Fiji cyclone devastation latest in worrying trend for Pacific Islands

fiji beach sceneJust over a week ago, Tropical Cyclone Winston smashed into Fiji with ferocious force. By the time it reached the island’s shores, the storm had escalated into a Category 5 event, with gusts of wind reaching 325 kilometers (200 miles) per hour. It was the strongest cyclone ever recorded in the Southern Hemisphere.

Cyclone Winston has caused more damage to Fiji than any storm on record for this small island state, but it’s only the latest weather-related problem. 2015 was thehottest year on record, and so far 2016 is keeping pace. Only weeks before Winston, Fiji experienced massive fish die-offs linked to excessively hot and still conditions. Coastal fish are the main source of protein for most Fijians, and the area worst hit by these die-offs — the Coral Coast — is the center of Fiji’s renowned tourism industry. Climate change has also been linked to more frequent, stronger El Niños.

Read the full article: Cyclone devastation in Fiji latest sign of worrying trend in Pacific Islands | Human Nature – Conservation International Blog

Jeremy Smithhttp://www.jmcsmith.com
Jeremy Smith is the editor and co-founder of Travindy. He is a writer and communications consultant working for a more responsible and sustainable tourism industry. He is the author of two books, writes a fortnightly blog on responsible tourism for World Travel Market, and provides consultancy to a wide range of companies and organisations, ranging from National Parks to individual hotels and tour operators.

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