International Reconnecting Families Bulletin: Cyclone Winston in Fiji

Debris is scattered around damaged buildings at Nakama settlement in Fiji, after Cyclone Winston tore through the island nation. Photo credit: AP.

Debris is scattered around damaged buildings at Nakama settlement in Fiji, after Cyclone Winston tore through the island nation. Photo credit: AP.

Fiji sustained significant damage due to the passage of Cyclone Winston on Saturday, February 20th. Reports have indicated that there were sustained winds of over 180 mph (290 kph), with torrential rains and waves of up to 40 ft (12m). Initial damage and impact assessments are underway by the national authorities and by the Red Cross with various updates confirming that entire villages have been destroyed and massive destruction along the storm's path due to extensive rain, and flooding. 

The International Committee of the Red Cross' Family Linking website has been activated in response to this disaster.  The website is currently available in English. Through this website you can 1) Search through the list of missing persons and people who have responded that they are alive; 2) Register names of persons with whom you have lost contact; and 3) Register names of persons who wish to inform others that they are alive.

The website provides a form through which you can register, which is submitted to the Red Cross. Names will not automatically appear on the lists in the website. The names which people wish to make public will need to be processed by the Red Cross first, which is continuously updating the lists.

If you or someone you know are trying to contact a family member affected by the Cyclone, you can begin your search by going to familylinks.icrc.org/fiji.

If your inquiry concerns a U.S. citizen, please also contact the U.S. Department of State, Office of Overseas Citizens Services, at 1-888-407-4747 (from the United States and Canada) or +1-202-501-4444 (from overseas) and http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/emergencies.html

For more information on the reconnecting families work of the American Red Cross, please visit redcross.org/reconnectingfamilies.