Fiji: Severe Tropical Cyclone Winston Situation Report No. 1 (as of 21 February 2016)

Highlights

• On 20 and 21 February Category 5 Severe Tropical Cyclone Winston cut a path of destruction across Fiji’s islands blowing off roofs, bringing down trees and powerlines, and flooding rivers.

• At its peak, the Cyclone was estimated by the Fiji Met Service to have sustained winds of 230kmph, gusting to 325 kmph making it one of the most severe cyclones ever to hit the South Pacific.

• Six people have been confirmed dead.

• 150 houses have been confirmed as destroyed in the Eastern Division and a further 60 damaged.

• A 30 day State of Natural Disaster has been declared and a nation-wide curfew is currently in force.

• Schools have been closed for a week.

Situation Overview

On 20 and 21 February Category 5 Severe Tropical Cyclone Winston cut a path of destruction across Fiji’s islands blowing off roofs, flooding rivers and bringing down trees and power lines. At its peak, the Cyclone was estimated to have sustained winds of around 230kmph, gusting to 325 kmph making it one of the most severe cyclones ever to hit the South Pacific. The cyclone was so strong that it destroyed weather data loggers in many affected areas. The Fiji Government has confirmed that six people are dead. Early reports from the Eastern Division suggest extensive damage, particularly in the Lomaiviti Group. Power is out across most of the country. A curfew remains in place across the country to allow emergency services to clear roads and work on restoring power supplies.

Communications are down in many affected areas, particularly in the West, and this is slowing the collection of impact data. Aerial surveillance of the affected region has begun using a New Zealand Defence Force P3 Orion aircraft. Australian military assets are also on standby if needed.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:

To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit http://unocha.org/.