Tropical Cyclone Winston

1 June 2016

Tropical Cyclone Winston caused widespread damage in Fiji in February 2016, and also affected some areas of Tonga. It is the strongest tropical cyclone ever recorded to make landfall in Fiji, causing 44 deaths and affecting up to 350,000 people.

Australia worked closely with the Government of Fiji to support its immediate response and is now assisting the Government as it transitions to the longer term recovery and reconstruction phase.

Foreign Minister Bishop visited Fiji on 13-14 March to see first-hand the devastation caused by Tropical Cyclone Winston and how Australia’s support was assisting the Government and people of Fiji.

Australia's Humanitarian Assistance to Fiji

The Australian Government is continuing to work closely with the Fiji Government and international partners as Fiji transitions to the longer term recovery and reconstruction phase following Tropical Cyclone Winston.

We have provided a total of $35 million in assistance to Fiji, in addition to the significant Australian Defence Force personnel and assets that were deployed to Fiji in the immediate response and early recovery phases.

Our initial $15 million package of assistance reached over 200,000 people, including by:

  • providing humanitarian supplies such as shelter kits, access to safe water and hygiene items
  • helping to restore access to education and medical facilities, and
  • providing protection services for the most vulnerable, including women and children.

Our latest $20 million package of assistance is focused on returning life to normal in Fiji. We will rebuild schools and health facilities destroyed by the cyclone, replace damaged medical equipment and restore water and sanitation services. We will also repair damaged markets, including building accommodation facilities for women vendors, which will enable farmers and market vendors to return to work.

The principle of 'build back better' will underpin our efforts. We will rebuild infrastructure and communities that are more resilient to natural disasters.

At the request of Fiji, Australia’s energy sector, through the peak body Energy Networks Association, has gifted equipment (including seven trucks) to the Fiji Electricity Authority. This equipment was handed over to the Fiji Electricity Authority on 30 May. Australian Government-funded technical assistance will supplement this package. This public private partnership will support the restoration of critical electrical infrastructure to facilitate the broader recovery.

Fact sheet: Early recovery from Tropical Cyclone Winston through supporting critical energy restoration [PDF 497 KB] | [Word 2 MB]

Travel advice

Please visit the Smartraveller website for the latest Australian travel advice for Tonga and Fiji.

Donations

If you would like to contribute to Australia’s response to Tropical Cyclone Winston please consider donating to an agency working with affected communities. Often the most effective way to support the relief effort in countries affected by disasters is by providing cash donations through organisations responding to the crisis. The Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) has a list of ACFID-accredited non-government organisations. ACFID also has detailed information about public donations.

Another way to help Fiji is to visit. Many of the country's resorts and hotels are operating as usual, and Fiji is welcoming tourists back.

More information

Follow @AusHumanitarian on Twitter and the Australian High Commission in Suva's Facebook page for more information about Australia's humanitarian response.

Photos: Australian assistance to Fiji following Tropical Cyclone Winston


Created with flickr slideshow.

 

Video: Foreign Minister Julie Bishop updates the House on support for Pacific nations

Our thoughts are with the people of Fiji. Updating the House on the Government's support for Pacific nations devastated by Cyclone Winston.

Posted by Julie Bishop MP on Tuesday, February 23, 2016

 

Video: The ADF and High Commissioner Margaret Twomey visit Koro Island

Operation FIJI ASSIST (TC Winston): Koro Island aid and assess...

On Saturday 27 February 2016, Fijian and Australian officials and military personnel flew into cyclone devastated Koro Island to deliver relief supplies and meet with the local communities. Elders from the Koro Island village Sinuvala, welcomed the Australian High Commissioner, Margaret Twomey, together with Fiji's Minister of Sport and Youth, Iaisenia Tuitubou, and Commander Joint Task Force (JTF) 635, Lieutenant Colonel Scott Hill with a moving traditional 'Sevu Sevu' ceremony as a show of gratitude.Koro Island's District Officer escorted the visitors to the village of Nasau where a makeshift hospital and crisis centre headquarters are located to discuss villager's immediate and long term needs. The High Commissioner and Commander JTF will provide the information gathered to Fiji's National Disaster Management Organisation to assist with planning the disaster relief response to help those affected begin to recover.

Posted by ADF on Operations and Exercises on Sunday, February 28, 2016

 

Video: ADF support to Fiji following Tropical Cyclone Winston

Last Updated: 1 June 2016
Fiji President Jioji Konrote thanks Deputy Commander JTF Scott Hill for Australia’s support following Tropical Cyclone Winston
Fiji President Jioji Konrote (left) and Margaret Twomey (right) supporting aid efforts in the aftermath of Tropical Cyclone Winston.
Fiji President Jioji Konrote gives thansk to helicopter pilots.
Distribution of aid is occurring right across Fiji and Australian aid specialists have been deployed to help with response operations, including providing logistics support.
On 26 February the Australian Medical Assistance team began work in the Rakiraki area.
Australian High Commissioner, Margaret Twomey, with communities in Fiji receiving Australian aid. Photo: Australian High Commission, Suva
Relief supplies provided by Australian and UNICEF Pacific reached communities in Tailevu as the Fiji Ministry of Health delivered hygiene packs and water purification tablets. Photo: Australian High Commission, Suva
Air Force and Army working together to load a Multi Role Helicopter (MRH 90) onto a C-17 Globemaster as part of Operation Fiji Assist.
Air Force and Army working together to load a Multi Role Helicopter (MRH 90) onto a C-17 Globemaster as part of Operation Fiji Assist. Photo: Department of Defence.
Royal Australian Air Force pilots, Flight Lieutenant Simon Marshall (left) and Flying Officer Jake Nicholas prepare to land a C-17A in Suva, Fiji as part of Operation Fiji Assist.
Royal Australian Air Force pilots, Flight Lieutenant Simon Marshall (left) and Flying Officer Jake Nicholas prepare to land a C-17A in Suva, Fiji as part of Operation Fiji Assist.
An aerial view from the Royal Austalian Air Force C-17A Globemaster aircraft revealing widespread floods in Fiji caused by Tropical Cyclone Winston.
An aerial view from the Royal Austalian Air Force C-17A Globemaster aircraft revealing widespread floods in Fiji caused by Tropical Cyclone Winston.