Tropical Cyclone Winston is causing severe damage in the Pacific, particularly in Tonga and Fiji. Australia is closely monitoring the situation and has offered assistance to the Governments of Tonga and Fiji. We are working closely with these governments and regional partners, and assessing the humanitarian impact of the cyclone.
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has contacted her counterpart in Fiji, Foreign Minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, to offer Australia’s support and assistance.
Please visit the Smartraveller website for the latest Australian travel advice for Tonga and Fiji. As at 20 February, Smartraveller is advising Australians to reconsider their need to travel to Fiji. If you have any concerns for the welfare of family and friends in the region, you should attempt to directly contact them.
If you are unable to contact them and still hold concerns for their welfare, you should call the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s 24 hour Consular Emergency Centre on 1 300 555 135, or +61 2 6261 3305 (if calling from overseas).
Australia’s Humanitarian Assistance
Australia has provided assistance to Tonga and we are continuing to monitor needs after Cyclone Winston passed close by Vava’u Island Group for a second time on Friday 19 February.
Australia has $300,000 of prepositioned humanitarian supplies with the Tonga Red Cross Society (TRCS)
The TRCS has distributed Australian funded pre-positioned supplies, such as tarpaulins, buckets and mosquito nets
Two Australian Civilian Corps (ACC) disaster management experts have been deployed to the Government of Tonga’s National Emergency Management Office
Two surveillance and assessment aircraft have deployed to the affected islands
In Fiji, Australia has offered assistance to the Government and stands ready to assist. We are working closely with our FRANZ partners in the region to monitor the situation and have three Australian disaster experts in Fiji. The three ACC specialists are supporting response efforts, with two working in the Fiji National Disaster Management Office.
If you would like to contribute to Australia’s response to Tropical Cyclone Winston please consider donating to an agency working with affected communities. Often the most effective ways to support the relief effort in countries affected by disasters is by providing cash donations through organisations responding to the crisis. The Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) has a list of ACFID-accredited non-government organisations. ACFID also has detailed information about public donations.
More information Follow @AusHumanitarian on Twitter for more information about Australia’s humanitarian response.