India sends aid to cyclone hit Fiji


New Delhi: India rushed financial and material aid to Fiji that has suffered the biggest cyclone in recorded history last weekend, a senior government official said on Tuesday.

Tropical Cyclone Winston, a category 5 cyclone, hit the Pacific Ocean island nation on February 20, claiming 44 lives.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj wrote to her Fijian counterpart Ratu Inoke Kubuabola to express her condolences, ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup said adding that India had extended 1 million dollars as immediate assistance.

“In addition, today (Thursday) a C-17 Globemaster aircraft has left for Fiji with 45 tonnes of relief material, which includes food products such as noodles, biscuits, milk powder, rice pulses, flour and salt, as well as 5.43 tonnes of medicines and 300 tents and kitchen sets,” Swarup said at a media briefing here.

People of Indian origin account for 44 percent of Fiji’s population. Most are descendants of Indians who went in the 18th and 19th centuries to work as indentured labour in sugar cane plantations in the island nation.

The help is as promised by the Indian government last week. Fiji which has been left devastated because of this cyclone is in the need of help. (IANS)

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