IT was the same scene from island to island. The trail of destruction of Hurricane Tomas was visible from the air.
Flattened houses, roofless buildings, belongings strewn all over the ground and plantations left in ruins.
Most visible was the sign left on the ground of huge sea swells that rushed into coastal villages, destroying vegetation and forcing villagers to flee for their lives to higher ground.
The Fiji Times team was the first to view the damage left behind by the category four hurricane, from Taveuni up to Cikobia further up north of Vanua Levu as State officials started their damage assessments before relief supplies can be distributed to those affected.
On Cikobia (pictured), plantations were lost but some of the homes, rebuilt after previous cyclones, were spared.
Villagers struggling to recover from the ordeal waved as we flew over. Help from New Zealand arrived on a Royal New Zealand Air Force aircraft, which dropped off relief supplies in Labasa for distribution.