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NZ waiting to help flood-hit Fiji

New Zealand is ready and waiting to help flood-hit Fiji, but Prime Minister John Key says he is yet to receive a formal request.

Severe weather pounded Fiji over the weekend, causing flash floods that left four people dead and three missing, forced thousands to evacuate their homes, and cut off power and water supplies.

Reports today said the rain had stopped and rivers had receded, but the country was now preparing to be hit by a cyclone tonight.

Tropical cyclone Daphne was expected to pass 500km south-west of Fiji this evening, bringing with it more rain and strong winds.

Prime Minister John Key said today that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was watching the situation closely, but had not yet been asked for support.

“New Zealand stands ready to give that support. It’s obviously a serious situation, and we see the storm’s getting slightly worse,” he said.

Mr Key said more than 400 New Zealanders were registered in Fiji, and the major concern centred around them.

No New Zealanders were believed to have been injured or at serious risk.

“We obviously have those military assets available if we need them, but it’s not likely we’re going to need them at this point,” Mr Key said.

In previous similar situations with Fiji, New Zealand had supported the country through the Red Cross with donations, and Mr Key said that was likely to be the case again if help was requested.



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