Cyclone Winston tore through the Fiji islands on Feb. 20-21, leaving behind a wake of devastation and debris, but hope still remains for the island nation.
Forty-four people lost their lives while 122 more were injured. There were no members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints among the dead. Every missionary in the region is safe and accounted for, according to Mormon Newsroom.
Fiji Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama said the worst is behind the island nation, but there is still a trail of destruction on its way and that the government sees the trauma families are experiencing, according to the Fiji Broadcasting Corporation.
“As Prime Minister, I also want you to know that we will not rest until we have reached you and given you the helping hand you so badly need and deserve,” Bainimarama said, according to the Fiji Broadcasting Corporation.
Leaders of the LDS Church are working closely with government and nongovernmental agencies to provide, food, water, tents, hygiene packs and other emergency supplies for communities in need, according to Mormon Newsroom.
“In addition to donations from local Latter-day Saints, the humanitarian arm of the Church is working in partnership with the Ministry of Health and UNICEF in preparing more hygiene kits, washing kits, water purification tablets and school kits,” according to Mormon Newsroom.
There are 38 meeting houses owned by the LDS church in the area affected by the storm. Twenty-four of those churches that have been inspected so far have only minor damage, according to Mormon Newsroom.