All photos: IFRC/Ponipate
7 January 2021
Last month, Cyclone Yasa battered Fiji with intense winds, storm surges and flooding.
The cyclone made landfall on 17 December as a category 5 storm, destroying several homes and damaging thousands more. Tragically, four people lost their lives.
But the impact could have been far worse, were it not for fast action from well-trained emergency teams.
Before the cyclone hit, Fiji Red Cross helped more than 21,000 people in coastal areas to evacuate, as well as reinforcing homes against the winds and rain, and ensuring relief supplies were stocked and ready for rapid distribution.
The response was local and fast.
As soon as the storm passed, Red Cross volunteers headed to each affected community, distributing those relief supplies.
People got tarpaulins and tools to create temporary shelters; kitchen sets, solar lights and blankets to help get daily routines back on track; and hygiene items to protect health and dignity.
So far, 10,489 people have received these supplies, and more go out every day.
In the midst of all of this, people want to know their loved ones are safe. Fiji Red Cross has opened 159 cases to search for people who lost contact during the cyclone, and resolved 157 of them to date.
You helped make this possible.
Donations from the Australian community helped Australian Red Cross to send two flights of additional relief supplies to Fiji, just days after Cyclone Yasa passed through.
But our donors also helped well before the cyclone. Each year, Fiji Red Cross conducts emergency training and evacuation drills, to equip volunteers with the skills and knowledge to handle a disaster.
Thanks to your support, Australian Red Cross funds this training. And it was put into action when Cyclone Yasa hit, protecting hundreds of lives and helping families recover faster.