Death toll from Cyclone Winston reaches 20 in Fiji

Baku, February 22, AZERTAC

Workers scrambled to reach hard-hit outer islands in Fiji on Monday to fully assess the scope of the devastating cyclone that struck the Pacific Island nation over the weekend, killing at least 20 people, according to CNN.

Tropical Cyclone Winston, which lashed Fiji on Saturday night, is the most powerful storm on record in the Southern Hemisphere, authorities said.

The destruction was apparent wherever one looked: Giant uprooted trees resting upside down on roads. Houses with their tin roofs torn off. Residents packing up whatever belongings they could salvage from their destroyed homes.

"There are Fijians out there who are without water, without a roof over their heads, without food and without essential services," Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama said.

Compounding the challenge for relief workers are power outages, fallen phone lines and road blocks.

"Winston was a monster of a cyclone," Fiji resident Nazeem Kasim told CNN. "I have not experienced anything like this before in my life, nor has my 60-year-old father."

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