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Sunday, February 25, 2024

Fiji begins post-Cyclone Winston cleanup amid call for climate action

A massive clean-up operation has begun on the Pacific Island of Fiji after a powerful cyclone.

The cyclone caused widespread damage around the town of Rakiraki in Fiji's Ra Province.
The cyclone caused widespread damage around the town of Rakiraki in Fiji’s Ra Province.

Cyclone Winston hit the island recently, with winds of over 200 miles per hour, torrential rain, and waves of up to 12 metres. Many homes were destroyed, several people died and electricity lines were cut.

It’s the first time that Fiji has been hit by a Category 5 storm – the strongest kind of storm found on earth.

Fiji is the first nation to ratify the Paris Agreement.

Indeed, Tropical Cyclone Winston became the strongest tropical cyclone ever recorded in the Southern Hemisphere, wreaking havoc in Tonga and growing into an unpredictable and severe Category 5 system, leaving a trail of destruction across Fiji.

In the wake of the devastating cyclone, 350.org Pacific is urging global climate action.

“The relationship between climate change and more severe tropical storms is well understood, and extreme weather events like Cyclone Winston are a timely reminder as to what is on the line,” pointed out Koreti Tiumalu, 350.org Pacific Region Coordinator.

“Every year, people in the Pacific Islands are finding ourselves at the forefront of climate impacts. As the world continues to experience the escalation in the force of natural disasters, it’s imperative now more than ever, that all countries also escalate their efforts to keep climate changing fossil fuels in the ground in order to change the outlook of those who have done the least to create climate change but are experiencing firsthand its worst impacts,” Timalu added.

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