When the tropical cyclone Winston whipped across central Fiji on the 20th Feb 2016 the superyacht community assumed that we had lost another cruising ground to mother nature.
Whilst this very powerful storm did cause serve damage and destruction to everything in its path outside of the storms eye , the damage was far less.
Fortunately the biggest population centres and superyacht marinas were spared a “direct hit” although some rural towns were severely affected.
Fortunately nearly all these villages have now been assisted by first responders and are on the road to recovery
David Jamieson of Asia Pacific Superyachts in Fiji tells us, “Fijians are amazing people even under these awful circumstances they seem to be able to find a reason to laugh and seem to “just get on with it”.
Reconstructing the outer island villages and rural areas will he says “Take months.” He adds, “The Villages are able to rebuild simple houses quite quickly but will require new materials and assistance to build stronger dwellings. Agriculture needs to be restarted and fresh provisions of seeds will be required. School books will need to be replaced and medical supplies updated. Fishing gear, pots pans, solar lights will all need to be delivered to the outer islands.”
As a yachting destination about 10% of the cruising areas suffered damage. But the time the yachting season starts in April/May the situation in the remotes areas and villages should have stabilised to the point where subsistence fishing and farming will be taking place.
Debris will have been cleared and the foliage will have a good covering. Reports from the live-a-board dive boats are back in operation and reporting minimal damage to dive-sites and reefs.
The superyacht ready Port Denarau Marina and Nadi International Airport were far enough away from the storms eye to suffer no damage and from an operational point of view this means Fiji is flourishing and needs support from those who can visit.
And for those who are happy to assist, says Jameison, “Transporting school books and other goods to the outer islands will be hugely appreciated.
Fiji Donations can be made to the charities below