• On 20 and 21 February Category 5 Severe Tropical Cyclone Winston cut a path of destruction across Fiji.
• The cyclone is estimated to be one of the most severe ever to hit the South Pacific.
• The Fiji Government estimates almost 350,000 people living in the cyclone’s path could have been affected (180,000 men and 170 000 women).
• 42 people have been confirmed dead.
• More than 62,000 displaced people are currently sheltering in nearly 900 evacuation centres.
• The total damage bill is now estimated at more than FJ$1billion or almost half a billion USD.
• Aid, including food rations, is arriving in cyclone affected communities and assessments are now underway across the country.
• A 30 day State of Natural Disaster has been declared
The Fiji Government now estimates the damage bill from Tropical Cyclone Winston will be almost half a billion US dollars, dealing a devastating blow to the country’s economy and its people. The scale of the emergency response ahead has been quantified with the Fiji Government now estimating almost 350,000 people living in the path of the cyclone may have been impacted. Relief supplies, including food rations, are being distributed as teams assess needs and priorities across the country. There is now an urgent need for the Government to develop a clear strategy for the closure of evacuation centres with more than 62,000 people now sheltering in hundreds of facilities across the country. The humanitarian community stands ready to guide the government in international best practice in evacuation centre management. The provision of safe transitional accommodation for those currently sheltering in centres must be a top priority. The Pacific Humanitarian Team has highlighted the need for more detailed sex, age and disability disaggregated data, particularly regarding evacuation centres, in order to ensure the needs of vulnerable people are being addressed. Intermittent essential services, as well as poor road access and communications difficulties, remain a constraint for both assessments and the delivery of relief.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.