WELCOME HELP: Fijian soldiers unload aid supplies from a New Zealand C-130 Hercules in Suva.
WELCOME HELP: Fijian soldiers unload aid supplies from a New Zealand C-130 Hercules in Suva. SGT Sam Shepherdnzdfaap

29 confirmed dead: Race against time after Fiji cyclone

THE Red Cross declared the death toll from Cyclone Winston had reached 29 yesterday, but that figure was expected to rise as Fijian authorities made contact with remote areas.

Flyovers of outlying islands revealed villages entirely flattened by the tropical cyclone's 325kmh winds that hit late on Saturday.

Fiji's seventh-largest island, Koro, appeared to have been particularly hard hit.

With thousands left homeless and water supplies tainted, aid agencies are worried there will be disease outbreaks.

CARE Australia spokeswoman Sarah Boxall said thousands of people were sheltering in overcrowded emergency accommodation and it was a race against time to get immediate relief to those who had lost everything.

Both Australia and New Zealand deployed aerial surveillance flights yesterday.



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