Death toll rises to 21 in devastated Fiji after Cyclone Winston

cyclone winstonAt least 21 people have been confirmed dead in Fiji as the Pacific nation begins the enormous task of rebuilding in the wake of the devastating Cyclone Winston.

The official death toll rose rapidly on Monday as information began filtering back from hard-hit remote areas that bore the brunt of the category-5 cyclone on Saturday – a storm believed to be the most powerful ever to hit Fiji.

In a 9 News report, aid groups and government authorities are racing to deal with a critical need for clean water, health supplies and emergency accommodation after power lines, roads, jetties and homes were destroyed and damaged across huge areas of Fiji’s main island.

A 30-day state of emergency has been declared in Fiji and Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama has ordered emergency management officials to respond to the crisis as quickly as possible.

“There are Fijians out there who are without water, without a roof over their heads, without food and without essential services,” Mr Bainimarama said.

Cyclone Winston struck on Saturday night with winds gusting up to 325km/h and waves rising up to 12m high. Click here to read more.

The 5th Australian and New Zealand Disaster and Emergency Management Conference will be held at Jupiters Gold Coast, QLD, 30-31 May 2016.

The Conference theme ‘EARTH, FIRE and RAIN’ will continue to examine issues that impact preparedness, resilience, response and capability. To register for the conference CLICK HERE.