Local woman responds to cyclone call

Sunday April 17, 2016 Written by Published in Local
Elizabeth Hosking takes a selfie during a rest break with colleagues during her trip to Fiji. 16041306 Elizabeth Hosking takes a selfie during a rest break with colleagues during her trip to Fiji. 16041306

Rarotongan woman Elizabeth Hosking was not sure what to expect when she first arrived in Fiji on February 23 – just two days after Tropical Cyclone Winston devastated parts of the country.

 

Leaving her family behind, Hosking only had one goal in mind – to assist international humanitarian efforts on the ground and reach out to victims.

She was among 16 other people who represented the United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) after the Fijian government sought assistance from the United Nations.

The UNDAC consist of specialists from around the region who had been chosen to represent UNDAC.

 “The UNDAC team included field assessment capacity, report writing and civil-military coordination expertise to allow for a coordinated and effective response,” Hosking said.

She said her team had to conduct an assessment as soon as they arrived.

“The UNDAC team immediately carried out assessments to assist with the response, given the importance of rapidly developing an operational understanding of the conditions in the most affected, and accessible, areas.

“The team formed three field observation teams to deploy and rapidly assess the impacted areas of Western, Central and Northern Divisions of Fiji.

“The Eastern Division of Fiji, which includes Koro Island and the Lau Island Chain, was largely inaccessible at the time the assessments were undertaken with only military aircraft from the Australian and New Zealand Defence Forces able to provide aerial observation of those locations.”

Hosking said her team visited 130 sites across the main islands of Viti Levu and Vanua Levu both urban and rural locations. 

“The missions were planned based on available information coming from the Government, remote sensing and partners about which areas were most affected and which locations may not have been visited by other assessment teams.”

She said the disaster relief teams led by the Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) personnel who also worked with their foreign counterparts in carrying out the exercise.

1 comment

  • Comment Link Esika Qoro Tuesday, 19 April 2016 13:04 posted by Esika Qoro

    We were so fortunate to have the Raratonga beauty in our respond team.............GB Liz

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