Cyclone Winston: Catastrophic storm tears through Fiji, CARE ready to respond

Cyclone Winston: Catastrophic storm tears through Fiji, CARE ready to respond

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FIJI-(February 20, 2016)—Tropical Cyclone Winston slammed into Fiji making it the most powerful to ever hit the island. CARE is ready to respond after the storm was upgraded to category five, triggering evacuations across Fiji’s main island Viti-Levu.

The storm is packing winds of up to 180 miles per hour and is expected to cause flash flooding and landslides.

“Cyclone Winston has already caused widespread damage in Fiji’s Vanua Balavu island where it was powerful enough to rip the crowns from resilient coconut trees,” CARE's Pacific Gender Advisor Anna Cowley in Fiji, said. “Our biggest concern right now is for people living in poorly constructed housing in settlements around the capital Suva. These people are highly vulnerable and their homes offer very little protection from these hurricane-force winds.”

In Fiji, CARE is partnered with the non-government network Live and Learn to provide emergency response advice and support when disasters strike.

CARE and its partner Live and Learn are on standby, ready to be deployed and support the Fiji Government if a major emergency response is required.

Earlier this week, Cyclone Winston caused severe damage to houses and crops in neighboring Tonga. Initial reports indicated 70 to 80 per cent of crops were destroyed in the northern islands. Together with the Tongan branch of Live and Learn, CARE is supporting communities to replant crops.


Media contact:  Holly Frew  +1.770.842.6188

About CARE:  Founded in 1945, CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. CARE has more than six decades of experience helping people prepare for disasters, providing lifesaving assistance when a crisis hits, and helping communities recover after the emergency has passed. CARE places special focus on women and children, who are often disproportionately affected by disasters. To learn more, visit