Tonga sends condolence to Fiji amid moments of grievous losses

Tonga’s Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pohiva has sent condolence letter to Fiji’s Prime Minister Frank Voreqge Bainimarama expressing his sincere sympathy over the loss of lives and widespread devastation Cyclone Winston has left in his country.

Fijian officials said today Friday 26 there are currently 59,000 people in 275 evacuation centres. The death toll now remains at 44 including two people still missing.

The damage bill after various assessments of the damage in Fiji has already reached $650 million, the government says

In his letter, the Hon Pohiva said:

“I would like to express on behalf of the Government and People of the Kingdom of Tonga, our sincerest condolences and extend our deepest sympathies to all the victims and families affected by the unrelenting Tropical Cyclone Winston over the weekend.

The reports of widespread devastation, tragic loss of lives, homes and livelihoods in particular on the Western

Prime Minister of Tonga Hon ʻAkilisi Pohiva
Prime Minister of Tonga Hon ʻAkilisi Pohiva

Side of the island group has deeply saddened our nation.

We admire the resilience of the Fijian people and even though you will face many challenges in the days ahead, with the blessings of the Almighty and the strong leadership of your government we are certain that you will quickly recover and rebuild your nation.

Our prayers and thoughts remain with you and the people of Fiji in the coming days, please be assured that you have the support of our nation.”

Meanwhile His Majesty’s Armed Forces’ patrol boat VOEA Late departed for Vava’u yesterday loaded with relief supplies.

The ferocious Cyclone Winston affected about 230 homes in Vava’u and trees and crops were extensively damaged before it veered away and hit Fiji.
The cyclone struck the Vavaʻu group on Tuesday. It continued north before making a U-turn and slamming into the group again on Friday.

As this story was being written, some residents in Neiafu were still without electricity and water.

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