On Saturday morning 20 Feb 2016, Category 5 Tropical Cyclone Winston made landfall on Vanuabalavu Island with maximum wind speeds of up to 106 miles per hour and was moving at a speed of 22 knots per kilometer. The cyclone passed between the two main islands destroying almost everything in its path before leaving Fiji in the early hours of Sunday morning. Areas mostly affected were the Eastern Lau Islands, Lomaiviti Group, Southern and Eastern Vanua Levu and Eastern and Western Viti Levu, Mamanuca and the Yasawa Islands. The maximum wind speed that was recorded was 185 miles per hour beginning at Koro Island and then throughout the rest of the Islands.
According to Weather Undergrounds Director of Meteorology Dr. Jeff Masters, (who had been monitoring its track) Tropical Cyclone Winston was the strongest on record in the Southern Hemisphere. It was second only to Super Typhoon Haiyan as the strongest land falling tropical cyclone on record for the planet.
DAMAGE / DESTRUCTION
Anglican Settlements that have been affected are as follows:-
- Wailailai Settlement, Ovalau – houses/crop/ clothing
- Wainaloka Settlement, Ovalau,
- Naviavia Settlement, Vanua Levu
- Nabuniikadamu Settlement, Vanua Levu
- Vucivuci settlement, Vanua Levu
- Maniava Settlement, Viti Levu
- Vava’u , Tonga
There have also been reports that there were roofing and structural damages sustained to St Leonard’s Church in Savusavu, the Church of the Holy Spirit in Ba, The St Andrews Mission district on Vava”u and the vicarage and church of the Holy Trinity Church on Ha’apai in Tonga. The Church as reported is not fit for worship and there is structural damage to the vicarage. Reports are gradually coming in but they are all similar.
There is a very urgent need for Food, (tinned, Rice, etc.), clothes, tents/tarpaulins, water tanks/containers, school children’s stationeries, baby accessories.
- Liaison officers appointed to Dismac Committees’ for the Central/Eastern, Western and Northern.
- Internal liaison officers appointed to continue to monitor situation on the ground and report back. An Appeal Drive initiated by the Vicar General for Saturday 27/2/16 for all Anglican and friends of Anglicans living within Suva.
- Diocesan Secretary/Registrar with the help of Robert Kereopa (AMB) initiated an appeal within New Zealand.
- Efforts are underway to open a Cyclone Appeal Account for donations