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Cyclone Winston – Fiji SPECIAL EDITION

Cyclone Winston: tens of thousands homeless in Fiji a week after storm

 A Fijian resident looks at the damage caused by Cyclone Winston . Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

A Fijian resident looks at the damage caused by Cyclone Winston . Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Tens of thousands of people in Fiji are living in evacuation centres after Cyclone Winston tore across the South Pacific country last week, the United Nations Children’s Fund has said. The total number of people forced from their homes in the archipelago nation of more than 300 islands is expected to be much higher as many fled to relatives and are not included in the data. Cyclone Winston, the worst storm recorded in the southern hemisphere, left 42 people dead, according Fiji’s National Disaster Management Office. The category-five storm also left many without water and it could be weeks before electricity is restored in some areas…


Fiji after Cyclone Winston: Why Australians should still head to Fiji

I know Fiji is probably the last place you want to holiday right now, but now is the perfect time to go. As the country struggles to get back on its feet after the most powerful cyclone in the Pacific nation’s history, Fiji needs Australian travellers (its No. 1 market) more than ever…


Tourism: Path to recovery


APART from the aid in kind and contributions given by other countries to Fiji to recover from the devastation of Severe Tropical Cyclone Winston, the best way these countries can help is by continuing to visit Fiji. Attorney-General and Minister for Finance Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says this is a critical point as far as economic recovery was concerned. “And the best way our friends in Australia and New Zealand, and every other country can help us apart from the aid they are giving us, is to keep visiting Fiji,” he said at a media briefing in Suva. The country, he said, ironically had the highest ever recorded number of tourists in the month of January…


Cyclone Winston: Fijians in devastated Soso village rebuild community with smile on their face

Photo: Farmer Semi shows the damage post Cyclone Winston. (CARE Australia: Dylan Quinnell

Photo: Farmer Semi shows the damage post Cyclone Winston. (CARE Australia: Dylan Quinnell

Humanitarian aid agency CARE Australia is in the devastated Soso village in the Yasawa Islands, responding to needs after Cyclone Winston. Soso village is “one of the worst affected” villages in the Yasawa Islands, with all houses damaged, and 20 out of 190 houses completely flattened, according to CARE Australia’s emergency spokesman Dylan Quinnell. “The destruction is pretty hard to comprehend. There are no trees with leaves on, all the leaves have blown off. All there’s left is concrete,” he said. The “utter devastation” is evident in fallen timber, collapsed walls and roofs. The community gardens are “flat” — all the bananas have been destroyed — leaving locals desperate for food…


Australia donates $7 million to aid cyclone-hit Fiji

Australia said on Monday it would donate A$10 million ($7.1 million) to fund relief efforts in Fiji, where more than 60,000 people are sheltering in evacuation centers more than a week after the Pacific island nation was hit by its worst cyclone. Tropical Cyclone Winston, the worst ever recorded in the southern hemisphere, brought wind gusts of up to 325 kph (200 mph), and wreaked devastation, killing at least 42 people, with fears the toll could rise. The funds, earmarked to provide food, clean water and shelter to communities, take to A$15 million the aid Australia has provided so far, besides teams of emergency aid workers. “We will work closely with Fijian authorities to make urgent repairs to schools, medical clinics, and basic infrastructure,” Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said in a statement. “The Australian government will also provide further support to respond to urgent health needs.”

Aid agencies said Fiji, with a population of 900,000, is in desperate need of assistance, as emergency workers wend their way to remote islands where thousands of people live in tin or wooden shacks in low-lying areas. UNICEF said more than 62,000 people remain in 875 evacuation centers, with around 40 percent of Fiji’s population directly affected by Cyclone Winston. The key task is to ensure food and water supplies to all, aid workers said, as the after effects of the cyclone are likely to be drawn out over months.

“Women and girls also remain at risk of life-threatening health and nutrition problems,” said Charlie Damon, head of CARE Australia’s emergency response team in Fiji. Many women, worried over crop damage, fear for long-term food supply to their communities, he added, saying, “They will be trying to rebuild their gardens to grow food again.” (Source: REUTERS)


Sport: Cyclone Winston a motivating factor for Fiji 7s team

The defending World Series champions, who lead the current standings after four rounds, took time out of their training schedule over the past 10 days to help with the clean-up and recovery in Fiji and assisted with fundraising. Team Manager Ropate Kauvesi said the cyclone had been the main topic of conversation among the squad, with many Fijians sleeping outside with no food and just the clothes on their backs. “It has affected some of the boys as well, personally, in terms of their homes losing corrugated iron roofing and then having to do as much as they can at home before coming out to training camp…


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