Fiji re­cov­ery ef­forts be­gin

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS - By By Kathryn Cy­gan

AF­TER Cat­e­gory Five Cy­clone Win­ston dev­as­tated the is­lands of Fiji, lo­cal tourism op­er­a­tor Peter Far­rell made his way over to help with the re­cov­ery ef­forts.

“We have two is­land re­sorts over there and a tourism busi­ness, and I spent 10 days over there not just at the re­sorts but at the vil­lage,” Mr Far­rell said.

“The vil­lage ac­tu­ally gets a per­cent­age from the re­sorts, and we em­ploy over 120 lo­cal vil­lagers, and their homes have just been com­pletely de­stroyed.

“There were roofs from homes blown half way up the moun­tain, which gives you an idea of the sever­ity of the storm. Trees have had all their leaves stripped and many had fallen over onto homes and build­ings,” he said.

“One of the vil­lagers who I know re­ally well was speak­ing to me out­side where his home used to sit, which is now just a slab.

“He could see I was vis­i­bly shaken and up­set by the dam­age, and he was com­fort­ing me. Some­one who has lost ev­ery­thing, and he’s there re­as­sur­ing me.”

The Whit­sun­day com­mu­nity has al­ready do­nated hun­dreds of items.

Cloth­ing, linen, tools and house­hold items are wel­come and can be dropped off at Reef Sa­fari. Fi­nan­cial do­na­tions can be given to the Bare­foot Loloma Levu fund at www.in­diegogo.com/projects/fiji-loloma-levu-fund#.

CY­CLONE WIN­STON: Vil­lages were left flat­tened by the cat­e­gory five cy­clone.

Photo con­trib­uted.

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