Caritas Australia’s partners in Fiji are responding to the immediate needs of thousands of people affected by Cyclone Yasa, a category five storm that slammed into the low-lying Pacific nation on December 17.
The storm hit Fiji with wind speeds of up to 240 kilometres an hour and wind gusts of up to 345 kph, making it the most powerful storm to hit Fiji since Cyclone Winston in 2016.
More than 23,000 Fijians were evacuated to shelter from Cyclone Yasa. As of yesterday, the death toll from the cyclone had risen to four with one person missing, the New Zealand Herald reported.
There are reports of extensive damage to homes, schools and infrastructure and concerns about risk of further damage from flooding as river waters rise. Families across Fiji are also experiencing water and electricity cuts.
The cyclone comes days after category one Cyclone Zazu hit Tonga on December 14. At the same time, a tropical low has brought heavy rains to Samoa.
Caritas Australia is supporting church and NGO partners in Fiji with initial funds to support assessments and ensure that communities have shelter, food and clean water.
Caritas Australia is accepting donations though its Pacific Emergency Appeal to provide support for emergencies like Cyclone Yasa.
Category Five storm Cyclone Yasa devastates Fiji (Caritas Australia)
Cyclone Yasa: death toll rises to 4 with 1 missing in Fiji (New Zealand Herald)