Mar 8, 2016

Cyclone Winston: Fiji’s estimated cost of damages exceeds $470M, 10% of the island nation’s total GDP

Fiji
by
Suman Varandani
,
International Business Times
Damages from cyclone Winston in Fiji has exceeeded $470 million. In this photo, by the Mai Life Magazine, Naresh Kumar of Tuvu Lautoka looks at the remains of his house after it was destroyed by Cyclone Winston in Tuvu Lautoka on Feb. 22, 2016 in Fiji. Photo: Feroz Khalil, Getty Images
Damages from cyclone Winston in Fiji has exceeeded $470 million. In this photo, by the Mai Life Magazine, Naresh Kumar of Tuvu Lautoka looks at the remains of his house after it was destroyed by Cyclone Winston in Tuvu Lautoka on Feb. 22, 2016 in Fiji. Photo: Feroz Khalil, Getty Images

The estimated cost of damages caused by tropical cyclone Winston, which hit the Pacific island nation of Fiji last month, exceeds $470 million, local media reports said Tuesday. Over 44 people died from the cyclone, which destroyed 18,154 homes and buildings, and has left tens of thousands of people living in evacuation centers.

The total cost of damages from the cyclone is nearly 10 percent of the small island nation’s total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $4.5 billion, calculated as of 2014 by theWorld Bank data. The economy of Fiji, which is home to over 880,000 people, depends largely on tourism with thousands of visiting the archipelago nation. After the massive destruction by Cyclone Winston — the worst storm recorded in the southern hemisphere — the priority now is to rebuild schools, the National Disaster Management Office reportedly said.