Schools turn shelters after Cyclone Winston

Schools turn shelters after Cyclone Winston

The Fiji government says more than 45,000 people are now sheltering in evacuation centres across the country -- more than double the number they assessed just a day ago.

There's a growing sense of helplessness and frustration among those who have lost everything.

And in the township of Ba, a school has become a makeshift shelter for the homeless.

Arvind Chand and his family of nine lost their home of 30 years, and the desperation and helplessness is written on his face.

All they own now is some old clothing donated by friends.

"Everything is gone, lost. This much somebody gave us. [We have] no food, nothing," he says.

A school classroom is now home for Mr Chand and his family.

He's particularly worried about his elderly mother. She can't walk, and a biscuit tin is being used as her pillow.

He says they have nothing to eat, no shelter, no house -- they need help.

They're part of a growing number of people living in crammed evacuation centres. There are more than 200 around the country.

One classroom is no bigger than an average living room, yet 30 people are sleeping there every night. They have no other option. The youngest is a four-month-old baby girl.

The mangers of the school told Newshub they want to reopen within two weeks.

It means the 150 people here will have to move on, even though they know that outside of this school is an even more uncertain future.

Apart from the basics like clean water and food, they really need building materials so they can start to rebuild their lives.

They say they haven't had much assistance and hope the government can do more to speed up the delivery of aid.

In a statement today, Fijian President Frank Bainimarama said he knows people are desperate, but says the government is doing all it can help those in need.