|Photo by Freeimages.com/Maarten des Wispelaere|
At least 21 people were killed when Tropical Cyclone Winston made landfall as a Category 5 storm in Fiji on Saturday, Weather.com reports. More than 8,000 people are in shelters, and severe flooding and winds have left many areas without power, fresh water or communications. Additionally, damage to the Nabouwalu and Savusavu wharves has made transportation to and from the Northern Division difficult. The wharves will be shut down for a few months for repairs.
According to a statement released late Sunday by Tourism Fiji, all visitors are "safe and comfortable."
"There are no reports of any significant structural damage to the majority of hotels in Viti Levu, except for some properties in the Rakiraki area," said The Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Hon. Faiyaz Siddiq Koya. "Cyclone Winston has caused extensive damage to the communications infrastructure, hence, mobile and Internet communications in some parts of Fiji maybe affected. However, communication is active in Suva, Nadi, Denarau and along the Coral Coast.”
Tourism Fiji has also issued the following updates on hotel and attraction reopenings via Twitter and Facebook:
@TourismFiji we are relieved and very happy to advise that all the staff are safe and well.— Dolphin Island Fiji (@DolphinFiji) February 22, 2016
Early indications-not sustained major damage.
Sheraton Tokoriki still assessing extend of damage. Resort closed for next 2 weeks. Will share further updates as we have them. #TCWinston— Tourism Fiji (@TourismFiji) February 22, 2016
Shangri-La remains open, with three operational restaurants, with remainder to reopen again this Wednesday 24th. Looking to welcome guests!— Tourism Fiji (@TourismFiji) February 22, 2016
*Update* Malolo Island Resort to reopen on Saturday 27th February. No damage to resort. Clean-up in progress #StrongerThanWinston— Tourism Fiji (@TourismFiji) February 22, 2016
Smugglers Cove Resort is safe and well. They even have sunshine
Treasure Island Resort has suffered some minor damage and is experiencing power issues. Closed until further notice: https://t.co/6v0yH3XOGv— Tourism Fiji (@TourismFiji) February 22, 2016
Namotu Island Resort has commenced #TCWinston clean-up. Closed this week and will announce a decision next week as to when they will reopen.— Tourism Fiji (@TourismFiji) February 22, 2016
Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort in Savusavu reported on its Facebook page Saturday that communication had temporarily been lost with the resort and Savusavu town. Travel Agent has reached out to the resort for the latest update on the situation.
As of Monday morning, some flights have resumed from Fiji, according to 9News.com. Virgin Australia has resumed all flights between Nadi International Airport and Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Air New Zealand has added capacity to flights between Auckland and Nadi, and Fiji Airways is operating flights between Nadi and Auckland, as well as some flights between Nadi and Sydney. JetStar cancelled its flights Monday between Sydney and Nadi, expecting to resume operations on Tuesday.
Keep visiting www.travelagentcentral.com for the latest updates to this developing story.