Baku. 24 February. REPORT.AZ/ The death toll in Fiji following Cyclone Winston has risen to 36, Report informs referring to the Agency Fress Press (AFP).
The fatalities were confirmed on Wednesday by Fiji's National Disaster Management Minister Inia Seruiratu, the government-owned Fiji Broadcasting Corp reported.
Information has continued to filter back from hard-hit remote areas that bore the brunt of the category-5 cyclone on Saturday - a storm believed to be the most powerful ever to hit Fiji.
Fiji government spokesman Ewan Perrin told Radio New Zealand the island of Koro, which took a direct hit from the cyclone as it passed over the western side of the 300-island group, had 'pretty much (been) flattened.'
'There are very few buildings left.'
Aid groups and government authorities are now racing to deal with a critical need for clean water, health supplies and emergency accommodation after power lines, roads, jetties and homes were destroyed and damaged across huge areas of Fiji's main islands of Vanua Levu and Viti Levu.
A 30-day state of emergency has been declared in Fiji and Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama has ordered emergency management officials to respond to the crisis as quickly as possible.