Anna Leask is senior police reporter for the New Zealand Herald.

Cyclone Winston: No electricity and only dirty water

Seru Pepeley, in the background is the chicken shed, where his mother-in-law has been forced to live after her house was destroyed. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Seru Pepeley, in the background is the chicken shed, where his mother-in-law has been forced to live after her house was destroyed. Photo / Brett Phibbs

A survivor of Cyclone Winston has described the destruction and devastation in Fiji after the terrifying storm.

World Vision Pacific and Timor-Leste liaison officer David Hesaie and his family survived the storm but he knows of others who were not as lucky.

"I heard of a mother of nine children who left her 10-year-old daughter and toddler at an evacuation centre while she went home to get supplies.

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"She did not make it back to the evacuation centre, and her children are now without a mother."

In Suva, the clean-up has started but Mr Hesaie said many trees are blocking roads, and electricity hasn't yet returned to many parts of the capital.

"The clean-up started quickly on Sunday morning by the city council, and people are working together to recover from Cyclone Winston.

"My roof is still damaged, leaving our family vulnerable to further bad weather and we have problems with electricity and water.

"I know many other families are the same. Some of my neighbours' taps are working, but only dirty water is coming out."

He said outside of the main centres, the situation is dire.

"My mother's village is near the three villages that were evacuated by the government before the cyclone.

"Since then, we have had no news from them.

"We hope the reason we haven't heard from them is because there is no electricity for them to charge their mobile phones, but we still worry."

World Vision is helping those affected by Cyclone Winston.

It has opened an appeal for Kiwis to donate to relief efforts in Fiji, and to help World Vision respond to future emergencies.

- NZ Herald

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