Flights have resumed to Fiji – an island nation left in tatters by the record winds of Cyclone Winston, which flattened the South Pacific island chain on Saturday.
Meteorologists says some wind gusts reached in excess of 300kmh, a record for a southern hemisphere cyclone, causing chaos and killing at least 21 Fijians (updated 26/2: death toll now at 42).
All tourists are safe, however.
Fiji’s Tourism Minister Faiyaz Siddiq Koya said most of Fiji’s hotels escaped serious damage.
“There are no reports of any significant structural damage to the majority of hotels in (the main island of) Viti Levus, except for some properties in the Rakiraki area,” he said.
But he said Cyclone Winston “has caused extensive damage to the communications infrastructure, hence, mobile and internet communications in some parts of Fiji may be affected”.
Fortunately communication is active in Suva, Nadi, Denarau and along the Coral Coast.
Meanwhile Virgin Australia will resume its Fiji flights today with all services in and out of Nadi to operate as scheduled.
“Guests whose flights were cancelled as a result of Tropical Cyclone Winston will be provided with updated flight details. ”
Cyclone Winston is now west of Fiji and forecast to track south and weaken.