Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand announced late last year that it would send solidarity funding to its partners in Fiji to help communities following the impact of Cyclone Yasa, which tore across Fijian islands, including Vanua Levu and Taveuni a few days before Christmas.
Many hundreds of homes were destroyed, and thousands were damaged after winds of 240km/h – with gusts as high as 345km/h – came with the cyclone. Cyclone Yasa was the strongest tropical cyclone in the south Pacific since Cyclone Winston in 2016.
According to news reports, four deaths were recorded. Heavy rain was recorded for most of the country. Damage to the nation’s power and medical infrastructure alone has been estimated as costing NZD$7million. Many crops were destroyed by the winds. A total of 72 roads were closed around the country as a result of fallen trees, broken powerlines, floodwaters and landslides.
Recovery is anticipated to be much harder and slower than after cyclones in previous years, due to restrictions and measures that still have to be taken because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We have three long-term partner organisations on the ground in Fiji and we are in touch with them. One practical way we can show our solidarity with the people of Fiji during this challenging time is by sending funds to our partners as they help communities in need following the devastation caused by Cyclone Yasa,” said Julianne Hickey, director of Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand.
New Zealanders can donate using the Caritas website: https://caritas.org.nz/donate-online click on “General Emergency Fund” and add “Pacific Relief Fund” in the comments section.