'There was large damage to telecommunications, roads, electricity supply, water supply and to food crops. The 20 ShelterBoxes we distributed were well received by those who had lost their homes in the disaster.
Lakewood Ranch, FL (Vocus) April 9, 2010
Up to 200 people hit by Cyclone Tomas in Fiji have been given emergency shelter by disaster relief charity ShelterBox.
The category four storm battered the Vanua Levu and Lau Group islands last month, destroying homes and crops and prompting authorities to declare a state of emergency.
Two ShelterBox Response Team members, Lyndon Tamblyn (NZ) and Walter van der Kley (NZ), have distributed 20 boxes of aid containing ten-person disaster relief tents and life-saving supplies to the Undu area in Vanua Levu’s north.
The team received transportation and logistical assistance from Rotary clubs and government authorities both in Fiji and New Zealand.
Lyndon said: “This was a very slow moving cyclone and battered areas for up to 48 hours with winds of 150 to 220km per hour. It created a major disaster on a big land and sea area covering many regions, some of which were a day’s travel by boat and with no working aircraft landing zones for aircraft.
“Many homes have been destroyed by Cyclone Tomas winds and the ensuing tidal surge. Because of no road access to remote villages, we had to use a mixture of transportation means by road and by boat.
“'There was large damage to telecommunications, roads, electricity supply, water supply and to food crops. The 20 ShelterBoxes we distributed were well received by those who had lost their homes in the disaster.”
Walter said: “This was a successful deployment with the help much appreciated. The ShelterBoxes we distributed by boat were in very isolated areas and we couldn't have done it without expert local boatmen and Government logistical support.”
Since its inception in 2000, ShelterBox (http://www.shelterboxusa.org) has provided shelter and dignity following over 100 disasters in more than 70 countries, bringing the organization to the forefront of international disaster relief. ShelterBox instantly responds to earthquake, volcano, flood, hurricane, cyclone, tsunami or conflict by delivering boxes of aid. In many cases ShelterBoxes have made the difference between life and death.
Each ShelterBox supplies an extended family of up to 10 people with a tent and lifesaving equipment to use while they are displaced or homeless. The contents are tailored depending on the nature and location of the disaster, with great care taken sourcing every item to ensure it is robust enough to be of lasting value. Highly trained ShelterBox Response Teams distribute boxes on the ground, working closely with local organizations, international aid agencies and Rotary clubs worldwide.