Cyclone Winston

EU - ACP states commend Fijian Government for Cyclone Winston efforts

As Ministers from the African Caribbean and Pacific group of states met last week in Senegal with senior EU officials, the devastation and recovery works was highlighted by members.

In her address to the Joint ACP-EU Council, the  EU Co-President Lilianne Ploumen expressed the EU's sympathies to the Fijian delegation present at this week's meeting.

Fijians feeling hopeless after cyclone

They say children are also still suffering trauma two months after the category five storm hit.

Local Non-governmental Organisation (NGO) Empower Pacific has counsellors visiting communities around the country to help with pyschosocial recovery.

Counsellor Salvin Singh said among the 50 to 100 households in each community they had visited, the rate of desperation was high.

"There might be one or two cases in all the villages, I would say, on a very high note of hopelessness," he said.

Fiji's State of Natural Disaster ends tonight

The declaration had been issued in February after the country was hit by Cyclone Winston.

The NDMO's director, Akapusi Tuifagalele, told FBC News that this also signalled that the Australian and New Zealand Defence Forces had completed their recovery work - seven weeks after they were deployed.

Mr Tuifagalele said the government was thankful to the forces and will continue from where they left off.

He said the Fijian military had positioned themselves on the severely damaged islands of Vanuabalavu and Koro to continue assistance.

25,000 dwellings houses affected by cyclone Winston in Fiji

A massive rehabilitation is expected to be led by government.

National Disaster Management Office Director Akapusi Tuifagalele who was in Koro island last week  said discussions are still underway however the focus for now is the provision of basic needs and shelters.

He said the rehabilitation phase will take a few years.

Queen makes personal donation to Fiji relief effort

Winston caused mass devastation across the islands of Fiji and is the worst natural disaster ever to hit the country.

The cyclone which is the strongest ever recorded in the area has left at least 43 people dead and destroyed thousands of homes leaving 62,000 people homeless.

The Royal Commonwealth Society said it welcomed the generous private donation from the Queen.

RCS Director Michael Lake, says it is important in times of natural disasters such as Cyclone Winston that the Commonwealth comes together to offer support.

Preliminary damages in Fiji currently stand at US$161 million

The number of completely destroyed homes around the country is 7,043.

The number of partly damaged homes is 11,111.

New UN appeal hopes to raise $81.85m for Fiji

Launching the appeal today, Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama said the needs taken to the community of nations reflected the priorities of the Fijian Government.

“We are stronger than Winston. We will recover. And we will rebuild. And we will do so with our many friends in the community of nations with whom we stand so proudly, and especially at this time.

 PM Bainimarama said they looked forward to the generosity of UN member states.

“Even in these dark times, we can all take comfort from one shining truth. That we are a caring nation.

925 evacuation centers, distribution of food rations continue in Fiji

There are currently 925 evacuation centers in the four divisions.

The number of people living in these centers stands at 55,439.

Fiji Plea for UN assistance

And the Government has pleaded for immediate assistance from the 193 member countries of the UN and its organisations, as it says it cannot handle the situation alone.

In his urgent call for assistance, Fiji's permanent representative to the UN in New York, Peter Thomson, told the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) that Fiji faced a national crisis.

Fiji Govt clears many schools to re-open tomorrow

In a statement it listed hundreds of schools which had been assessed by the ministry of education as able to open on Monday after being closed for the past week as a result of Cyclone Winston.

But it said some schools sustained severe damage during the storm making them unsafe for teachers and students.

The ministry said it will provide regular updates on repair progress and said it is still exploring temporary solutions for students in the affected areas.