Trail of Destruction Emerging After Cyclone Yasa Smashes Fiji

FAIRFIELD, Conn. (Dec. 18, 2020) – Reports of immense damage left by Cyclone Yasa are beginning to emerge after the cyclone tore across Fiji overnight. After reaching category 5 ‘super’ status on Wednesday, Cyclone Yasa tracked further north than predicted and made landfall over Bua district on Vanua Levu.

Save the Children Fiji CEO Shairana Ali said:

“It’s still too early to know the extent of the impact, but we’re hearing reports Yasa destroyed entire villages in the north.

“There are collapsed buildings, trees snapped in half and debris strewn all over the ground. Schools have been damaged and roofs blown away.

“The weather's still not good but aerial assessments will hopefully be done later today. Assessment teams will also be deployed to the worst affected areas when the seas are not so rough for the boats to reach the islands.

“We’re particularly worried about how the cyclone affected those in the country’s north, and especially communities of the more isolated islands and flood-prone areas.

“Cyclone Yasa was an incredibly ferocious cyclone and would have been extremely frightening for children. Supporting their wellbeing will also need to be an important part of any humanitarian response.

“Now the important task of assessing the damage begins, rapidly determining needs and beginning relief operations. Families will need basic shelter, food, clean drinking water and other basic necessities.

“Save the Children has a long history working in Fiji, and our teams are ready to support the recovery.”

Yasa is one of the most powerful cyclones ever recorded in Fiji, with fears it would have the same devastating impact as Cyclone Winston in 2016, which killed 44 people and destroyed tens of thousands of homes.

Save the Children has been working in Fiji since 1972.

Save the Children believes every child deserves a future. Since our founding more than 100 years ago, we’ve changed the lives of more than 1 billion children. In the United States and around the world, we give children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We do whatever it takes for children – every day and in times of crisis – transforming their lives and the future we share. Follow us on FacebookInstagramTwitter and YouTube.


We’ll be in touch! By signing up to receive emails from Save the Children you will receive a subscription to our monthly eNews, access to breaking emergency alerts and opportunities to get involved. To ensure delivery of Save the Children emails to your inbox, add to your contact list.