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Hurricane, Fiji (Damage)

Volume 496: debated on Wednesday 20 February 1952

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61.

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he will make a statement on the recent hurricane in Fiji, saying how many lives were lost and how much damage was done.

A severe hurricane struck Viti Levu, the main island of Fiji, on 28th January, causing the loss of 24 lives and serious damage to crops, communications, industrial installations and buildings throughout most of the island, including Suva, the Colony's capital. A preliminary estimate puts the damage at over £1 million. Food supplies are adequate for the present and emergency supplies of rice and sharps are being sought from Australia. Other supplies are being shipped as early as possible from New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom.Relief funds have been opened by organisations in Fiji and in New Zealand. The New Zealand Government have announced the gift of £10,000. Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom have also announced a gift of £10,000, the necessary provision for which is being included in the Estimates for 1952–53 which will shortly be laid before the House.The Acting Governor has reported that all races and communities set a fine example of self-help and mutual assistance.The House will, I am sure, wish to join me in expressing sincere sympathy with those who have suffered and appreciation of the generous help which is being extended to Fiji by New Zealand and Australia.