Cyclone Yasa Response Is Underway in Fiji
January, 8 2021 11:45 a.m.
Since Tropical Cyclone Yasa struck the Pacific island nation of Fiji on December 16, authorities have declared a state of natural disaster. Convoy of Hope has been hard at work coordinating with partners on the ground to meet affected residents’ immediate needs.
Convoy of Hope has already served five affected communities through our ongoing response. We have assisted more than 500 individuals and distributed 124 family food kits.
The severity of this storm was a surprise to Fijians, who have only experienced one other Category 3 storm. Yasa’s 160 mph wind gusts and 10-foot storm surge impacted more than 93,000 people, knocking out electricity and lines of communication in many areas.
The perilous conditions associated with distribution across multiple islands have added an extra layer of complexity to this disaster response. Fiji’s Road Authority reported that all roads in the district of Rakiraki — home to more than 30,000 residents — were flooded. In other areas, widespread flooding and landslides have made travel difficult or impossible.
The nation of Fiji still has a long way to go as it works to recover from one of the most devastating storms in its history. Convoy of Hope is committed to serving Fiji and providing hope to those who need it most. Join our response here.
December 21, 2020 | 10 a.m.
Unfortunately, many families in Fiji will have a challenging Christmas. Cyclone Yasa’s Category 5 winds destroyed homes and caused significant damage across multiple islands. Fiji has only been hit one other time by a storm stronger than a Category 3 — Cyclone Winston in 2016, which Convoy of Hope deployed to as well. Many structures in Fiji are not built to withstand a storm with this level of power.
Fiji’s borders are completely closed to nonresidents. In a nation reliant on tourism, the year of shutdowns due to COVID-19 has already created a devastating situation for many families. This storm has made these issues exponentially worse.
Convoy of Hope has been in contact with partners on the ground since before the storm hit on Wednesday. The initial plan is to serve 1,000 families with family food kits. Many of these locations are very hard to reach and this response is expected to last from a few weeks to a few months in total.