Fiji has entered a “frightening new era” of extreme weather, in which “almost constant” deadly cyclones have thrown the country into “a fight for survival”, President Frank Bainimarama said this week.
“His comments came after Cyclone Josie caused deaths and flooding on Fiji’s main island, Viti Levu, at the weekend,” killing four people, BBC reports.
“We are now at an almost constant level of threat from these extreme weather events,” Bainimarama said Tuesday. “As a nation, we are starting to build our resilience in response to the frightening new era that is upon us,” but “we need to get the message out loud and clear to the entire world about the absolute need to confront this crisis head on.”
When Cyclone Winston hit Viti Levu in 2016, 44 died and the island nation lost one-third of its economic activity.
As chair of last year’s United Nations climate conference in Bonn, the first to be led by a small island state, Bainimarama worked to introduce a new dialogue process to accelerate ambition for global action on climate change.