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Posts: 104
Stephen Joe is OK. He sent me a short message when he had power and did mention that he’d received many messages of concern from the philatelic community, which he appreciates very much.

Fiji is no stranger to tropical storms but TS Winston was a really bad one. The worst path of destruction on the main island (Viti Levu) occurred further north but Suva was badly affected too. Stephen said that the two long established fruit trees in his garden had been blown down. He’d only sent me a picture of the avocado pears on his pear tree last week! They’re not on it now, they've been blown half way to Tonga!

Latest update received Tuesday 23rd February:

Severe Tropical Cyclone Winston struck Fiji on Saturday night with destructive winds of about 325 kph near its centre. Massive damage was caused to many buildings, infrastructure and food crops. So far, over 20 people are known to have lost their lives. Many areas are still without water or power. All schools will be closed for one or two weeks (depending on the location). Many businesses still remain closed. The Post Office only opened for limited business today.

It has been claimed that TC Winston is the most severe & destructive cyclone on record. It will take a long time to have everything repaired and for life to return to normal here in Fiji.
2016-02-23 09:23
Posts: 49
From Stephen on the 25th

Warm Greetings from a Stormy Fiji!

Many thanks for your concerns and kind wishes. Here they now refer it as the severe Monster Tropical Cyclone Winston as records show that this is the most powerful cyclone in the Southern Hemisphere on record. TC Winston struck Fiji on Saturday night with destructive winds of over 325 kph near its centre. Massive damages were caused to buildings, infrastructure and food crops. In most villages, 90% of the houses were completely flattened. So far, 42 people have lost their lives and that number will rise further when communication improves. Many areas are still without water and power. Many countries like Australia, N.Z., the U.S. China, India and some others have sent aid in various forms. The Fiji Government & Red Cross is busily distributing food, clothing, tents, etc. to the most affected areas first.

It will take a long time to have everything repaired and for life to return to normal. However Fijians are resilient people and we have suffered many times in the past and we’ll all bounce back soon.

Fortunately for me, I’ve suffered only minimal losses.

and from another contact in Fiji the same date

Thank you for your words of concern and well wishes.

All of us at the Bureau are safe. The wrath of the cyclone was very badly felt by the outer islands. We here in Suva are counting ourselves lucky that this cyclone did not hit us. There are damages to the power lines and we are having frequent disturbances in electricity. We have noticed the extensive coverage’s done by BBC as well as our local news media. The outer islands were badly affected by the cyclone, followed by the strong tidal waves which also claimed so many precious lives. It is indeed sad to note the loss of loved ones and our prayers are with the affected families.

But otherwise, we are all well and we thank you humbly for your well wishes.
2016-02-27 21:43