After reaching category 5 ‘super’ status on Wednesday, Cyclone Yasa tracked further north than predicted and made landfall over Bua district on Vanua Levu.
Save the Children Fiji CEO Shairana Ali said:
“It’s still too early to know the extent of the impact, but we’re hearing reports Yasa destroyed entire villages in the north.
“There are collapsed buildings, trees snapped in half and debris strewn all over the ground. Schools have been damaged and roofs blown away.
“The weather’s still not good but aerial assessments will hopefully be done later today. Assessment teams will also be deployed to the worst affected areas when the seas are not so rough for the boats to reach the islands.
“We’re particularly worried about how the cyclone affected those in the country’s north, and especially communities of the more isolated islands and flood-prone areas.
“Cyclone Yasa was an incredibly ferocious cyclone and would have been extremely frightening for children. Supporting their wellbeing will also need to be an important part of any humanitarian response.
“Now the important task of assessing the damage begins, rapidly determining needs and beginning relief operations. Families will need basic shelter, food, clean drinking water and other basic necessities.
“Save the Children has a long history working in Fiji, and our teams are ready to support the recovery.”
Yasa is one of the most powerful cyclones ever recorded in Fiji, with fears it would have the same devastating impact as Cyclone Winston in 2016, which killed 44 people and destroyed tens of thousands of homes.
Photo courtesy Una Cagilaba Joji Caption: The trail of devastation in Yaro Village, Kia Island Macuata, Fiji