Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop to visit storm-hit Fiji

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.
Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop. PHOTO: EPA

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia's Foreign Minister Julie Bishop will travel to Fiji on Sunday (March 13) to meet Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama and survey the damage wrought by cyclone Winston, her office said.

The cyclone, which was the worst storm ever recorded in the southern hemisphere, hit the South Pacific archipelago last month, killing 43 people and leaving tens of thousands homeless.

Three weeks later, more than 25,000 Fijians remain in evacuation centres, according to the latest report from Fiji's National Emergency Operation Centre.

During her visit, Ms Bishop will also meet Fiji's Foreign Minister Ratu Kubuabola and Disaster Management Minister Inia Seruiratu as well as Australian aid workers there.

Australia has committed A$15 million (S$15.6 million) to the recovery effort and deployed its largest navy vessel, the HMAS Canberra, to Fiji with 60 tonnes of emergency relief supplies.