Tropical Cyclone Winston has begun its assault on Fiji. It is being described as one of the most powerful in recorded history - a Category 5 cyclone with winds approaching 300 kilometres an hour. As a nation, we are facing an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We must stick together as a people and look after each other. Be alert and be prepared.
I urge you all, if you haven’t already done so, to finalise your own preparations to survive this terrible event. We cannot afford to be complacent. And I am especially concerned that some people in urban areas of the country in particular do not appear to have heeded the warnings about the seriousness of the threat we all face.
I want to assure the nation that the Government is thoroughly prepared to deal with this crisis. Our evacuation centres are fully operational. And if you have any doubts about the ability of your own home to withstand the onslaught, I urge you to seek shelter where you are most likely to be safe and our officials can assist you.
I ask parents to be especially careful of the young and the elderly. Do not allow anyone to go outside during the storm itself. The threat of being hit by flying debris is extremely high.
By now, you should have done all you can to secure your property. Make sure you have adequate food and water, flashlights, candles and lanterns in case the power supply is disrupted and a battery operated radio to keep abreast of news of Cyclone Winston’s progress.
Let us all pray for our nation, ourselves and each other and ask God’s blessing on our beloved Fiji.
Hon. JV Bainimarama