As category five Tropical Cyclone Winston bears down on Fiji, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) is ready to respond.

According to the Fiji MET service, Cyclone Winston made landfall early Sunday morning (local time) with devastating winds averaging 220km/h and gusts up to 315km/h.

“The government has been active in warning and preparing people for what is said to be the worst cyclone ever in the Southern Hemisphere,” said Greg Young, Director for ADRA in the South Pacific Region.

“ADRA staff on the ground are also busy preparing to meet people’s most urgent needs,” he said. “We also have a trained team of experts from around the region offering support and preparing to arrive in Fiji as soon as transport is available.”

Funding has already been committed by the global ADRA network, including ADRA Australia and ADRA New Zealand.

Having responded extensively to Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu last year, ADRA is preparing to extend similar assistance to Fiji.

According to Mr Young, ADRA Fiji has prepositioned supplies at a number of sites which will ensure they can respond quickly. Plus, staff from the agency’s ongoing community development projects will begin assessments as soon as the storm has passed.

“ADRA has a strong presence on the ground and our existing partnerships will allow ADRA personnel to respond efficiently to this disaster.”

In March last year, ADRA distributed shelter, hygiene kits, food and water to thousands of people affected by Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu.

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