Cyclone forces Fiji to relocate 29 villages

Suva: At least 29 villages in Fiji will be relocated in the aftermath of tropical cyclone Winston that ravaged the Pacific island nation two months ago, state-owned Fiji Broadcasting Corporation (FBC) said on Thursday. The Fijian government has identified 48 villages to be relocated but only 29 villages have agreed to move, according to the FBC, Xinhua news agency reported. The devastation caused by the monster cyclone has forced some villagers to leave their homes and relocate to a higher and better location safe from another disaster, said Aakapusi Tuifagalele, director of the National Disaster Management Office. Relocating of villages will cost millions of dollars, Tuifagalele said, adding that he believes an adopted school project that is currently in place is a good model to use so that donors can assist the government in funding the process. Fiji declared a state of natural disaster on February 20 as tropical cyclone Winston was wreaking havoc. The state of natural disaster was extended for a month on March 21 in areas severely affected by Winston, which claimed 44 lives and caused massive destruction.