Fiji: Tropical Cyclone Harold - Final Report, DREF Operation MDRFJ004 (26/01/2021)



Description of the disaster

Tropical cyclone (TC) Harold entered as a category 4 cyclone from the west and moved in a south easterly direction towards the southern part of Fiji waters on 8 April 2020. It brought heavy rain causing widespread flooding. 250 evacuation centres were opened across the country with 10,000 people displaced and 6,240 evacuees utilizing the centres. There were landslides and flooded crossings on the main islands of Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, with significant damages to Kadavu island, Vatulele and Southern Lau islands. The remoteness of these islands and damages to communication and existing COVID 19 travel restrictions made assessment and reporting of damages challenging. FRCS was part of a joint aerial assessment with the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) on 9 April. The Royal New Zealand Air Force confirmed significant damage to dwellings, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) facilities, and food and livelihoods, with the worst affected areas being Kadavu and Southern Lau. Detailed damage assessments were completed on the islands of Kadavu, Matuku and Vatulele which were directly in the path of the cyclone.