Fiji: Tropical Cyclone Winston
On Saturday February 20 2016, 06:30 GMT Category-five Cyclone Winston crashed into the Pacific Islands of Fiji bringing winds of over 320km/h, torrential rain and waves of up to 12m.
Hundreds of homes have been destroyed and there are reports of entire villages flattened. Leading up to the storm the government of Fiji had opened 750 evacuation centres, with the one on Vanua Levu island sheltering more than 1,000 people. According to the Weather Underground website Cyclone Winston is the srongest storm in the Southern Hemisphere since record-keeping began.
As global lead of the Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC), the World Food Programme (WFP) has deployed a Senior IT Emergency Responder to assess the communications needs of the response community. At this stage, Digicel and Vodafone networks are operational in the capital Suva, but communications problems have been reported elsewhere on the islands.