Fiji cyclone death toll reaches 29; Koro island 'pretty much flattened'

WELLINGTON, New Zealand -- An island in Fiji took a direct hit from a powerful cyclone as the death toll climbed to 29, officials said Tuesday.

See Full Article

Government spokesman Ewan Perrin told Radio New Zealand that Koro Island had been "pretty much flattened" by Cyclone Winston over the weekend and that eight bodies were found there Monday.

He said there were very few buildings left standing on the island, which is home to about 4,500 people.

Winds from Cyclone Winston, which tore through the Pacific Island chain Saturday and early Sunday, reached 177 miles (285 kilometres) per hour, making it the strongest storm in Fiji's recorded history.

Getting emergency supplies to the group's far-flung islands and remote communities most affected by the cyclone has been the Fiji government's top priority.

United Nations Under-Secretary-General Stephen O'Brien said in a statement he was concerned by the devastating impact the cyclone was having on Fiji.

"Whole villages have been destroyed, homes and crops have been damaged, power lines have been cut and more than 8,100 people are currently sheltering in over 70 evacuation centres," O'Brien said.

O'Brien said Fiji was leading the response and had asked for international help. Australia has so far pledged 5 million Australian dollars ($3.6 million) in aid and New Zealand has pledged 2 million New Zealand dollars ($1.3 million).

Two vessels carrying medical supplies, food and water were due to arrive at Koro Island on Tuesday. Perrin said crews on the boat would build temporary shelters for people on the island whose homes had been destroyed.

Home to 900,000 people, Fiji has more than 100 inhabited islands, and authorities are still having difficulty communicating with some of the more remote islands in the wake of the cyclone.

Phone communications have been rapidly restored in many areas but in other areas the damage was severe and would take longer to fix, Perrin said.

He said the electricity network across Fiji remained patchy, and in some cases power had been deliberately cut to prevent further damage. He said clean water was also a challenge, and people were being asked to boil their water, treat it with chemicals or drink bottled water.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Protests over judicial reforms head into Day 8 in Poland

    World News CBC News
    Poles protested in cities and towns across Poland for the eighth day Sunday over new rules passed by the ruling party that would drastically limit the independence of the judiciary.ANALYSIS | Central Europe's 'revolt of the deprived' adding to disintegration talkANALYSIS | JaroslawKaczynski's conspiracy theory drives Poland's sulky EU policyProtesters see moves by the populist governing Law and Justice party as an assault on the country's democratic system of checks and balances, accusing party…
  • Hamilton, Ont. festival posters with feminist and LGBT themes defaced

    Canada News CTV News
    HAMILTON -- Posters advertising Hamilton Fringe Festival shows with LGBTQ and feminist themes have been defaced with Bible verses condemning homosexuality and female independence. On Saturday afternoon, festival organizers posted a photo on Twitter of posters for the show "S.C.U.M. Source
  • Israeli embassy in Jordan attacked by gunmen — three injured including killed Jordanian and Israeli man wounded [Video]

    World News Toronto Sun
    AMMAN, Jordan — Three people, including an Israeli man, were wounded by gunfire Sunday in a residential building in the heavily fortified Israeli embassy compound in Jordan’s capital, the kingdom’s Public Security Directorate said. Before the shooting, Jordanians had entered the apartment building for carpentry work, the statement said. Source
  • Tears, fears at emotional memorial for slain Burnaby teen [Video]

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    Dozens gathered Saturday night at a memorial for Marrisa Shen, the Burnaby teen whose body was found in Central Park four days ago. Shen, 13, was reported missing at 11:30 p.m Tuesday and her body was found in the southeast area of Central Park at 1:10 a.m. Source
  • Plane crashes north of Sudbury, Ont.; pilot and canine companion OK

    Canada News CTV News
    SUDBURY, Ont. -- Police say they've located a plane that crashed north of Sudbury, Ont., late Sunday afternoon. They say the pilot and his canine companion are in good health. Sudbury police say the pilot was taken to hospital as a precaution. Source
  • 9 people found dead in truck outside Walmart store in Texas [Video]

    World News Toronto Sun
    SAN ANTONIO - Eight people were found dead in a tractor-trailer loaded with at least 30 others outside a Walmart store in Texas’ stifling summer heat in what police are calling a horrific human trafficking case. Source
  • Beloved honorary cat mayor in small Alaska town dies at 20

    World News CTV News
    TALKEETNA, Alaska -- Stubbs, the honorary feline mayor of the Alaska town of Talkeetna, has died at the age of 20. The animal's owners announced the cat's death late Saturday in a statement. "Stubbs lived for 20 years and 3 months," the family wrote. Source
  • Venezuela's Maduro vows to forge ahead with election to replace Congress

    World News CBC News
    Defying pressure from abroad and at home, Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro said on Sunday that a controversial election would go ahead next weekend for a new Congress his foes fear will institutionalize dictatorship. "The imperial right wing believes it can give orders to Venezuela, the only ones who give orders here are the people," Maduro said in reference to a threat from U.S. Source
  • Day after historic merger vote, some lament death of Alberta's historic PC party

    Canada News CTV News
    EDMONTON -- The former president of Alberta's Progressive Conservatives says some members feel adrift after a majority voted to embrace a new party, effectively consigning one of Canada's great political brands to the ash heap of history. Source
  • 5.4 magnitude earthquake jolts southern Iran

    World News CTV News
    TEHRAN, Iran - Iranian state TV is reporting a strong 5.4 magnitude earthquake has led to a power outage in a remote area in the country's south. The quake that struck at around 10 p.m. Source