Disaster Response Status Report in Fiji
The cyclone is estimated to be one of the most severe ever to hit the South Pacific. 44 people have been confirmed dead. At least 2 people are missing. Aid has begun arriving in cyclone affected communities, especially the outer islands in the east including Koro. Some 35,000 people are currently sheltering in 424 evacuation centres. 97 schools have been damaged or destroyed. 100 per cent of crops are reported destroyed in the worst affected areas. A 30 day State of Natural Disaster has been declared. For the most recent updates on the progress of vessels and needs, please follow the below link:
Sea Mercy Updates Blog
Sea Mercy Report: Sea Mercy has been officially tasked by Fiji's National Disaster Management (NDM) leadership to assist them in meeting the Emergency Response & Recovery needs of their "at risk" remote island citizens devastated by Cyclone Winston. We have four vessels on their way with aid to the Lomaiviti Group and one vessel heading to Vanua Balavu. Weather permitting, today we will be sending two additional vessels out for aid delivery and assessment to the Lomaiviti and Lau island groups. We have additional local yachts and several large yachts in NZ, Tahiti and AUS preparing to join our operations in Fiji at their earliest opportunity. We are currently forming and vetting a Recovery Fleet from NZ and AUS that will be joining our operations when weather permits.
Cyclone Winston - Category 5 (300+ kph winds)
300+ kilometer per hour winds from Cyclone Winston has ravaged the islands and 900,000+ people living in Fiji. The outer islands in the eastern Lau Group, northern Vanua Levu & Taveuni areas, and the western Yasawa islands seem to have sustained the most damage from Cyclone Winston. Storms are nothing new to the people living on the remote islands, however a "Once in a Century" cyclone of this magnitude has never been seen by those living there. Winds of this magnitude will tear apart the homes, strip any edible fruit or coconuts from the trees, uproot any crops in the field, and foul the water catchment drinking supply with ocean water. What the wind did not destroy, the storm surge of waves being pushed inland will carry everything back out to sea once the storm has passed. This leaves those living on the remote islands without shelter, food, safe drinking water and even the tools and materials to rebuild their shattered lives.
Sea Mercy & YachtAid Global - Emergency Remote Island Assistance
Sea Mercy and YachtAid Global have partnered to provide and supply a fleet of volunteer vessels to deliver emergency aid, shelter, food, water, and trained medical and disaster response teams to the devastated remote islands of Fiji. Our disaster response experience in Tonga (Cyclone Ian in 2014) and in Vanuatu (Cyclone Pam in 2015) has demonstrated the crucial need to provide the vessels, aid and medical teams to reach the remote islands at the earliest opportunity in order to avoid unnecessary loss of life. Without roads or power to connect these outer islands to the primary islands (where the international aid is sent), our First Response Fleet vessels are often their only hope during the first 30-60+ days following a natural disaster.
Whether the nature of your donation is "In-kind" or "Financial", all donations are used to deliver the emergency aid and medical services to these "at risk" remote island citizens.
Financial donations provides us with the most effective way to assist the remote islands. With guidance and direction from the National Disaster Management leadership in Fiji, we only use those funds to purchase the most needed items (import protocols and customs approved) for the devastated remote islands. To make a financial donation, please follow the below link:
If you or your organization has an In-Kind donation to provide those affected on the remote islands, please contact us via email at email@example.com for clearance approval and drop-off or shipping instructions. Please provide as much detailed information about your organization and donation within the email so that we can understand how best to contact you and utilize your donation.
Most of the directly impacted islands experienced a major tidal storm surge after the cyclone passed. Which meant all debris, pots and pans, clothing, food etc was all washed out to sea, which means that they have been left with nothing. In the provisioning of the first 2 boats we have completely emptied our donated goods.
Local Donation Requests (in Fiji):
Hand fishing lines and hooks
Large pots and pans
Storage containers to collect water in
Basic building supplies (hammers/nails etc)
Garbage Bags to keep any belongings they may have been able to salvage dry
Mosquito Coils/Insect Repellent/Nets
Basic medical supplies - disinfectant, bandages, painkillers
International Requests (please email for confirmation and drop-off locations):
Basic medical supplies
Water containers/storage buckets (with lids)
and the like
If you have major items to contribute, please contact us directly.
For Vessel Owners/Captains
If you are in the South Pacific area and would like to offer your assistance in the Disaster Response & Recovery work, please contact us via the online Captain Request Form or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and our Fleet Director will connect with you at the earliest opportunity.
Please keep the people of Fiji in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.