A year ago today Tropical Cyclone Winston bore down on our islands with unprecedented fury and no Fijian who witnessed its impact will ever forget the experience.
This was how the President of Fiji His Excellency Major-General (Ret’d) Jioji Konusi Konrote described the wrath of tropical cyclone Winston during his thanksgiving address on the 1st year anniversary of Tropical Cyclone Winston.
“It was the biggest storm ever to make landfall in the southern hemisphere and its peak on February 20th, 2016 with winds gusting to more than 300 kilometres an hour ravaged much of our nation,” Mr Konrote said.
“It is hard to imagine being in the direct path of Winston at its height but those who were, tell of the most frightening experience of their lives,” he added.
Mr Konrote said when the skies cleared 40,000 homes were damaged or destroyed and hundreds of schools and other public infrastructure laid waste.
“Winston left us with a total damage bill of close to US two-billion dollars or nearly a third of our Gross Domestic Product (GDP),” he said.
Mr Konrote said as President of Fiji, he is also making the following undertaking on behalf of the nation to you and to every Fijian.
“Fiji intends to do everything in its power to persuade the global community to tackle the root cause of the extreme weather events such as Winston that are causing so much pain for our own people and the citizens of other vulnerable nations around the world,” he said.