Cyclone-hit remote Fiji islands begin to receive aid, death toll 42

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Aid reaching Fiji after Cyclone Winston
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Cyclone-hit remote Fiji islands begin to receive aid, death toll 42
FIJI - FEBRUARY 24: In this handout image supplied by the UNICEF, children play on the Rakiraki river near Rakiraki Village on February 24, 2016 in Fiji. Category 5 Tropical Cyclone Winston made landfall in Fiji on Saturday 20 February, continuing its path of destruction into Sunday 21 February. A state of natural disaster and a nationwide curfew had been declared by the Government of Fiji earlier in the evening. The Fijian Government has declared a state of natural disaster for the next 30 days and has initiated the clean-up process by clearing the huge amounts of debris scattered everywhere. (Photo by UNICEF via Getty Images)
FIJI - FEBRUARY 24: In this handout image supplied by the UNICEF, Makereta Nasiki, 13, sits in her room, showing damage caused by Tropical Cyclone Winston in the town of Ba on Viti Levu Island on February 24, 2016 in Fiji. Category 5 Tropical Cyclone Winston made landfall in Fiji on Saturday 20 February, continuing its path of destruction into Sunday 21 February. A state of natural disaster and a nationwide curfew had been declared by the Government of Fiji earlier in the evening. The Fijian Government has declared a state of natural disaster for the next 30 days and has initiated the clean-up process by clearing the huge amounts of debris scattered everywhere. (Photo by UNICEF via Getty Images)
FIJI - FEBRUARY 24: In this handout image supplied by the UNICEF, Kolora, 26, holds her daughter Semaima, 2, in what is left of her home in the aftermath of Tropical Cyclone Winston in Rakiraki district in Ra province on February 24, 2016 in Fiji. Category 5 Tropical Cyclone Winston made landfall in Fiji on Saturday 20 February, continuing its path of destruction into Sunday 21 February. A state of natural disaster and a nationwide curfew had been declared by the Government of Fiji earlier in the evening. The Fijian Government has declared a state of natural disaster for the next 30 days and has initiated the clean-up process by clearing the huge amounts of debris scattered everywhere. (Photo by UNICEF via Getty Images)
FIJI - FEBRUARY 24: In this handout image supplied by the UNICEF, 10-year-old Lusiana (R) is helping her grandmother (C) and aunt (L) sort through and fold clothes for her family in Rakiraki district in Ra province in Fiji on February 24, 2016 in Fiji. Category 5 Tropical Cyclone Winston made landfall in Fiji on Saturday 20 February, continuing its path of destruction into Sunday 21 February. A state of natural disaster and a nationwide curfew had been declared by the Government of Fiji earlier in the evening. The Fijian Government has declared a state of natural disaster for the next 30 days and has initiated the clean-up process by clearing the huge amounts of debris scattered everywhere. (Photo by UNICEF via Getty Images)
BA, FIJI - FEBRUARY 24: In this handout image supplied by the UNICEF, Makereta Nasiki, 13, stands in a corridor of her home, in the aftermath of Cyclone Winston in Ba town, on February 24, 2016 on Viti Levu Island of Fiji. Category 5 Tropical Cyclone Winston made landfall in Fiji on Saturday 20 February, continuing its path of destruction into Sunday 21 February. A state of natural disaster and a nationwide curfew had been declared by the Government of Fiji earlier in the evening. The Fijian Government has declared a state of natural disaster for the next 30 days and has initiated the clean-up process by clearing the huge amounts of debris scattered everywhere. (Photo by UNICEF via Getty Images)
Children gather outside an evacuation centre in the village of Drauni-Ivi on February 25, 2016, after Cyclone Winston swept through this area of Fiji. Cyclone-devastated Fiji said it was likely to need more foreign aid on February 25 as the body count from the most powerful storm in its history climbed to 44. AFP PHOTO/STEVEN SAPHORE / AFP / STEVEN SAPHORE (Photo credit should read STEVEN SAPHORE/AFP/Getty Images)
FIJI - FEBRUARY 24: In this handout image supplied by the UNICEF, Kalisi holds her son Tuvosa, 3, in the remnants of her house in Rakiraki District in Ra province on February 24, 2016 in Fiji. Category 5 Tropical Cyclone Winston made landfall in Fiji on Saturday 20 February, continuing its path of destruction into Sunday 21 February. A state of natural disaster and a nationwide curfew had been declared by the Government of Fiji earlier in the evening. The Fijian Government has declared a state of natural disaster for the next 30 days and has initiated the clean-up process by clearing the huge amounts of debris scattered everywhere. (Photo by UNICEF via Getty Images)
A general view shows damaged buildings of Queen Victoria School in Tailevu after Cyclone Winston swept through the area. The death toll from super-cyclone Winston jumped to 42 on February 24 as concerns grew for remote Fijian villages still waiting for help after the most powerful storm in the Pacific nation's history. AFP PHOTO / STEVEN SAPHORE / AFP / STEVEN SAPHORE (Photo credit should read STEVEN SAPHORE/AFP/Getty Images)
A young man named Tevita repairs the roof of his house in Tailevu after Cyclone Winston swept through the area. The death toll from super-cyclone Winston jumped to 42 on February 24 as concerns grew for remote Fijian villages still waiting for help after the most powerful storm in the Pacific nation's history. AFP PHOTO / STEVEN SAPHORE / AFP / STEVEN SAPHORE (Photo credit should read STEVEN SAPHORE/AFP/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - A man named Ikavatu from the village of Namena in Tailevu gestures towards his damaged house after Cyclone Winston swept through the area. The death toll from super-cyclone Winston jumped to 42 on February 24 as concerns grew for remote Fijian villages still waiting for help after the most powerful storm in the Pacific nation's history. AFP PHOTO / STEVEN SAPHORE / AFP / STEVEN SAPHORE (Photo credit should read STEVEN SAPHORE/AFP/Getty Images)
FIJI - FEBRUARY 24: In this handout image supplied by the UNICEF, Micola, 18, (L) and Lusiana, 17 (R) sit in an evacuation centre in Ra Province, Viti Levu Island on February 24, 2016 in Fiji. Category 5 Tropical Cyclone Winston made landfall in Fiji on Saturday 20 February, continuing its path of destruction into Sunday 21 February. A state of natural disaster and a nationwide curfew had been declared by the Government of Fiji earlier in the evening. The Fijian Government has declared a state of natural disaster for the next 30 days and has initiated the clean-up process by clearing the huge amounts of debris scattered everywhere. (Photo by UNICEF via Getty Images)
FIJI - FEBRUARY 22: In this handout image supplied by the Mai Life Magazine, Naresh Kumar of Tuvu Lautoka looks at the remains of his house after it was destroyed by Cyclone Winston in Tuvu Lautoka on February 22, 2016 in Fiji. Category 5 Tropical Cyclone Winston made landfall in Fiji on Saturday 20 February, continuing its path of destruction into Sunday 21 February. A state of natural disaster and a nationwide curfew had been declared by the Government of Fiji earlier in the evening. The Fijian Government has declared a state of natural disaster for the next 30 days and has initiated the clean-up process by clearing the huge amounts of debris scattered everywhere. (Photo by Feroz Khalil for Mai Life Magazine via Getty Images)
A car drives along Kings Road near Lautoka, Fiji, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016, where power poles lean over after cyclone Winston ripped through the island nation. The cyclone tore through Fiji over the weekend with winds that reached 177 miles (285 kilometers) per hour, making it the strongest storm in Fiji's recorded history. (Brett Phibbs/New Zealand Herald via AP) NEW ZEALAND OUT, AUSTRALIA OUT
In this Sunday, Feb. 21, 2016 aerial photo supplied by the New Zealand Defense Force, debris is scattered around damaged buildings at Susui village in Fiji, after Cyclone Winston tore through the island nation. Fijians were finally able to venture outside Monday after authorities lifted a curfew but much of the country remained without electricity in the wake of a ferocious cyclone that left at least six people dead and destroyed hundreds of homes. (New Zealand Defense Force via AP) EDITORIAL USE ONLY
A woman from the village of Namena in Tailevu walks in front of her damaged house after Cyclone Winston swept through the area. The death toll from super-cyclone Winston jumped to 42 on February 24 as concerns grew for remote Fijian villages still waiting for help after the most powerful storm in the Pacific nation's history. AFP PHOTO / STEVEN SAPHORE / AFP / STEVEN SAPHORE (Photo credit should read STEVEN SAPHORE/AFP/Getty Images)
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SYDNEY - The Fijian government and international aid agencies began delivering much needed aid on Wednesday to the Pacific nation's remote islands and coastal villages devastated by a powerful cyclone that killed 42 people.

The death toll has crept up in the days since Cyclone Winston struck Fiji late on Saturday as communication has gradually been restored with the outer reaches of the archipelago that is home to some 900,000 people.

Thousands of people are still sheltering in evacuation centers, their homes destroyed by winds or flooded by the most powerful storm to ever strike a Pacific nation.

SEE EARLIER: Fiji cleans up after Cyclone Winston kills 17, flattens villages

An emergency response team from the International Red Cross reached the outer island of Koro, the seventh-largest of Fiji's 300 islands and one of the worst hit, by ship on Tuesday evening.

"We don't know how many jetties are destroyed on the outer islands and whether ships carrying aid can land," said Dylan Quinnell, a spokesman for Care Australia in Fiji's capital Suva.

Australia and New Zealand said they were ready to deploy helicopters to reach other areas that remained cut off.

"We have also sent two P3 Orion surveillance aircraft and they will be carrying out daily assessment of the damage particularly in those outlying islands," Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop told parliament.

The Fijian agriculture ministry told local media the cyclone has completely destroyed crops across the island, while charity Save The Children said scores of schools have been destroyed or badly damaged. Thousands of Fijians live, learn and work in tin or wooden shacks in low-lying coastal areas.

Aid workers have warned of potential outbreaks of the Zika and Dengue viruses, both carried by mosquitoes which could breed in the stagnant water left by the storm.

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