New Delhi, February 23: Indian government extended one million dollars (approx. Rs. 6.86 crores) as immediate assistance to the cyclone hit tourist country Fiji for rescue operations and rehabilitations purposes. The island nation was hit by the cyclone Winston which brought with it wind gusts of 325 kilometres per hour and waves up to 12 metres high, flattening crops and decimating villages completely. The area’s crops and several villages have been flattened completely by the natural calamity.
The death toll from the super-cyclone has reached 29. People are sheltering in evacuation centres. There's considerable damage across the main island Viti Levu and the island of Koro, which were directly hit by strong winds. More than 8,000 people are still sheltering in evacuation centres and Perrin said some villages had hardly any buildings left standing.
As aid efforts intensified, communications were established with some of the worst-hit remote communities, revealing the scale of the disaster. Officials say the Pacific nation's recovery from the devastating storm could take months. With authorities still struggling to grasp the scale of the disaster on remote island communities, Australian and New Zealand planes arrived laden with desperately needed supplies of food, water and medicine.
Power is gradually being restored in the main centres and roads cleared of felled trees. The international airport at Nadi also reopened yesterday, allowing international tourists caught up in the disaster to return home. Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama has described the storm as "an ordeal of the most grievous kind" and sought international assistance.