Tropical Cyclone Winston in Fiji (19 February 2016 – 9 March 2016)
A powerful tropical cyclone named “Winston” struck the Southern Pacific and was heading towards the coasts of Fiji. UNITAR - UNOSAT on behalf of UN OCHA activated the International Space Charter on 19 February 2016. On the 20th of February 2016, the cyclone made landfall at 06:30 UTC (18:30 local time) over the north-eastern coast of Viti Levu (Fiji), the main island of the archipelago. The cyclone tracked west across the country, causing damage in four divisions (Western, Central, Eastern and Northern) with more concerns on the Western and Central divisions.
According to FIJI Flash Appeal Tropical Cyclone Winston published by UNOCHA on 4 March 2016, 350,000 people living in the cyclone’s path could have been affected (170.000 female and 180,000 male) - equivalent to 40 per cent of Fiji’s population. This includes 120,000 children under the age of 18 (58,000 female and 62,000 male) and more than 3,100 people with disabilities.
UNOSAT Damage Assessment
UNOSAT triggered the space charter on behalf of UNOCHA the 19th of February 2016 and requested satellite imagery over the areas defined by UNOCHA based on the proximity to the cyclone track, wind speed values and related potential population exposure. The areas planned to be imaged and analysed were visible through the GDACS Satellite Mapping Coordination System – SMCS for Fiji with related Glide Number: TC-2016-000014-FJI and allowed to follow the potential next analysed zones. On the 22 February 2016 UNITAR – UNOSAT has conducted assessment of standing waters in Savu area (Naitasiri Province, Central Division) using radar imagery. Due to the cloud cover conditions over Viti Levu island (Fiji), the two first days of the activation no satellite imagery was successfully acquired to conduct building damage assessment over the areas of interest. On the 23 February 2016, the first suitable very high resolution satellite images for damage assessment were delivered to UNITAR-UNOSAT and started the analysis and assessment of damage in the areas of interest in Ra and Ba provinces in the northern part of Viti Levu island including areas of Lauwaki, Lautoka and Ba (Ba province); Rakiraki and Nanokonoko (Ra province). In this document a summary of main findings and related statistics are summarized and presented in different tables by island, division and province.