Worst of Cyclone Winston damage yet to be discovered

Damaged power lines and flooding are hampering relief efforts in Fiji after Cyclone Winston tore through the country.

A woman was walking home from church when she saw Alice Clements taking photos of the cyclone's destruction in the rain - so she stopped and covered her with an umbrella.

Unicef worker Clements said the act of kindness was unexpected.

"People are very resilient in Fiji; very focused on recovery and pulling together as a community."

Clements was taking the pictures in Suva on Sunday morning when a local woman offered to shelter Clements from the rain.
UNICEF/SUPPLIED

Clements was taking the pictures in Suva on Sunday morning when a local woman offered to shelter Clements from the rain.

The devastation was widespread, and the worst was probably yet to be discovered, but locals were doing their best to band together in the clean-up effort.

Are you or your family in Fiji? Email your photos and videos to newstips@stuff.co.nz

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The Fijian Government has worked quickly and effectively to clear debris and dangerous downed power lines in main centres.
UNICEF/SUPPLIED

The Fijian Government has worked quickly and effectively to clear debris and dangerous downed power lines in main centres.

Clements said the people of Suva - where she is based - were aware they had not suffered the same level of devastation as other parts of the island group.

But everyone in Fiji had still been affected personally.

Most who had escaped the worst of Cyclone Winston had family in areas that had taken a battering.

Stuff.co.nz

Unicef worker Alice Clements talks about the aftermath of Winston

The storm was the worst cyclone ever to hit the Southern Hemisphere, with winds reaching speeds of 325 kilometres an hour.

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Up to 10 people are believed dead and hundreds have have been sheltering in evacuation centres. 

The death toll could continue to rise as Fiji works desperately to repair severed communications with badly affected areas.

Everyone in Fiji has been affected by this storm - the worst ever recorded in the Southern Hemisphere.
UNICEF/SUPPLIED

Everyone in Fiji has been affected by this storm - the worst ever recorded in the Southern Hemisphere.

"I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy," said Clements who had also been at the centre of Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu last year.

On Sunday, the Fijian Government carried out an aerial survey of the damage in a New Zealand Air Force Orion.

The survey meant runways and access points to different areas and islands could be assessed so emergency services could figure out the best way to get help to those areas.

Unicef's Alice Clements says the Government has still been unable to access some of the worst-affected areas of Fiji.
UNICEF/SUPPLIED

Unicef's Alice Clements says the Government has still been unable to access some of the worst-affected areas of Fiji.

It was possible some of these people's lives had been destroyed by the storm, Clements said.

The worst-case scenario was they had "no home, no livelihood, no communications, their houses destroyed as well.

"They're looking at total destruction."

Unicef worker Alice Clements captured "scenes of destruction" in the wake of Cyclone Winston.
UNICEF/SUPPLIED

Unicef worker Alice Clements captured "scenes of destruction" in the wake of Cyclone Winston.

The Government had worked quickly and effectively to clear dangerous downed powerlines and to clear access routes before lifting the national curfew.

Clements said Unicef's mission was to help the most vulnerable, like children, and new or expectant mothers.

The top priorities were supplying families with safe drinking water, shelter and material supplies.

FACEBOOK/FIJI GOVERNMENT FACEBOOK/FIJI GOVERNMENT FACEBOOK/FIJI GOVERNMENT FACEBOOK/FIJI GOVERNMENT Sione Mafi Sione Mafi Sione Mafi Campbell Peart Sione Mafi Supplied. Leanne Goff Leanne Goff Leanne Goff Leanne Goff Leanne Goff TWITTER/Naziah Ali Twitter/@Cayla Tikaram Matthew Karstunen/TWITTER Matthew Karstunen/TWITTER LEX TALEVAKARUA Twitter/Sky News Australia

Smiling through it all. Fijians at an evacuation centre in the West maintaining their cheerful disposition.

The extent of damage after Cyclone Winston in Nadi.

The Nadi bus stop submerged in water.

The cyclone has left much devastation in every part of Fiji, one of it is Nadi.

Damage caused by Cyclone Winston in the town of Tavua.

Damage in the town of Tavua.

Damage to a school in Tavua.

Damage at the Sheraton Denarau.

Fiji has a long clean-up job ahead after Cyclone Winston's widespread damage.

The scene at the Sheraton Denarau Villas in Fiji.

Damage from Cyclone Winston on Denerau Island.

There are many reports of trees down on the Fijian islands after Cyclone Winston. This photo was taken on Denerau Island.

Daylight has revealed the full extent of the destruction on Denerau Island.

Fijians face a long clean up after Cyclone Winstone. This photo was taken on Denerau Island.

Damage to a children's play area on Denerau Island.

Cleanup after Cyclone Winston begins in Fiji

Cyclone Winston wreaked havoc as it passed over Fiji.

Staff at the Sofitel resort in Denerau begin cleaning up after Cyclone Winston.

Damage at the Sofitel resort in Denerau.

Sparks as Cyclone Winston hits Fiji.

An image, reported to be from the northern side in Vanua Levu, the second-largest island in Fiji, showing the damage from Cyclone Winston.

Fiji braces for Cyclone Winston

Cyclone Winston hits Fiji.

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In addition, the organisation was working to get children back into school.

THE SUN IS OUT

Meanwhile, on the resort hub of Denarau Island, power and phone lines were still down but the weather was improving.

"I guess the good news is the sun is out," Denarau resident Leanne Goff said.

The area was hit with heavy rain following the storm but blue skies had taken over on Monday morning.

The lack of power was a challenge, she said, adding that her family's generator was being used to keep mobile phones charged and food in the fridge cold.

Resorts on the island also had generators and managers were working around the clock to make sure guests were being looked after, Goff said.

Internet in the area had been out for almost 24 hours and people were struggling to get hold of family and friends to let them know they were OK.

Goff, who owns a hair and make-up salon on Denarau, said she had to cancel two weddings that had been booked for the weekend.

One was in Rakiraki - an area that was badly hit - the other was in Suva.

While it was sad to have to cancel a wedding, there was no way the events for Saturday and Sunday could have gone ahead in the midst of the storm, she said.

 - Stuff

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