealing for donations and will take its appeal to the streets during Pako Fest on Saturday.
“Cyclone Winston is the worst cyclone to appear in the Southern Hemisphere on record,” Mr Ratawa said. “A lot of Fijian homes are prepared for cyclones, even big cyclones, but nothing like this latest one. It was absolutely massive.
“There’s huge devastation and my wife’s community was badly hit. Some of the other guys here (in the club) are from communities that have been completely wiped out.”
Corio MP Richard Marles has met with Mr Ratawa and said Australia needed to support its island neighbour in its hour of need.
“There’s more than 40 people dead and the death toll continues to climb,” he said. “Fiji is a strong nation but Cyclone Winston is the biggest cyclone to ever hit on record, so these are very testing times for Fiji and our generosity is much needed at this time.”
A village is devastated by Cyclone Winston in the Northern Tailevu district, Fiji. Picture: AAP Image/Fijian Government

1 comment:

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

A story about Yacata in today's Fiji Times: Island sustains extensive damage
Serafina Silaitoga
Saturday, February 27, 2016
YACATA Island in Cakaudrove was badly hit.

Commissioner Northern Jovesa Vocea, who visited the island on Thursday, said damage sustained on Yacata was quite extensive.

Food supplies on the island, he added was totally damaged including root crops.
"It is one of the worst hit in the North and a lot of houses were blown down by the cyclone," he said.

"Our team visited the island and carried out assessments. We will also be providing agricultural technical advice for the villagers who have lost all crops. The school has also been badly hit so our team from the Ministry of Education have carried out inspection."

Mr Vocea said the villagers were blessed to be assisted by management of Kaibu Resort. "Some of the villagers were evacuated to Suva and the resort continues to help them with other needs," he said. "We are indeed grateful to the assistance given by the resort because it helped the villagers during the period of the cyclone. The health centre was also damaged including medication that was stored in the premises."

Mr Vocea said a new supply of medication would be delivered to the health centre.

"There have been no reports of injuries and we are glad that all the villagers are safe and are now living in evacuation centres," he said. "Their food will also be supplied this week."