Fiji cyclone: Toll rises to 42, villages flattened as country scrambles to protect citizens
Government spokesperson Dan Gavidi confirmed the number of fatalities on Twitter, and the Red Cross said more were coming to light as agencies sent back information from remote areas.
The toll from Cyclone Winston in Fiji rose to 42 on Wednesday, with disaster response authorities saying this is likely to increase. Government spokesperson Dan Gavidi said on Twitter that disaster officials are still deploying teams to help those affected across the Pacific island nation, ABC News reported. Another spokesperson, Ewan Perrin, said the island of Koro, which was directly in the storm’s path, has been “pretty much flattened”.
Efforts are on now to provide shelter to thousands of displaced people, arrange for clean water and medical facilities. Authorities will then have to rebuilt houses, roads, power lines and jetties. Australian Defence Force helicopters are expected to fly to the worst affected regions on Thursday. New Zealand has said it will send two navy ships.
Fiji’s Prime Minister Frank Bainirama said, “Whoever you are in Fiji, wherever you are in Fiji, we are doing our best to reach you”. The government has announced compensation for those affected by the cyclone from the country's biggest superannuation fund.