Tropical Cyclone Winston, the second most powerful storm on record, after the 2013 Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines, struck Fiji on 20 February 2016. The cyclone killed 44 people and left a trail of destruction across large parts of the rural areas. Total damage and loss was estimated at $1.4 billion—equivalent to 27.6% of the country’s 2016 gross domestic product (GDP).
The urban water supply and sewerage systems in Fiji’s capital of Suva had been reported as well developed in the 1970s and 1980s. However, system expansion had not kept pace with increasing demand, and system sustainability declined due to inadequate maintenance. Non-revenue water (NRW) increased from around 30% in the early 1990s to almost 60% by 2002.
In January 2009, continuous and sometimes intense rains caused some of the worst flooding in Fiji’s history. Flash floods affected many areas but were particularly damaging in the northwestern section of the main island of Viti Levu.