At its peak, Winston was a crazy, crazy night of howling wind, driving rain and the most incredible noise, a night like I’ve never experienced before…It now feels very strange to sit here safe and reflect about the past three days, especially when news is coming in, showing the absolute destruction that Winston caused across Fiji.
The early projected tract had Winston passing below the Fiji mainland and we were feeling relatively safe as the island was readied with cyclone shutters going over the windows and anything that could be thrown about by the wind was brought inside or securely tied down.
At least 21 people were killed and more than 8,000 were driven into shelters after Tropical Cyclone Winston struck Fiji on Saturday, with officials predicting an increased death toll once safety teams reach the outlying islands, authorities report.
Two days later though, when Winston backpedaled from Samoa and arched back to Fiji in the form of a Category 3 cyclone, early signs indicated that the forecast would turn into more than a tropical drizzle.
SURFER Senior Photographer Peter “Joli” Wilson returned to Fiji on Tuesday, February 16th, five days after leaving for The Eddie, and the conditions were textbook paradise, featuring crystal-clear Pacific water and clean early-season Cloudbreak.
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama said in a televised national address on Sunday that the storm still strands much of the population without adequate power and fresh water. “The damage has been widespread, homes have been destroyed, many low-lying areas have flooded, and many people have been left stunned and confused about what to do,” he said.
Read more here: Surfer Mag