Tongan students at USP safe, Fiji death toll rises, national curfew lifts

UPDATED Wednesday 24 at 11am: The Tongan students studying at the University of the South Pacific are in safe hands after ferocious Cyclone Winston ripped through Fiji on Saturday 19.

Reports from the university said there was damage to utilities  and some of the halls in the complex but “there was no loss of life”.

Forty Two people have died and thousands of Fijians have been driven out of their homes by Cyclone Winston.

Fiji Times said the death toll for Tropical Cyclone Winston is now 42.

It quoted Fijiʻs Minister for National Disaster Management Inia Seruiratu as just confirming the number in a press conference.

The minister said  one  person and a 10-month-old baby is still missing in Koro.

Trimes said the “baby’s father was running for cover during the height of the cyclone on Saturday however the baby fell down and was swept away by strong currents”.

The death toll is expected to increase further, it said.

The university has been closed due to the widespread devastation caused by the cyclone.

Official reports on social media said “all students were safe”.

A Tongan staff at the university who asked not to be named because he was not in a position to talk to media said: “The extent of the damage done to the Campus is yet to be known.

“It will come to hand tomorrow once Dr Massaso Paunga does a preliminary assessment of the damage in all three Campuses as he is Vice President in charge of USP Properties & Facilities and all Regional Campus if I am not mistaken”.

Update from USP management1. Students and staff are safe. Even though there is some damage to property, it is…

Posted by USP Campus Life on Saturday, February 20, 2016

We contacted the Director of the Campus, Dr ‘Ana Koloto for comment but she had yet to make a response.

Meanwhile  a message posted yesterday Sunday 21  to USP Campus Life Facebook page read: “students and staff are safe”.

“Even though there is some damage to property, it is manageable. The USP Fiji campuses will be closed on Monday the 22nd. A curfew is still in place and students and staff must not wander around”, it said.

Message from the Acting Vice Chancellor:USP Fiji campuses will remain closed today and tomorrow and until further…

Posted by The University of the South Pacific on Sunday, February 21, 2016

Another post read: “For students who need food, USP has water, canned meats, canned fish, crackers, noodles and and coookies at the dining hall. The food is free for USP resident students who need supplies.

“As all shops are closed today and we only have a limited supply of provisions, please be considerate to your fellow students and only take what you need for your personal immediate consumption. Please do not use these supplies to stock up as that would leave other fellow students without any food”.

For students who need food, USP has water, canned meats, canned fish, crackers, noodles and and coookies at the dining…

Posted by USP Campus Life on Saturday, February 20, 2016


UPDATES: Fiji confirms 42 dead, declares state of emergency as Cyclone Winston tracks back south

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