Fiji: The current situation Update
8 March 2016 – By Laurie Foulon
Ocean Alliance have released a press update following Cyclone Winston in Fiji.
As a long-term supporter of the local Fijian yachting industry, Ocean Alliance is committed to bringing you the latest update on the cruising situation post-cyclone Winston.
Ocean Alliance have collaborated with Christelle from Superyacht Private Expeditions, and David from Asia Pacific Superyachts in Fiji for this communication.
Having committed to her 4th season for charters in Fiji, MASTEKA 2 and her Owners would like to highlight the importance of the yachts returning to Fiji for another season. The region would be strongly, negatively, impacted with the yachting industry choosing not to return in the wake of the recent cyclone.
As Central Agents we believe the communication of this message is important to international brokers who are considering Fiji as a charter destination.
The crew on board MASTEKA 2 include 2 Fijian nationals: First Officer Frank and Chief Engineer Ioane.
Frank and Ioane are proud to continue to support their local communities.
Cyclone Winston ploughed across central Fiji on the 20th Feb 2016. This very powerful storm caused serve damage and destruction to everything in the path of storms eye. Outside of the storms eye the damage was far less. The chart below shows the somewhat crazy track prior to the cyclone crossing Fiji. Fortunately the biggest population centers were spared a “direct hit” although some rural towns were severely affected.
Villages in the eye of the storm suffered incredible damage in some cases every house destroyed. Fortunately nearly all these villages have been assisted by first responders. Fijians are amazing people even under these awful circumstances they seem to be able to find a reason to laugh and to “just get on with it”.
Port Denarau Marina and Nadi International Airport were far enough away from the storms eye to suffer no damage. The Picture below was taken 1stMarch. It was a busy day with the cruise ship Dawn Princess visiting the port with 1500 passengers.
Reconstructing the outer island villages and rural areas will take months. 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 and the list goes on. All these items will need to be delivered to the outer islands.
As a Cruising destination about 10% of the cruising areas suffered damage. By the time the yachting season starts in April/May the situation in the remotes areas and villages should have stabilized 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 now back in operation are reporting minimal damage to dive-sites and reefs.
Fiji Needs You. If you are thinking of cruising Fiji this season you will see that things will be well on their way to returning to normal and for those who are happy to assist, transporting school books etc… to the outer islands will be hugely appreciated.
MASTEKA 2 will be available for charters in Fiji from 1st May 2016 and until mid-September. Full yacht specifications can be found here.
Follow Ocean Alliance on Instagram for daily news and updates (@ocean_alliance).