10-month-old baby among those presumed dead in Fiji cyclone

WELLINGTON, New Zealand - A 10-month-old baby is among those missing and presumed dead Wednesday from the massive cyclone that hit Fiji after the boy's parents told a local television station they lost hold of him amid ferocious winds and floodwaters that rose to their necks.

See Full Article

The death toll from Cyclone Winston has risen to 42. Another four people are listed as missing, including the infant on Koro Island, where at least 10 people have died.

The cyclone tore through the Pacific Island chain over the weekend with winds that reached 285 kilometres per hour, making it the strongest storm in Fiji's recorded history.

The boy's father Alifereti Samu told Fiji One Television that they ran from the coastal home where they were sheltering and were expecting the winds but not the huge seas.

"When the winds began to rise, we then ran for safety," he said, adding they tried to keep their son above water.

"The water level was up to my neck," Samu said. "The house began to fall and waves began to pound on us."

He said their son was their firstborn.

"We still haven't found him. We believe he has been taken out to sea," he told the network. "We are at peace with the thought that he has found eternal life."

Government spokesman Ewan Perrin confirmed the parents' account.

"Basically the baby was lost during the flooding," Perrin said. "One of the parents was unable to hold onto the child and it was washed away."

Perrin said authorities have a good grasp now on the extent of the destruction from Cyclone Winston after getting aerial images from the Royal New Zealand Air Force. He said they hope to begin distributing 20 satellite phones soon to places still without communication links.

He said that within a few days of flooding, mosquitoes start to breed so authorities are urging people not to leave standing water anywhere in order to prevent an increase in illnesses such as dengue fever.

Fiji's Disaster Management Minister Inia Seruiratu said in a briefing that the government was working to restore electricity and running water to many areas. He said a lack of reliable communications had proved to be a serious challenge.

"Fiji has suffered a terrible blow, and this rebuilding process won't happen overnight," he said.

Karen Allen, the head of UNICEF in the Pacific, said the priority was to get food, water and kerosene for cooking to the thousands of people staying in emergency shelters.

She said many people in the shelters are devastated.

"They're crying, they're stressed, they're upset, they don't know what tomorrow will bring," she said.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Trump signals Mexico wall funding may wait several months for more pressing concerns

    World News CBC News
    U.S. President Donald Trump indicated an openness on Monday to delaying his push to secure funds for his promised border wall with Mexico, potentially eliminating a sticking point as lawmakers worked to avoid a looming shutdown of the federal government. Source
  • Converting coal would help China's smog at climate's expense

    World News CTV News
    BEIJING -- China's conversion of coal into natural gas could prevent tens of thousands of premature deaths each year. But there's a catch: As the country shifts its use of vast coal reserves to send less smog-inducing chemicals into the air, the move threatens to undermine efforts to rein in greenhouse gas emissions, researchers said Tuesday. Source
  • Hollywood's writers vote overwhelmingly to authorize strike next week

    World News CBC News
    More than 96% of the voting members of the Writers Guild of America have authorized a strike against production companies. The WGA released the results Monday, a day ahead of the resumption of contract negotiations on a master contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. Source
  • Ivanka Trump heads to Berlin for women's conference

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- Ivanka Trump's advocacy for women and girls will take her to a conference in Berlin Tuesday, an attention-getting first international outing aimed at building support for investment in women's economic empowerment programs. Back home, the first daughter's plan to push for policies that benefit working mothers is getting less of the spotlight. Source
  • Aviation officer says man dragged off United flight was 'flailing and fighting'

    World News Toronto Sun
    CHICAGO — The physician who was dragged off a United Airlines flight in Chicago this month was verbally and physically abusive, and flailing his arms before he lost his balance and struck his mouth on an armrest, according to the aviation officer who pulled the man out of his seat. Source
  • North Korea quiet amid talk of missile follow-up

    World News CTV News
    PYONGYANG, Korea, Democratic People's Republic Of - A U.S. guided-missile submarine arrived in South Korea on Tuesday and envoys from the U.S., Japan and South Korea met in Tokyo, as North Korea prepared to mark the anniversary of the founding of its military. Source
  • Bill O’Reilly speaks out about Fox firing, says 'the truth will come out'

    World News Toronto Sun
    LOS ANGELES — Five days after being fired from his top-rated Fox News Channel perch, Bill O’Reilly used a podcast to express his dismay and vowed that “the truth will come out.” “I am sad that I’m not on television anymore,” he said in an episode Monday of his personal website’s “No Spin News” podcast, available only to subscribers after this week’s free window. Source
  • U.S. judge lifts stay that blocked second Arkansas execution

    World News Toronto Sun
    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Two condemned Arkansas killers who admit they’re guilty but fear their poor health could lead to extreme pain during lethal injections set for Monday might become the first inmates put to death in a double execution in the U.S. Source
  • Trudeau says his dad got his brother help in dealing with pot charge

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    TORONTO — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says his younger brother, Michel, was able to avoid a criminal record after he was caught with marijuana because of his father’s connections. Trudeau revealed the little-known fact about his brother, who died in a B.C. Source
  • New Orleans takes down white supremacist monument

    World News CTV News
    NEW ORLEANS -- A monument to a deadly white-supremacist uprising in 1874 was removed under cover of darkness by workers in masks and bulletproof vests Monday as New Orleans joined the movement to take down symbols of the Confederacy and the Jim Crow South. Source