'We're going to start again': Fijians mop up after deadly Tropical Cyclone Winston

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Fijians who have lost nearly everything to Cyclone Winston's fury say they are grateful to be alive, as aerial footage shows the extent of the flooding and devastation.

Fijians who have lost nearly everything to Cyclone Winston's fury are cleaning up and trying to repair their badly damaged homes.

Tropical Cyclone Winston hit late on Saturday with winds of up to 330 kilometres per hour.

The official death toll stands at 29, although there are fears the number could rise when communication resumes with the smaller islands.

In Vakana settlement on the north-west coast of the main island, Viti Levu, only one house made of bricks and concrete stands undamaged.

The others, made of wood and corrugated iron, were torn apart.

Resident Joe Sawailau and his family had to flee their house on Saturday night as Cyclone Winston started to tear the roof off.

"I had to look on my left and my right because we don't know, maybe tin [corrugated iron] will be running through and it might hit us," he told the ABC.

Residents have dragged their sodden belongings outside to try and dry them in the tropical sun.

Despite the loss and the devastation the children still laugh and play.

Relatives have come to help rebuild the houses.

"We don't have any other place to live so I think we're just going to start again from here," Mr Sawailau said.

"They don't want to worry about their belongings that much, they're just grateful they're alive."

Across the country's islands more than 8,000 people spent the night in evacuation centres, waiting for help with basics like food and water as the clean-up continues.

In Ba, one of Fiji's major manufacturing centres, the big factories are closed as power and water are still out.

But a few service stations are open and some public buses have resumed services. There are people waiting on the highway to go to work.

Meanwhile the Government said it was sending boats to remote locations to provide urgent aid, with many areas suffering from clean water shortages.

The National Disaster Management Office director Akapusi Tuifagalele said Australian air support would be used in the recovery effort.

"As of this week we'll also be receiving helicopters from the Government of Australia that will be assisting in the delivery operation, the damage assessment and the medivac that can happen during the week," he said.

Mr Tuifagalele said aerial pictures showed the tiny island of Koro was one of the hardest places hit.

"The aerial survey that was done yesterday by the New Zealand Orion aircraft has given us a very clear picture of the affected areas in the eastern division and the heavy devastation that was actually made on the island of Koro," he said.

Australian Broadcasting Corporation