The death toll from Cyclone Winston touched 29 on Tuesday as the Pacific island country of Fiji grappled with one of the biggest storms to hit the southern hemisphere. India on Monday offered Fiji $1 million (Rs 6.85 crore) to help the island country with relief efforts. India’s External Affairs Ministry announced the assistance on Twitter, saying it was “reaching out to a friend in need”.
The toll is likely to climb as figures come in from remote areas that have been hit badly, The Guardian reported. Officials said eight bodies were found on the island of Koro, which has been almost completely destroyed as it lay right in the path of the storm. A 30-day state of emergency has been declared in the country.
The country had launched a massive cleanup drive on Monday as aid agencies fear a widespread health crisis, especially in low-lying areas where thousands of people live in tin shacks. Authorities said most deaths were caused by flying debris and drowning in storm surges. Other countries such as New Zealand and Australia have also been helping out with relief efforts.