Death toll from Cyclone Winston in Fiji now stands at 36

Tropical Cyclone Winston has now claimed 36 lives in Fiji with one still missing.

This was confirmed by National Disaster Management Minister Inia Seruiratu today.

Families are being advised to, as soon as possible, bury or cremate bodies of those who have died as a result of Severe Tropical Cyclone Winston.

Commissioner Western Manasa Tagicakibau says there are no facilities to store bodies for a lengthy period.

“We are talking about bodies – the deceased – we cannot really bring them to the mortuary because there is no power – so their best option is to have them buried quickly and deal with all other protocols later.”

A number of families have already done this, knowing that there’s no other option at this stage.

Meanwhile, the Fiji Police Force is urging those that have lost their loved ones during Tropical Cyclone Winston to give full information of what transpired.

Chief of Operations ACP Rusiate Tudravu says these are unnatural deaths and in normal circumstances a post mortem is carried out on the deceased.

However, ACP Tudravu says due to no facilities to keep the bodies, family members have to carry out burial.

He is urging family members to give detailed information to the police officers and medical staff on what transpired before their family member passed away.

ACP Tudravu says based on that the medical practitioner will issue the death certificate which will be an official document and will be referred to in the future for any assistance.

“I am just requesting the members of the family just to assist if the policemen are coming around just to ascertain those necessary information for our future record because all these things should be investigated and we are mindful or the situations that we are in so those are some of the clarifications from the public at large – those that know what transpired before the person died – only during this period of Cyclone Winston, said ACP Tudravu.