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

  • Warehouse fire survivor: People 'dying right in front of me'

    World News CTV News
    OAKLAND, Calif. -- To set foot in the Ghost Ship on a party night was to pass through the doors of an old warehouse and enter an exotic world glowing with rainbow lanterns, guarded by figures of Asian deities and pulsing with a welcoming vibe. Source
  • U.S. sending 200 more troops to Syria to battle ISIS

    World News CTV News
    MANAMA, Bahrain -- U.S. Defence Secretary Ash Carter said Saturday that as many as 200 more American troops are being sent to Syria to help Kurdish and Arab fighters capture the Islamic State group's key stronghold of Raqqa. Source
  • Quebec inn destroyed by fire; body found in rubble

    Canada News CTV News
    RIMOUSKI, Que. -- A body has been found in the rubble of an old inn that caught fire Friday afternoon near Rimouski, Que. The fire started at about 2 p.m. in the community of Saint-Gabriel-de-Rimouski, northeast of Quebec City. Source
  • At least 45K homeless after Aceh quake in Indonesia

    World News CTV News
    JAKARTA, Indonesia -- At least 45,000 people have been displaced by the powerful earthquake that hit Indonesia's Aceh province, authorities said Saturday, as the government and aid agencies pooled efforts to meet the basic survival needs of shaken communities. Source
  • Jeff Melanson calls for more balance in Canada's arts leadership

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    As Canadians, we must ensure we are participating in, celebrating and promoting our diverse arts, culture and spirit of innovation. We are getting slowly better at honouring our diversity throughout the year through the attendance at various festivals and visits to the hundreds of local, provincial and national art galleries, museums, theatres and arts centres. Source
  • Nine suburban Dallas cops fired over false reports

    World News Toronto Sun
    ARLINGTON, Texas — Nine police officers in a Dallas suburb have been fired for reporting traffic stops they never conducted. Arlington police said in a statement Friday that three other officers resigned before the investigation was finished. Source
  • Reno boy shot by school cop had been bullied, beaten

    World News Toronto Sun
    RENO, Nev. — An emotionally distressed 14-year-old armed with a knife had been bullied and beaten and was trying to escape from a crowd of classmates this week who had gathered to capture video of an anticipated fight when a campus police officer shot the boy, his lawyer told The Associated Press on Friday. Source
  • 'Bad eating habits' in China lead to slaughter of rare sea turtle

    World News Toronto Sun
    BEIJING — Authorities in southern China have opened an investigation into the slaughter and sale of a protected leatherback sea turtle by local fishermen, media reported Saturday. The case grew to national prominence after cellphone video circulated showing the 200-kilogram (440-pound) turtle being sliced into pieces and sold to eager villagers in a fishing village in the southern province of Guangdong. Source
  • Pearl Harbor survivor honoured with inflight hula, song

    World News Toronto Sun
    HONOLULU — A group of Hawaii musicians and a Hawaiian Airlines flight attendant provided special inflight entertainment to a Pearl Harbor survivor flying home from a ceremony commemorating the 75th anniversary of the attack. Ray Richmond, 97, and his family were the last passengers to board Thursday’s flight from Honolulu to San Diego, said flight attendant Lehua Beltrame-Tevaga, who is also the reigning Mrs. Source
  • PM hails national climate change deal, but without Saskatchewan, Manitoba

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau declared victory Friday in his campaign to craft a national “framework” agreement on climate change — even though Saskatchewan and Manitoba refused to sign on to the deal and British Columbia claimed a major carve-out. Source