A ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) is flying to Fiji to assess the need for emergency shelter, following heavy rains over the past few months that have caused riverbanks to burst flooding villages.
Thousands of homes have been damaged on the largest island of Viti Levu forcing around 8,000 people into evacuation centres. Water andelectricity have been cut off in some areas.
The floods are 'three to four times worse' than the last devastating floods in 2009, according to the South Pacific nation's Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama, who has called for a solution to the country's flooding problems.
'We are consulting with several key players, including Rotary in Suva, DISMAC (Fijian disaster management agency), Red Cross and the New Zealand Government to coordinate an appropriate and rapid response,' said ShelterBox International Director Lasse Petersen.
SRT members Lyndon Tamblyn (NZ) and Sally Fletcher (NZ) will arrive in Fiji to begin the needs assessment on 5 April.
'This will be my second deployment to Fiji as I was part of the Response Team that responded to Hurricane Tomas that hit in 2009,' saidLyndon. 'The Rotarians and government officials who assisted us then are helping us now and will provide valuable logistical support with transport and language.'