MONSTER storm Winston goes down in history as the most destructive cyclone ever to be recorded in the southern hemisphere. Forty-four fatalities, thousands homeless and a FJ$1 billion repair bill, the road after Winston will be a long and difficult one. Response from the international community was swift with Australia and New Zealand offering emergency supplies including logistic support almost immediately after Winston passed.
As we went to press, the Australian Navy’s largest supply ship, the HMS Canberra and New Zealand’s HMS Canterbury are busy coordinating relief work in islands to the central and eastern Fiji.
The bad news is that the world will have to brace for more, not less, Winston-type super storms. As global warming sets in, cyclones according to climate scientists, are expected to occur more frequently and with greater intensity. Vulnerable countries like those of us in the Pacific will have to seriously consider a more stringent building code, an affordable national insurance cover mechanism and perhaps a quicker and more efficient early warning system.
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