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One Year On - Tropical Cyclone Winston in Fiji
Today, 20th February 2016, marks the first anniversary since Tropical Cyclone Winston ravaged the islands of Fiji, affecting more than a third of the population. The worst cyclone ever recorded in the region, the Category 5 cyclone had winds of up to 230kmph that gusted at 325kmpm. Forty three people were killed and 54,000 sought shelter in evacuation centres in the day’s following the destruction.
With support from the Australian Government and a public appeal for donations, RedR sent 12 experts to work with our United Nations partners in Suva. They helped coordinate the initial relief effort and the use of military assets to distribute much needed aid to the outer islands; communicated with disaster-affected communities to ensure their voice was heard by responders, mapped vital information on health risks and damaged heath infrastructure and procured and distributed shelter materials. You can read more on our response here.
As a result of the learnings from Cyclone Winston, we have recently deployed four experts to capacity build local efforts towards emergency preparedness in Fiji. They include two ICT officers, a protection specialist and a civil-military coordinator. Three of them are currently in Suva.