2 Mar 2016

Fijian residents describe bomb scene following Winston

9:46 am on 2 March 2016

The Fijian island of Vanuabalavu, which was torn by Cyclone Winston, has been described as a bomb scene.

43 people have died - five of those on Vanuabalavu, about 300 kilometres east of Suva, when Cyclone Winston struck last month.

RNZ International reporter Alex Perrottet was the first journalist to reach the island.

He said residents are sorting out their belongings, with many things destroyed ending up in the rubbish pile.

Alex Perottet reporting from Vanuabalavu.

Alex Perottet reporting from Vanuabalavu. Photo: RNZ / Checkpoint

Alex Perrottet said one resident told him it looked like people had been dropping bombs on the island.

"They are talking about tidal waves that came into their houses and made them like washing machines inside. As I walked through Lomaloma village, you can see particular intense paths of destruction and some of the people were saying that they even saw tornado-like things within the cyclone."

Alex said residents are relieved aid has arrived, with flour, rice and sugar now available.

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs